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Geography (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology )

Undergraduate Certificate

The geographic information science (GIS) and technology certificate allows you to map, model, query, and analyze large quantities of data according to location. This technology benefits organizations in almost every industry. There is growing interest in the economic, environmental, and strategic planning value of GIS.

Program Overview

The program is designed for practical applications of geospatial technologies and working competency in GIS software such as ESRI ArcGIS, Business Analyst, TerrSet, and ERDAS Imagine. Open for all majors. You must be a degree-seeking student to receive the certificate. The certificate will be awarded at the same time the degree is awarded.


Complete a minimum of 13 credit hours. Up to six credits can be transferred from another institution (subject to content approval). Required courses:

  • GPY 200 - Computer Cartography
  • GPY 307 - Introduction to GIS
  • GPY 407 - Advanced GIS

Plus one elective course, see catalog for list.

Career Options

  • Big data visualization
  • Business GIS analyzing
  • Community analysis and development
  • Computer mapping
  • Environmental resource management
  • GIS development and management
  • International organizations
  • Urban and regional planning

Read about successful alumni at

Why Study Gis at Grand Valley?

  • An emerging field. Geospatial technology is one of the most important emerging fields in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Marketability. GIS competency offers top jobs in a wide variety of sectors.
  • A competitive edge. Studying these technologies will give you an edge over peers in the current job market.
  • Practical application. You will learn practical skills that will benefit your future careers.
  • Flexibility. You can attend full- or part-time. Any major combined with this certificate creates a new hybrid skill set.
  • Affordability. Get an extra credential on your official transcript with little to no additional cost.

For More Information

Department of Geography And Sustainable Planning

View all Academic Programs offered by Grand Valley State University