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2022-2023 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Technology Undergraduate Certificate

The GIS technology certification program is housed with the department of Geography and Sustainable Planning ( Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to map, model, query, synthesize, and analyze big spatial data according to their location. GIS benefits organizations in almost every industry. There is growing interest in the economic, environmental, and strategic planning value of GIS.

The GIS technology certificate is designed for GVSU students who want to add geospatial technology skills to their major. Students learn practical applications of geospatial technologies and develop a working competency in GIS software, such as ESRI ArcGIS, Business Analyst, and Edras Imagine. Open for all majors. For more information, visit our website at

Program coordinator: Professor Gang Xu, Ph.D., Department of Geography and Sustainable Planning.

Reasons to Study GIS Technology

  • 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 students an edge over peers in the current job market.
  • Practical application: Students will learn practical skills that will benefit their future careers.
  • Flexibility: Students can attend full or part time. Any major combined with this certificate creates a new hybrid skill set.
  • Affordability: An extra credential on your official transcript with little to no additional cost.

Our alumni have found rewarding careers in positions such as environmental specialists, transportation analysts, urban planners, business GIS analysts, regional intelligence analysts, lead digital mappers, and county GIS directors.


Students will complete a minimum of 13 credit hours to receive certification in GIS. Up to six credits can be transferred from another institution (subject to course content approval).

Required Courses

Students must complete the following 10 credits:

Electives Courses

Choose one of the following:

Natural resources management (NRM) majors pursuing the NRM resource analysis methods emphasis may substitute the following for GPY 200:


  • GIS science and technology
  • Remote sensing (satellite image interpretation)
  • Advanced GIS
  • Environmental, social, and business applications of GIS
  • Spatial analysis techniques
  • Computer mapping

Geography and Sustainable Planning Program Description

Click here for the program description.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.