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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Academic Certificate

GIS is a computerized database management system for capture, storage, retrieval, analysis and display of geographic information.

The GIS certificate program will provide students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to develop and manage Geographic Information projects and to interpret and implement GIS as a decision support system.

The core sequence of five GIS courses will enable students to:

  • Develop substantial theoretical and practical competencies relating to GIS
  • Develop foundational understanding and skills in the use of industry-standard software
  • Be able to demonstrate to employers the ability to perform GIS tasks at the entry level

Students completing the Geographic Information Systems academic certificate program will be well prepared to enter the field of GIS in a public or private environment as entry-level GIS technicians. Individuals currently working in this or a related field will substantially enhance their knowledge and skills.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Identify how geospatial technologies can be utilized within various organizations/applications.
  • Identify necessary equipment (software and hardware) and data needed to complete project.
  • Effectively use various geospatial technologies (Geographic Information Systems/GIS, Global Positioning Systems/GPS).
  • Conduct geospatial analyses and operations (geocoding, buffer, clip, distribution, correlation and network).
  • Work productively both independently and in teams on geospatial projects.

Program Entry Requirements:
New students are required to take College placement tests. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses in addition to the requirements of the program.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:
To qualify for the academic certificate in Geographic Information Systems, students must complete the appropriate 30 credit hours with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C average). All students must earn a C or better in all GIS courses.

Geographic Information Systems - Academic Certificate Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites Credits  

Summer Session

CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3  
GIS 101 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems   3  

First Semester

ENGL 101 – English Composition I   3  
MATH 118 - Intermediate Algebra or higher   3  
GIS 102 - Intermediate Geographic Information Systems GIS 101 3  
GIS 104 - Principles of Computer Cartography and Visualization GIS 101 3  

Second Semester

ENGL 102 – The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3  
GIS 203 - Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Technologies GIS 101, MATH 118 3  
GIS 201 - Advanced GIS Systems GIS 102 3  

Summer or Third Semester

GIS 206 - Introduction to Web GIS GIS 201 3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 30


For More Information Contact:
The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.

Gainful Employment Information

Gainful employment information is intended to provide students with better information about the effectiveness of college programs in preparing students for careers. Information provided includes estimated program costs and time needed to complete the program, financing options and related careers.

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