USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology

The online graduate certificate in geographic information science and technology (GIST) is an excellent starting point for individuals interested in GIS. Professionals who want to enhance their existing skillsets may also use the core courses and electives available in the graduate certificate program to gain experience within a specific area, such as spatial data management, spatial data acquisition, spatial modeling or cartography and spatial data visualization.

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Fill out the information below to learn more about the University of Southern California’s online GIS Graduate Programs and download a free brochure. If you have any additional questions, please call 877-650-9054 to speak to an enrollment advisor.

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Graduate Certificate in GIST Career Opportunities

“The graduate certificate in GIST played an instrumental role in my promotion to GIS analyst, and I decided to continue with the master’s portion of the program, focusing on web and mobile GIS. The knowledge and expertise I gained from these courses facilitated my second promotion to senior GIS analyst.”

-Jo-Anne Antoun
Graduate Certificate in GIST, Class of 2013
Candidate for M.S. in GIST
Senior GIS Analyst at Snohomish County, WA

The GIST graduate certificate program prepares students with a core foundation in spatial thinking and working with spatial data. For students starting their GIS careers, the coursework will prepare them for GIS analyst and technician roles. USC’s extensive selection of electives offers opportunities to gain sophisticated skills in more specific domains within geographic information science, allowing experienced professionals to augment their knowledge.

Certificate students hoping to enter senior-level GIS careers or GIS leadership positions may also consider the M.S. in GIST program; all credit earned with the GIST graduate certificate can be applied toward completion of the master’s.

Learn more about GIST graduate certificate careers >


Curriculum Summary

The GIST graduate certificate program consists of 12 units of core coursework in spatial thinking, spatial databases and spatial data acquisition. Students also select one elective course to complete the program and enhance their knowledge with more specific expertise. The nine available electives cover the whole field and range from cartography and visualization to web GIS.

To see a full list of GIST certificate electives, visit the curriculum page.

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GIS Fieldwork on Catalina Island

Our M.S. in HSGI, M.S. in GIST and graduate certificate in GIST programs will take students on a weeklong fieldwork excursion to the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies — a half-acre research and educational campus on Catalina Island.

Learn more about the GIS fieldwork excursion >