GIS Certificate as a Stand-Alone Program

This information is for those interested in our GIS Certificate program who are not currently enrolled at UMW

The Mary Washington Certificate in Geographic Information Science is available to non-degree-seeking students who wish to further their education, explore a new career, or complete the certificate after graduation.

To apply, complete this application for admission form.

  • This program is suitable for those who have never taken any GIS coursework at the college level, or who have taken a class several years ago. Instructors use ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro software.
  • GIS courses are taught in person on the Fredericksburg campus, mostly in Monroe Hall, or (occasionally) in an online synchronous format.
  • All of the courses can be taken in the evening, as they meet from 6.00-9.30 pm once a week.

What will you take? Catalog requirements

  • Four 4-credit courses, followed by a 3-credit capstone. The first course must be taken alone as it is a pre-requisite for the others. After that, students may take one course per semester, or two courses per semester. The capstone must be taken concurrently with the last class, or after it.
  • GISC 200 Introduction to GIS is offered every fall and spring with at least one evening option, 6:00-9:30 pm
  • GISC 351 Spatial Analysis is required and is also offered every fall and spring semester as an evening course.
  • Either GISC 450 GIS Programming, which uses the Python language, or GISC 482 Web GIS Concepts and Applications are required:
    • GIS Programming is incredibly valuable in the workplace (many advertisements specify a need for coding or programming). We strongly recommend taking an introduction to programming course (e.g. CPSC 110, Intro to Computer Science) before enrolling in this class. This course is offered at least once a year as an evening course.
    • Web Concepts and Applications is taught in person as an evening course during the fall semester. This class teaches students to use already-existing tools to build and enhance web-based maps and spatial data.
  • An elective course:
    • GISC 340 Remote Sensing is offered at least once a year as an evening course.
    • GISC 355 Mobile GIS & the Global Positioning System is offered annually as a daytime twice-a-week course.
    • Any 400-level GISC course can be taken as an elective.
  • The Capstone can be an internship or a directed study. In either case, students write a paper and give a presentation demonstrating spatial analysis and explaining why it is valuable.

Most commonly, GIS Certificate Only students take one course per semester while working full time, and complete over a period of two years. It is possible to complete in a shorter time period, however.

If you have other questions, please email Dr. Jackie Gallagher.