Info for Prospective GISC-only Students

This information is for prospective applicants to our non-degree-seeking GIS Certificate program

Most students who earn the GIS Certificate are undergraduate students at UMW, who complete the certificate just like they would complete a minor (but declare using the major declaration form). However, the program is ALSO open to non-degree-seeking students (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.
  • All of our GIS courses are taught in person on the Fredericksburg campus, mostly in Monroe Hall.
  • 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?

  • Four 4-credit courses are required, followed by a 3-credit capstone, which is either an internship or a directed study with a professor.
  • 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 last.
  • Required classes are GISC 200, Intro to GIS, and GISC 351, Spatial Analysis. They are offered in fall and spring semesters. GISC 200 is sometimes offered in the 10-week summer term (but other courses are not offered in the summer – it is not long enough to cover all the material).
  • There is one elective: most students take GEOG 340, Remote Sensing, because it is such a valuable skill and we offer it every semester. It is usually the only elective we offer in the evening, but occasionally a “topics in GIS” course is available.
  • GISC students are required to take either GISC 450, GIS Programming, which uses the Python language, or GISC 482, Web GIS Concepts.
    • GIS Programming is taught in fall and spring semesters.
    • We recognize that 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 GISC 450, GIS Programming.
    • We also recognize that that not all students are comfortable with programming or will take jobs requiring it: these students should take GISC 482, Web Concepts
    • GISC 482, Web GIS Concepts is taught ONLY in the fall semester. This class teaches students to use already-existing tools to build and enhance web-based maps and spatial data.
  • Most student complete an internship for the capstone. However, for those who are working full time and cannot do an internship, the directed study is an option. Students work closely with a professor, on a topic of interest that is likely to move the student toward the kind of career they are hoping for.

For the fastest possible completion, a student would apply before May 1, would be able to take GISC 200, Intro to GIS, in the summer semester (we do not always offer this course in the summer, depending on enrollment numbers) and would then take both GISC 351, Spatial Analysis and GEOG 340, Remote Sensing in the fall semester, followed by GISC 450, GIS Programming and the Capstone in the spring semester. That is 12 months.

More commonly, our GIS Certificate only students take one course per semester, and complete over a period of two years.

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