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Geographic Information Sciences (GIS and Remote Sensing)

The geospatial field is rapidly growing with increased use of geographic information science tools opening up new career possibilities. Miami University’s online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS and Remote Sensing) program provides expertise in the latest geospatial and remote sensing technology. These digital mapping skills are crucial for those interested in cartography, environmental and geographic research, urban planning, and many other career paths. In as little as 14 weeks, diversify your skillset and become more marketable with an online certificate focused on GIS.

Quick Facts

This program has a special out-of-state fee waiver for non-Ohio residents. All applicants will pay in-state per credit hour rates.

4 courses

Program duration

6-9 hrs/wk

Time commitment per course

Fall & Spring

Next program start date (rolling admission)

Enhance your GIS knowledge

With Miami Online's GIS certificate, prepare to apply geospatial technology to real-world problems. Immerse yourself in various data formats to better understand their data classification, analysis, and interpretation techniques. Become proficient using ESRI's ArcGIS suite of desktop and online GIS applications, ENVI Remote Sensing software, and Python programming basics for automating GIS processes.

Improve job prospects

Enter the rapidly expanding geospatial technologies industry with our geographic information system certificate program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that "job prospects are likely to be excellent due to the increasing use of maps in government planning." 

GIS and remote sensing technology is utilized in a wide variety of fields including urban planning, disaster management, transport management, smart cities, business intelligence, customer relationship management, marketing, and enterprise resource planning.

Get Started with Admission

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science program, you'll need:

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate transcript

If you're completing this program to advance or meet your work or association requirements, be sure to speak with those parties to ensure that Miami's program meets their individual needs.

Invest in Your Future

Miami University has been named a top 100 best value nationwide by Forbes and Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and our Oxford campus is ranked in the top 20 online colleges for return on investment by OnlineU.

Miami's certificate in GIS has a total cost of approximately $7,475 and can be completed in as little as 14 weeks. It is an excellent affordable option for those interested in an online geographic information science program.


Exploring remote sensing and other geospatial technologies, the Geographic Information Science certificate program provides career-ready skills in this growing field. Each course is 7 weeks long, and two courses are offered at a time (GEO 541 and GEO 548, followed by GEO 542 and GEO 543).

GEO 541 Geographic Information Systems

Introduces students to the structure, concepts, capabilities, and functionality of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial science inquiry. The course focuses on the management and processing of spatial data, emphasizing data models and structures, geographic data input, data manipulation and storage, spatial analysis, and modeling techniques. Students will learn to frame and solve a sequence of problems with GIS across a wide range of topics including environmental planning, biogeography, conservation biology, sustainable development, natural resource conservation, environmental justice, political geography, and urban geography and planning.

(3 credit hours, 12-15 hours of work per week)

GEO 542 Advanced GIS

Advanced-level application of GIS technology to geographic problem-solving. Follows on from topics introduced in GEO 541 to provide (a) an in-depth understanding of the technical and substantive issues associated with the use of GIS and (b) advanced-level training in the functionality of major GIS products. Topics addressed include geospatial ethics, cartographic design, mapping with U.S. Census data, advanced geodatabase concepts, topology, web mapping/GIS, mobile data collection, spatial modeling, spatial interpolation, and LiDAR.

(3 credit hours, 12-15 hours of work per week)

GEO 543 Introduction to Python Programming for Geospatial Applications

Introduces the basic concepts of computer programming languages and how they can be used with geospatial data using Python as an example. The course focuses on writing scripts that work with geospatial data and automate geoprocessing tasks within ArcGIS. Python concepts addressed include variables, conditionals, lists, loops, functions, and error handling. Python GIS concepts addressed include geoprocessing, data exploration, spatial & attribute queries, cursors, and raster analysis.

(3 credit hours, 12-15 hours of work per week)

GEO 548 Introduction to Remote Sensing

Introduces the basics of remote sensing concepts and technology, including satellites and instruments. Students gain experience with image processing software and techniques, applications of remote sensing. Remote sensing concepts addressed include image interpretation using ENVI software, sources of remote sensing data and how to access the data, spectral vegetation indices, data transformations, accuracy assessments of classified imagery, change detection, and applications in fire management.

(3 credit hours, 12-15 hours of work per week)

Your Future Starts Here

At Miami University, our online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science provides comprehensive hands-on experience with the latest GIS and remote sensing technologies. Our geographic information science program can be completed in as few as 14 weeks and can be the foundation for a career in geospatial mapping technology.