Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

Manipulate, Analyze and Apply GIS Data


Program Details

  • Location: UW Tacoma, Online
  • Duration: 8 months
  • Times: Evenings
  • Cost: $6,480

Next start date:

September 2024

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About this Program

Geographic information systems (GIS) combine the age-old science of cartography with powerful spatial database technologies to model the real world, perform data analytics and inform decision-making processes. These systems have countless applications in private industries, government agencies and academia, and are continually being used in new ways to change our understanding of the world around us. 

In this certificate program, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge about GIS and the diverse workplace applications for these systems. We’ll examine the range of information sources that can be combined to build a GIS database, including raw data, scanned maps, GPS positions, aerial photography and other imagery. You’ll learn how these systems are used to support research and business activities in a variety of fields, including land-use planning, transportation, environmental sciences, social sciences and disaster preparedness. 


Professionals who use GIS in their current role and those interested in entering the field.

See Requirements

Video Overview

Instructor Harvey Arnone discusses the many uses of GIS, curriculum highlights and how the program can prepare you for a successful career.

Duration: 02:40

what you'll learn

  • Techniques for designing, creating and working with different types of spatial data and databases
  • How to derive, interpret and present results from spatial analyses
  • Important aspects of GIS project design, implementation and management
  • Ways to incorporate imagery, remote sensing data, 3D spatial data and field data into GIS projects and analysis
  • How to create effective web maps and applications 

Get Hands-On Experience

You’ll develop and implement a range of GIS data applications and mapping products using Esri’s GIS software platform, including ArcGIS Pro, mobile applications, ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise (free license for software provided via the UW for the duration of the program). 

Career Stats


Alumni working in field

Sample Employers

Apple, Amazon, Jacobs, REI, Tetra Tech, various government agencies


Projected job growth for GIS technologists in Washington state (2018-2028)


Average salary for GIS technologists in Washington state (2020)


Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.

Program Overview

Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.

Learning Formats

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Combine the convenience of online learning with the immediacy of real-time interaction. You’ll stream courses online and interact with your instructors and fellow students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Learn More »



Attend classes part time at one of our convenient locations in the Puget Sound region. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. Learn More »

Program Sessions

Online With Real-Time Meetings


Closed Sessions

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