Modernize your GIS skills with Kent State University
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Modernize your GIS skills with Kent State University

Advance Your Career. Earn Your GIS Certificate.

Update your skills in our flexible part-time GIS certificate program taught by the same award-winning scientists who teach the GISc master’s degree.

Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
15
Approximate Cost per Credit
$695 in state
$705 out of state
Time to Completion
Graduate in as few as 12 months
Discover Your Next Step
This will only take a moment.

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GIS program brochure

Start Your Journey to a Higher-Level Career
There’s never been a better time to be in Geographic Information Science. Whether you’re interested in solving urgent global challenges or complex business problems, a 100% online graduate degree from Kent State University can help you map a clear path to success.

Download our guide to learn more about:

  • Career Opportunities
  • Customizing Your Degree
  • The Student Experience
  • Admission Requirements
  • Tuition and Financial Aid

Program Overview

Kent State University’s Department of Geography offers you two online GIS certificate programs to choose from: the Environmental GISc Graduate Certificate and the General GISc Graduate Certificate.

Learn essential technical skills in this lucrative, rapidly changing field with targeted professional skills development courses. Gain the foundational knowledge you need to stay current with instruction on core concepts and principles.

Our geographic information systems certificate programs:

  • Are open to people with bachelor’s degrees
  • Offer asynchronous online flexibility
  • Have a part-time workload with focused, 7-week courses

See the Courses

Earning your GIS certificate could be just the beginning of your professional GISc education. You can transfer 12 credits from Kent’s online GIS certificate programs to the Master of Geographic Information Science (MGISc) degree when you decide to continue.

Because we know the value of your time, there is no GRE requirement and the application process is straightforward.

Learn More About Admissions

Top-ranked School

Kent State’s gold designation signifies the category-leading service we offer members of the extended military community, including active service members, spouses and veterans. Job placement and graduation and retention rates, viewed through a mix of public and proprietary data and personal opinion surveys of veterans, go into the Military Friendly® designation.

We’re also ranked among the top 7% of public universities.1, 2

Military Friendly School `'22-23 Gold

Time for a Quick Career Upgrade?

You know that you need to keep up with the latest technology and advances to stay competitive in your career. But between work and family obligations, it can be hard to fit in the time to take GIS courses.

Earn your online GIS certificate from Kent State in as little as one year. Our flexible, 100% online courses make it easy to schedule your studies around your life. With two different certificate options, you can choose the program that fits your needs and interests.

Learn the Technology and the Science Behind It

Like the online MGISc, our two GIS certificate programs give you a strong conceptual grounding to help you master current and future technology, plus instruction on today’s widely used tools.

Learn from award-winning professors who embody the idea of engaged science and collaborate with other working professionals in small-cohort classes. Build your professional network as you build your credentials.

Build an Industry-Spanning Skill Set

The skills you hone with a GIS graduate certificate from Kent State can open up career possibilities across industries, ranging from marketing and logistics to environmental science, government and non-profit agencies. As industries across the spectrum increasingly rely on data and technology, your professional GIS skills will be in high demand.

Check out our recent article about careers in GISc

Three of the Best Geographic Information Science Jobs

February 05, 2020
Geographic information science (GISc) is a broadly applicable degree that can be used in many fields around the world, including healthcare, climatology, urban development, national parks and more.1 Working in GISc could take you to places as different as a laboratory or the deep wilderness. For...
$74,000
Average salary3

GIS professionals in the U.S. earn a median salary of $74,000 and some roles command six-figure salaries. The industry-spanning GIS discipline and related geospatial industry contribute $350 billion to the global economy each year, and the demand for GIS professionals is still growing.3, 4

The salary and security, along with the high levels of personal satisfaction and work-life balance that GISc professionals report, can repay your investment of time, money and effort in the GIS certificate many times over.

Learn more about potential careers in geographic information science.

Environmental GISc Graduate Certificate

Students in the Environmental GISc certificate program will focus their work on the use of GIS to understand environmental resources, changes and hazards. Experts in the fields of emergency management, public safety and homeland security depend on geospatial technologies and mapping for planning, response, mitigation and recovery activities.

Graduates will be prepared for a wide range of government and private sector consulting positions that assist with these activities.

Our graduates often pursue careers with:

  • Local, state and federal government agencies
  • Logistics-focused businesses
  • Nonprofit agencies in health services and environmental management

Skills You Will Develop

As a student in the Environmental GISc certificate program you can choose courses that suit your interests. Through your coursework, you can gain fluency in:

  • Standard mapping and spatial analysis procedures
  • Forms of data dissemination
  • Methods and applications of some of common statistics found in geographic work
  • Techniques used to process, manage, visualize and analyze environmental data using GISc
  • Essential concepts and skills needed to create and develop a geodatabase
  • Map design and the art of map construction
  • The basic principles of environmental remote sensing

A basic knowledge of GIS is required. Otherwise, the student will need to take an additional introductory GIS course (GEOG 59071 Fundamentals of GIS).

When you enroll, your Admissions Advisor can help you design the optimal course list.

View Courses

Courses

Access your course content anytime, anywhere you can connect to the internet with our user-friendly digital platform. Easily connect with your classmates and instructors for meaningful collaborations and learning experiences.

Environmental GISc Certificate Courses

Choose a minimum of 15 credits from the following courses:*

GEOG 59072 GIS and Health (3 Credits)

Geographic theory and methods serve as the connection among disparate disciplines focused on how and why “health” varies between regions, cities and neighborhoods. Students examine how geospatial technologies, especially GIS, have become an important health analysis tool.

GEOG 59078 Geographic Information Science and Environmental Hazards (3 Credits)

The study and management of natural hazards are inherently reliant on both physical and human processes and spatial patterns. Given the many variables involved and the variety of scales at which they operate, use of geographic information system (GIS) has become standard practice in research on hazards and in their management by government agencies at all levels. Students are exposed to a wide array of spatial data that is used in these activities, as well as standard mapping and spatial analysis procedures and forms of data dissemination.

GEOG 69004 Quantitative Methods in Geography (3 Credits)

Explores the methods and applications of some of the most common statistics found in geographic work. It explores probability theory, spatial statistics, estimation procedures, hypothesis testing, spatial sampling, methods of areal association, correlation and regression analysis, and principal components analysis. Theory and execution of these methods are equally emphasized, and applications to geographic problems are examined within each theme.

GEOG 69079 Environmental Geographic Information Science (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

GPS and environmental spatial data are commonly used in a variety of management and assessment plans in fields related to environmental science to achieve effective decision-making and environmental resource management. This course will focus on techniques used to process, manage, visualize and analyze environmental data using GIS. Students will learn how to collect and process GPS and online sources of geospatial data and how to employ techniques such as suitability modeling, measuring distributions and calculating landscape metrics.

GEOG 69083 Geodatabases (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

Essential concepts and skills needed to efficiently create a geodatabase, add data to it and realistically model the real-world spatial relationships inherent to the data. Students will learn about geodatabase features that help ensure data integrity over time and about storing and managing geographic data.

GEOG 69164 Cartographic Design (3 Credits)

Introduces students to the principles of map design and the art of map construction. Students will become familiar with the cartographic process, especially as they apply basic mapping concepts such as scale, projections, typography, generalization, symbols, color scheme and classification to the design and production of thematic maps. Students will also learn how to describe and manipulate spatial data and how to select an appropriate map type for a given task and data set. This course builds on students’ experiences with GIS to focus on the design needed to disseminate information beyond users of the software and produce effective print and web maps. Class exercises will provide hands-on experience in using GIS and graphic software packages. Principles and experiences learned in class will equip students with the fundamental skills necessary to effectively communicate graphic information through maps.

GEOG 69231 Environmental Remote Sensing (3 Credits)

Introduction to the basic principles of environmental remote sensing, including the electromagnetic spectrum, spectral properties of Earth objects, aerial photograph analysis and interpretation, and satellite image analysis and interpretation. Special focus will be on environmental applications, especially as they pertain to understanding vegetation, water and land use mapping and impacts.

*Additional course options may be available at the department’s discretion.

General GISc Certificate Courses

The General GISc certificate requires a minimum of 15 credits. The following three courses (9 credits) are required as listed.

GEOG 59080 Advanced Geographic Information Science (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 49070 or 59070.

Advanced theories and techniques for handling geographic information systems, including 2D and 3D processing of geographic information, detection and analysis of geographic patterns, 2D and 3D mapping of geographic information, modeling of geographic processes and an overview of GIS programming tools.

GEOG 69164 Cartographic Design (3 Credits)

Introduces students to the principles of map design and the art of map construction. Students will become familiar with the cartographic process, especially as they apply basic mapping concepts such as scale, projections, typography, generalization, symbols, color scheme and classification to the design and production of thematic maps. Students will also learn how to describe and manipulate spatial data and how to select an appropriate map type for a given task and data set. This course builds on students’ experiences with GIS to focus on the design needed to disseminate information beyond users of the software and produce effective print and web maps. Class exercises will provide hands-on experience in using GIS and graphic software packages. Principles and experiences learned in class will equip students with the fundamental skills necessary to effectively communicate graphic information through maps.

Additionally, a choice of two courses (6 credits) from the following courses are required.

CS 61003 Algorithms and Programming II (4 Credits)

Further exploration into the tools used in computer science.

EMAT 64210 Data Science (3 Credits)

Through this course students will explore the emerging media and technology industries, receive an introduction to basic programming concepts, and develop their own emerging media project plan. Additionally, students will learn about the impact of emerging media and technology on culture and society. Topics include an introduction to ethical technology design, emerging media and globalization, and how technology relates to relationship and identity formation and maintenance.

GEOG 59072 GIS and Health (3 Credits)

Geographic theory and methods serve as the connection among disparate disciplines focused on how and why “health” varies between regions, cities and neighborhoods. Students examine how geospatial technologies, especially GIS, have become an important health analysis tool.

GEOG 59075 Urban and Economic GIS (3 Credits)

Prerequisites: GEOG 49070 or 59070

Urban and economic applications and analyses of spatial data, especially theoretical and conceptual issues, including the possibilities and concerns associated with GIS, ethical considerations, and the various forms of data collection, visualization, analysis and dissemination.

GEOG 59076 Spatial Programming (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

Examination of the design, development and use of geographic information technologies with computer programming to model, process and visualize geographic phenomena.

GEOG 59078 Geographic Information Science and Environmental Hazards (3 Credits)

The study and management of natural hazards are inherently reliant on both physical and human processes and spatial patterns. Given the many variables involved and the variety of scales at which they operate, use of geographic information science (GIS) has become standard practice in research on hazards and in their management by government agencies at all levels. Students are exposed to a wide array of spatial data that is used in these activities, as well as standard mapping and spatial analysis procedures and forms of data dissemination.

GEOG 69004 Quantitative Methods in Geography (3 Credits)

Explores the methods and applications of some of the most common statistics found in geographic work. It explores probability theory, spatial statistics, estimation procedures, hypothesis testing, spatial sampling, methods of areal association, correlation and regression analysis, and principal components analysis. Theory and execution of these methods are equally emphasized, and applications to geographic problems are examined within each theme.

GEOG 69007 Spatiotemporal Analytics (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

Equips students with essential spatiotemporal thinking and technical skills in mapping, analyzing, visualizing, communicating and simulating the spatiotemporal data. ArcGIS and free packages in R and Netlogo will be used in the instruction.

GEOG 69073 Geographic Information Science: Global Health (3 Credits)

Emerging and re-emerging diseases in non-developed countries pose one of the greatest health challenges of current times. Geospatial approaches often provide one of the only information sources in data poor and challenging environments. This course will expose students to these health issues and disease environments through varied case studies, while simultaneously highlighting the geospatial methods and approaches used to understand and combat disease.

GEOG 69074 Geographic Information Science: Spatial Analysis for Health Geography (3 Credits)

Prerequisites: GEOG 59070 or GEOG 59072

Spatial analysis is used to verify patterns and associations in health data maps. These results can then be used to further hone the scientific question or help design an intervention strategy. This course will introduce spatial analytical approaches used by health researchers and practitioners in the exploratory investigation of health data. Students will also be exposed to new mobile technologies that can be used to enrich more traditional spatial data sources.

GEOG 69079 Environmental Geographic Information Science (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

GPS and environmental spatial data are commonly used in a variety of management and assessment plans in fields related to environmental science to achieve effective decision-making and environmental resource management. This course will focus on techniques used to process, manage, visualize and analyze environmental data using GIS. Students will learn how to collect and process GPS and online sources of geospatial data and how to employ techniques such as suitability modeling, measuring distributions and calculating landscape metrics.

GEOG 69082 Cyber GIS (3 Credits)

Explores cyberinfrastructure-enabled geographic information systems (i.e. cyber GIS) and related technologies, including a broad introduction to the use, design and development of cyberinfrastructure, spatial data infrastructures, geographic information services and web-enabled mapping technologies. Situates cyber GIS in the broader context of geographic information science, focusing on how synthesizing computational thinking and spatial thinking influence methodological approaches.

GEOG 69083 Geodatabases (3 Credits)

Prerequisite: GEOG 59070

Essential concepts and skills needed to efficiently create a geodatabase, add data to it and realistically model the real-world spatial relationships inherent to the data. Students will learn about geodatabase features that help ensure data integrity over time and about storing and managing geographic data.

GEOG 69231 Environmental Remote Sensing (3 Credits)

Introduction to the basic principles of environmental remote sensing, including the electromagnetic spectrum, spectral properties of Earth objects, aerial photograph analysis and interpretation and satellite image analysis and interpretation. Special focus will be on environmental applications, especially as they pertain to understanding vegetation, water, and land use mapping and impacts.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit Hour $695$705
Approximate Program Cost $10,425 $10,575

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $12 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For comprehensive tuition information, please refer to the tuition rates posted on the Bursar’s website.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information on tuition and fees either by email at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at +1 844‑234‑4073.

Talk to an Admissions Advisor

Admissions Requirements

The master’s and graduate certificate programs have the same straightforward requirements:

  • Completed online application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree, with a GPA of 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), from an accredited university
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Goal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission
The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Talk to an Admissions Advisor Download Admissions Checklist

Important Dates

Nov
12
Priority Application Deadline
Spring 2023 Semester
Jan
4
Application Deadline
Spring 2023 Semester
Jan
17
First Day of Class
Spring 2023 Semester

Application Resources

GIS program brochure

Our step-by-step application checklist will help ensure the success of your application submission.

Download Checklist

Application FAQs

Create an account in the online application system to save your work and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at gradapps@kent.edu or by mail to:

Division of Graduate Studies
Kent State University
Cartwright Hall
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or gradapps@kent.edu.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at intladm@kent.edu or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242
USA

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or intladm@kent.edu.

Technology Requirements

Courses are delivered through our course management system, Canvas. Course content consists of text, narrated PowerPoint presentations, video and audio, live chats, discussion groups, and other learning enhancements.

To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband Internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Build Your Career with a Degree Built Around You

Immersive Online Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Multi-Disciplinary Faculty

Study with experts: NASA and NOAA award winners and veterans of diverse fields within GISc.

GISc Career Potential

Gain expertise in applying GISc methods and functions in varied areas, from real estate and healthcare to disaster relief and finance.
Admissions and Application Deadlines
Nov
12
Priority Deadline
Spring 2023 Semester
Jan
4
Final Deadline
Spring 2023 Semester
Jan
17
First Day of Class
Spring 2023 Semester
Sources
  1. Retrieved on June 16, 2022, from premium.usnews.com/best-colleges/kent-state-university-3051/overall-rankings
  2. Retrieved on June 16, 2022, from bestcolleges.com/blog/how-many-colleges-in-us/
  3. Retrieved on June 16, 2022, from esri.com/en-us/what-is-gis/careers
  4. Retrieved on June 16, 2022, from onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2099.01