Applied GIS track


The outcome of this emphasis area is an individual trained in the skills required for solving common applications of GIS and related geocomputational techniques. This certificate combines skills and knowledge of three domains: i) substantive geography and basic geospatial analytical techniques from the undergraduate degree in geography; ii) GIS skills obtained through GIS coursework, and; iii) basic software skills for solving computational problems in science and engineering.  The certificate takes approximately 1.5 to 2 years to complete.  Students must book an advising appointment with the Geography undergraduate advisor by clicking the "Book Now" bubble on the Home page.

Entrance requirements

Students entering this emphasis area must: i) be an undergraduate in good standing or a non-matriculated student with special permission and ii) book an appointment with the advisor to "declare" this certificate.  Students that declare a certificate with the Geography Advisor should be aware that the certificate will NOT show up on their CIS page with their other degree declarations.  If you have questions about whether you have already declared your certificate with the Geography Department or not, please email the Geography Peer Advisors.

NOTE: Some courses in the certificate program may have additional prerequisites or co-requisities. Be sure to check the university's course catalog.

Program requirements

C or better in the following courses:

  • GEOG 1180: Intro to Geo-Programming 3.0 (Spring) -OR- COMP 1010: Programming for All 1 (Fall)
  • GEOG 3100: Intro to GIS & Cartography 5.0 (Fall/ Spring)
  • GEOG 3170: GeoData Field Methods 3.0 (Spring)
  • GEOG 4140: Advanced Methods in GIS 4.0 (Spring/+online Summer)

AND one of two option routes for a Capstone Experience listed below:

Option 1:

  • GEOG 5150: Spatial Data Design GIS 4.0 (Fall) 
  • GEOG 5161: Capstone in GIS 3.0 (Spring)

Option 2:

  • GEOG 5940: GIS Internship 3.0-5.0  (Must be approved)


Total Credit Hours 22-24

Note: Absolutely no course substitutions are allowed for "Program Requirements" courses in this or any GIS Certificate emphasis area. Course substitutions are allowed for "Entrance Requirements" courses at the discretion of the GIS Certificate Program Committee. 

If students opt to do a GIS Internship instead of GEOG 5150 & 5161, those students MUST pick up two documents from the Geography Main Office (BLDG 73, Rm 217).  The first document is an Independent Study form the student must fill out and take to the current GIS Certificate Director, Dr. Phoebe McNeally, for approval and signature.  This form must then be returned to the Geography Main Office for a permission code to add the course so students receive credit for their internship.  The second document goes over required learning objectives and progress the student must accomplish in their internship to receive the GIS Certificate.  This document is also necessary for when the student meets with Dr. Phoebe McNeally.  Students must email Dr. Phoebe McNeally to book a meeting; students can get Dr. McNeally's email when they meet with the Geography Advisor.  It is the responsibility of the students to find GIS Internships, they are not provided by the Geography Department.  Students can check the Jobs/Internships Board on the Home page if they are unsure of where to start.  Students MUST do this beforehand to receive credit for the internship and obtain the GIS Certificate, internships cannot be added for credit retroactively.


It is the responsibility of the student to submit an Application for Certificate Completion form for any and all certificates pursued through the Geography Department during the student’s last semester before graduation (or during the last semester of coursework to complete the certificate for non-matriculated students or students who have already graduated). The Certificate Completion form can be picked up in the Geography Main Office or from the Geography Advisor and must be submitted to the Geography Advisor before grades are posted.


The Certificate is mailed to the address shown on the student's CIS page.  It is the student's responsibility to make sure the mailing address on their CIS page is correct.  It can take up to 90 days after grades are posted for the certificate to be mailed to the student.  The certificate is mailed from the Graduation Division at the University of Utah.