Geographic Information Science (GIS) is a high growth industry and is everywhere. In general industry terms, entry level GIS analysts annual salaries start in the $30-40K range and developers in the $40-50K range. Senior level positions in a technical specialty will commonly range from $60 - $85K and then those involved in a specialty with some kind of management or business focus can earn over $100K.
The University of Arizona offers state-of-the-art training in Geographic Information Science (GIS) through courses and hands-on application through the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and the School of Geography, Development and Environment. This collaboration has produced an in-person graduate certificate program in GIS for currently enrolled graduate students who wish to augment their graduate degrees, recent graduates who want more training before they enter the work world, and professionals who need to develop a new skill set or formalize their training in GIS.
The in-person program can be completed in as little as one year (12 months). The GIS Certificate is designed for students wanting to quickly complete a program of study in order to begin advancing in their current or intended careers as soon as possible.
Please note that this program is NOT offered online. Classes are offered in a traditional classroom setting.
The School of Natural Resources and the Environment is a world leader in pursuing science that informs how environmental change impacts arid and semi-arid systems and how best to adapt to environmental challenges. We are a cohort of students, faculty, and staff who take great pride in our focus on problem-driven research, teaching, and extension encompassing all aspects of environmental stewardship. Our research answers important questions about how ecosystems respond under environmental or human pressures. We develop strategies to help mitigate the effects of these pressures, helping to create and maintain healthy and sustainable ecological systems.
Graduate students in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) benefit from the broad range of faculty expertise and strong links to interdisciplinary research centers across campus. Our work spans the discipline, from physical geography (climate science, dendrochronology, remote sensing, spatial science), to human-environment (political ecology, water policy, climate change) to human geography (development, state theory). Our shared commitment to collaboration and community makes for a lively and engaged department.
SGDE offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, two professional master’s degrees, and participates in several graduate certificate programs
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Degree seeking students currently enrolled in UArizona programs:
Apply online to the UArizona Graduate College as a Certificate seeking student. Your application fee will be waived.
Non-degree seeking students who are not currently attending the University of Arizona:
Apply online to the UArizona Graduate College as a Non-degree seeking student.
Once accepted for admission to the GIS Certificate Program, you must find a coursework advisor to help you select the courses you will take for your Plan of Study. Your advisor will approve your Plan of Study. Please see the list of potential coursework advising faculty on the Faculty and Advising tab on the SNRE website and contact those with interests similar to yours to see if they are willing to advise you. Your coursework advisor can offer guidance during your program and also assist you with identifying a good practicum advisor.
Financial Aid (FAFSA) is not available for this program unless these courses will help you with admittance to a degree seeking program. Please see the "Financial Aid Petition for Graduate Preparatory Work" form for more information.
Domestic Applicants and Currently Enrolled Students: Applications are accepted on a year-round basis (rolling admissions).
March 1st for Fall international applicants.
August 1st deadline for Spring international applicants.
International applicants may be considered for conditional admission to this program at the department's discretion.
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program:
The GRE is not required for the GIS Certificate
Core Courses (eight units)
GEOG 516A: Computer Cartography, 3 units OR RNR 519: Cartographic Modeling for Natural Resources, 3 units
RNR 517: Geographic Information Systems for Natural and Social Sciences, 3 units
RNR 594/GEOG 594: Practicum, 2 units
Nine Units from the Following Electives
RNR 503: Applications of Geographic Information Systems, 3 units
GEOG 516A: Computer Cartography, 3 units
RNR 519: Cartographic Modeling for Natural Resources, 3 units
RNR 520: Advanced Geographic Information Systems - Prerequisite: RNR 517, 3 units
RNR 522: Resource Mapping, 3 units
RNR 573: Spatial Analysis and Modeling - Prerequisite: RNR 517; a statistics course, 3 units
GEOG 516C: Urban Geographic Information Systems – Prereq.: GEOG/RNR 517 or consent of instructor, 3 units
GEOG 516E: Geovisualization - Prerequisite: GEOG 516A, GEOG/RNR 517 or consent of instructor, 3 units
GEOG 516F: GIS for the Social Sciences – Prerequisite: GEOG/RNR 417, 3 units
GEOG 583: Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing, 3 units
REM 590: Remote Sensing for the Study of Planet Earth, 3 units
EPID 676 Spatial Epidemiology, 3 units
PLG 595A GeoDesigning Landscape Linkages, 3 units
LAR 570: Introduction to GIS for Planning and Architecture, 3 units
LAR 623: Landscape Planning Studio – Prerequisite: LAR622 or consent of instructor, 3 units
ANTH 546A Mapping Ancient Cities, 3 units
A practicum/project is included in the core curriculum to ensure that each participant has the opportunity to apply the theories and methods presented in the core courses. Details and requirements will be determined with the faculty advisor.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.