General Information

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Geographic Information Science (Certificate NDP) 
Program Description

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 involve 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 and Development. This collaboration has produced a graduate certificate program in GIS for 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 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.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

School of Natural Resources and the Environment -

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. For an overview of SNRE, watch our video.

School of Geography and Development -

Graduate students in the School of Geography and Development (SGD) 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.

SGD 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  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Shannon Mary Scott
Graduate Program Coordinator
Shannon Mary Scott
Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart E Marsh
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Guadalupe Estrella
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

See under Applying to the Program
Non-degree seeking students who are not currently attending the University of Arizona:
Apply online to the UA Graduate College as a Certificate seeking student.
You will need to upload the application cover page into the online application.

Degree seeking students currently enrolled in U of A programs:
Apply online to the UA Graduate College for a 2nd graduate program as a Certificate seeking student. Your application fee will be waived.
You will need to upload the application cover page into the online application.

Once accepted for admission to the GIS Certificate Program in the Graduate College, you must find a coursework advisor to help you select the courses you will take for your Certificate Plan of Study. Your advisor will approve your Certificate Plan of Study. Please see the list of potential coursework advising faculty on the Faculty and Advising tab 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. Register for classes online through UAccess.

Questions can be directed to:

Shannon Scott
Program Coordinator--GIS Certificate
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Arizona
Environment and Natural Resources 2, room N321
P.O. Box 210137
Tucson, AZ 85721

Standardized Tests

Required test(s):
Required GRE Subject tests:  NA
Recommended tests:
Recommended GRE Subject tests:
Minimum GRE Verbal:
Minimum GRE Quantitative:
Minumum GRE Written:
Minimum GMAT:
Minimum MAT:
Minimum TOEFL: 79
Minimum IELTS:

Financial Aid

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.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants and Currently Enrolled Students:  Applications are accepted on a year-round basis (rolling admissions).

International Applicants:  

March 1st for Fall international applicants.

August 1st deadline for Spring international applicants.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: The GRE is not required for the GIS Certificate

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minumum credits: 17
Core coursework: RNR/GEOG 516A Computer Cartography
RNR/GEOG 517 Geographic Information Systems for Natural and Social Sciences
RNR/GEOG 594 Practicum
Language requirements: English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 paper based (PB), 79 internet based (iBT), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6). Individual departments may require a higher score and may have minimum score requirements by test module that must be met to qualify for admission.

Applicants may request, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send an official TOEFL score report directly to The University of Arizona. Contact TOEFL Services to request the mailing of your score report. The University of Arizona institution code is 4832.

Other requirements: Students must complete two (2) units of practicum (RNR/GEOG 594)

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  
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Last revised 02 Nov 2017