Graduate Certifiate in Geographical Information Systems - FAQs

Who should pursue a GIS graduate certificate?

This certificate program is designed for someone desiring to learn and improve GIS skillsets as well as GIS theories and concepts. As an integrative discipline, GISC and/or GIS are closely related to various disciplines including geography, computer science, geoscience, mathematics, and statistics. GIS is utilized in a wide range of applications in areas of social, economic, marketing, business, environment, natural resources management, government operations, and public policy, among many others.

What is the necessary education background for admission to the GIS graduate certificate program?

A student needs to have completed a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. A related major could be beneficial, but it is not necessary.

Can my admission be considered before I complete my official application online?

Prereview is not possible. Only completed applications through the online application system are eligible to be reviewed.

How long does the GIS certificate program take to complete?

The certification requires 15 graduate hours. A student needs to take five three-credit hour classes. Normally, it can be achieved in one academic year including a summer semester, often while continuing to be employed full-time.

What job opportunities are available for graduates of the GIS graduate certificate program?

Graduates have jobs in the public, private, and academic sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the occupational title as "Geospatial Information Scientists & Technologists" (SOC Code 15-1199.04). In addition, The GIS Certification Institute furnishes a job network ( that can be consulted for listings of current job advertisements.

What are the admission requirements for the GIS graduate certificate program?

Students seeking the GIS certificate must have completed an undergraduate degree. GRE is not required. A student needs to complete the Texas Common Application ( In the online application, a student needs to apply to the graduate school as "non-degree seeking" students.

What are the additional admission requirements for international students?

International students are normally NOT eligible for the Certificate Program, because US immigration does not grant a student visa for a Non-Degree Seeking student. However, if you are already in the U.S. on some type of work visa, you can apply for the Certificate Program. Alternatively, international students can also apply for Master's Program, which will allow them to obtain a GIS graduate certificate during the course.

When are the important application deadlines?

Deadlines are July 1st for a Fall semester admission and November 1st for a Spring semester admission.

How much are the tuitions and fees?

A GIS Graduate certificate requires 15 credit hours. For further information, consult

Are scholarships, fellowships, assistantships (TA, RA) and other financial aid available?

Financial aids are not available for non-degree students generally.

Are other degree and certificate program available?

A student's priority is to successfully complete his/her GISC graduate certificate program of study in a timely fashion. Some students simultaneously pursue other certificate program such as Remote Sensing and Geospatial Intelligence certificates. In essence, the GIS certificate is the first half of the master's degree, and all courses taken for the certificates count toward the master's. Hence, most domestic students apply first for the certificate and later for the master's program.

Can my credits for the certificate program be transferred to the MS/Ph.D. program?

Yes. The 15-semester credit hours for GISC graduate certificate can count as the first half of the master's degree, with all courses taken for the certificate counting towards the master's. The Ph.D. requires 75 semester credit hours where all courses taken for the master's count toward the Ph.D. In addition, a student may bring a maximum of six hours of coursework taken elsewhere to apply to the master's and 32 hours toward the Ph.D., providing these are equivalent courses within the UT Dallas curriculum.

Can students from other programs enter into the GISC certificate program?

Any student from any other program of UT Dallas is welcomed to enroll as long as the student meets admission requirements for the GISC graduate certificate program.

Can Fast-track students enter into the certificate program?

No, students taking this option must still take all of the coursework required for the certificate.

How can a student learn more about the GISC graduate certificate?

In addition to the information provided on this website, you can contact us directly for more information. You may contact Ms. Rita Medford, our graduate program assistance ([email protected]), for general questions. If you have further specific questions on the GISC graduate certificate, you may contact Dr. Yongwan Chun ([email protected]).