Geographic Information Systems

Office: University College Student Support Center
Mail Code: 2211 S. Josephine St., Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-2291, 800-347-2042
Web Site:

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

The certificate in Geographic Information Systems is offered online or on campus at the University of Denver in the evenings, or in a combination of both, to meet the needs of busy adults. University College offers the region's first complete graduate certificate program in Geographic Information Systems. Designed and delivered for busy adults, the Geographic Information Systems graduate certificate helps professionals add to their skillset with technology skills that help solve real−world spatial problems.

Certificate students receive applied instruction from professional practitioners who work in the fields in which they teach, as they learn to create, implement, and execute a project using GIS, GPS (Global Positioning Systems), remote sensing, internet mapping, or digital image processing. The GIS certificate allows students to explore training fundamentals at a very hands−on, applied level necessary to succeed in the field.

Students gain a contextual background in GIS, from the management of natural resources to public utility management, public works engineering, environmental impact assessment, and even market research. In a burgeoning integrative world, it is vital to grasp the diverse fundamentals of each topic within the Geographic Information Systems industry and gain an insider's perspective to specific fields as they each relate to GIS training. Credits earned through this graduate certificate may apply toward a master's degree in Geographic Information Science offered in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver or a master’s degree in Information and Communications Technology offered through University College at the University of Denver.

This program prepares students to do the following:

  • Analyze the nature of, uses for, and implementation processes for geographic data.
  • Select appropriate applications of GIS technology to solve spatial problems based on organizational/client needs.
  • Solve real-world problems through analysis and selection of appropriate GIS tools and processes to address the issues.

Specialized Graduate Certificate in GIS and Unmanned Aircraft Systems 

This specialized graduate certificate prepares students for the rapidly expanding UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) application to GIS and mapping. Students will take four courses: GPS for GIS and then three focused courses; one on the use of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in the GIS industry, a ground school where students will learn to fly, and photogrammetry where students will learn the science of preparing aerial photography products collected from drone platforms for GIS mapping and analysis.

After completing this certificate, students will

  • Establish working knowledge for the safe and efficient use of UAS.
  • Prove their ability to perform several aircraft maneuvers in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Execute an aerial mapping exercise for use in GIS.

Specialized Graduate Certificate in  Geographic Information Systems in the Environment

The environmental movement decades ago gave rise to GIS as we know it today. In this specialized graduate certificate, students focus on GIS applications in the environment. Environmental assessment and natural resource management, conservation and preservation take center stage, and look at natural hazard risk assessment and planning. 

After completing this certificate, students will

  • Evaluate the application of GIS technology, analytical techniques and data presentation methods that support facility site selection, environmental impact analyses, resource management, and characterization of environmental hazards.
  • Participate in environmental assessment projects with introductory preparation for practice as GIS professionals in public agencies or in the private sector. 
  • Analyze applications that support hazard risk and assessment, mitigation, and emergency response planning.