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FSU Geography
Online Graduate Certificate in GIS

Updated: June 20, 2013
Contact: Dr. Victor Mesev, 323a Bellamy, (850) 645-2498, vmesev@fsu.edu
Start date is fall semester, 2013

Online Graduate Certificate in GIS Flyer(PDF)


Online Graduate Certificate In Geographic Information Systems


A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a suite of software programs that allows the capture, storage, manipulation and visualization of spatially referenced information. The GIS market has matured into a multi-billion dollar industry and is widely used in many workplaces ranging from environmental management, natural resource extraction and conservation, urban and regional planning, transport navigation, military targeting, and market analysis. Over the last 5 years, the Department of Geography at FSU has offered a very successful (and oversubscribed) Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science (GISci), which combines the technical tools with critical theoretical research. In response to excessive demand for the master’s program, the Department now offers an Online Graduate Certificate in GIS that focuses exclusively on the basics of GIS and gives students knowledge and skills in using key GIS functions and tested on Florida-based applications. In addition, the Certificate reviews the underlying map principles on which much of GIS is built, as well as the importance of satellite-based surveillance. The target group includes employees who currently use GIS, employees that intend to use GIS, and college graduates who want to learn the basics of GIS by using market-leading proprietary GIS software. The Certificate is completely taught by online classes and all students must be off-campus. The Certificate credential is not intended as a diploma or a degree.




The individual applies directly to:

The Department of Geography at Florida State University by sending an email to Victor Mesev (vmesev@fsu.edu) stating your name, the major of your undergraduate degree, when your undergraduate degree was awarded (or when it will be awarded), and your undergraduate grade point average.

There is NO application form.

Individuals must also register as a Special Student (or Non-Degree) at the following site:https://admissions.fsu.edu/nonDegreeApp/index.cfm

Registration involves a $30 fee and proof of an undergraduate degree with a GPA of over 2.0

NOTE: This is a stand-alone program and is NOT interchangeable with the Masters GIScience.

NOTE: The Certificate is designed for individuals who are OFF-CAMPUS and NOT for individuals registered for any other programs on campus.





Requirements to admission include the following:

1. The individual must have an undergraduate degree (in any subject)
2. The individual must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
3. The individual must apply to FSU as a Special Student.
4. The graduate research examination (GRE) is NOT necessary.
5. Letters of recommendations are NOT necessary.
6. Tuition costs are at the current published rate for graduate credit hours.


PROGRAM OF STUDIES (12 Credits Required)


GIS 5101 Introductory GIS (3 credits). Offered Fall Semesters.

This course deals with the basics of GIS, covering data models, spatial analysis, and practice with GIS software.

GEO 5934 Computer Cartography (3 credits). Offered Fall Semesters.

This course deals with the principles of designing and using maps in GIS, and includes scale, projection, symbolism, and GIS output.

GIS 5034 Remote Sensing (3 credits). Offered Spring Semesters.

This course deals with aerial and satellite-based surveillance, including image interpretation and the use of GPS.

GIS 5934 Florida GIS Applications (3 credits). Offered Spring Semesters.

This course is designed as the capstone course for the program. It offers a variety of exercises that link theory and practice, including ones on hurricane impacts, population growth, and wetland management.



Assessment mode = essays, computer-based exercises, individual and group projects.

Program & Learning Outcomes = (1) grasp the basic concepts of GIS, remote sensing, GPS, and geo-visualization; (2) perform routine GIS, image processing, GPS and multimedia mapping functions.

Assessment of Program and Learning Outcomes = (1) essays that demonstrate knowledge of basic GIS, remote sensing, GPS, and geo-visualization concepts; (2) computer-based exercises and projects (mostly centered on Florida) that demonstrate computer skills for operating GIS, remote sensing, GPS, and geo-visualization functions.

Students will not be exposed to scholastic research (other than appreciating the literature in their reading lists). But students will be trained in the vocational and professional dimensions of the GIS industry.

Students will be advised online through email exchanges and group discussions on Blackboard. Courses will have graduate student mentors to assist instructors in leading and conducting advisement. Telephone advisement is restricted to the discretion of the instructors.

All courses are to be taught online and this assumes that students have access to the Internet and can handle basic computer skills such as typing a keyboard and seeing a screen with or without reasonable accommodations. No provisions will be made for students who cannot perform these tasks.

The quality of course offerings will be monitored using online teaching evaluation forms. Students will have the opportunity to comment on the content of the course and the performance of instructors. If retention rates fall drastically the program director has the responsibility of evaluating teaching quality.

The University has fully functioning blackboard facilities to enable delivery of all four courses. The University also holds site licenses for all software needed by students—students are expected to purchase student evaluation versions of software (the price of evaluation versions is under $100 for each student).

The hardware requirements for students in the program are a standard desktop or laptop computer with Internet access. The software requirements are the GIS student evaluation versions.




1. A total of 12 credits are required to successful complete the Online Graduate Certificate in GIS.
2. The 12 credits must be earned within 5 years of first registration on program.
3. No transfer credits are permitted.
4. Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 (B) grade point average in all graduate courses attempted in order for the graduate certificate to be granted.