USA | Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)

/USA | Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)

About the programme:

As a leading research university, USC values the importance of collaboration among its students faculty and staff. USC students are offered a rigorous curriculum in a sophisticated environment that empowers them to think innovatively and propels them forward in their careers.Students in the 16-unit Graduate Certificate in GIST take three core courses — SSCI 581: Concepts for Spatial Thinking, SSCI 587: Spatial Data Acquisition, and SSCI 582: Spatial Databases. They then choose just one additional elective course. This graduate certificate can be completed in two semesters, taking 2 courses each semester.A hallmark of this program is the opportunity to participate in a one-week field excursion to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, during which you will design and conduct your own geospatial data collection projects and work side by side with faculty. This real-world experience can help you learn and understand the science behind the GIS/GPS hardware and software and get a glimpse into the practical methodology of GIS research.

Programme director:

John P. Wilson, Ph.D., Director and Professor

Programme coordinator:

Ken Watson, Academic Programs Director


This programme provides you with a core geographic information science foundation and real-world GIS applications plus access to cutting-edge research resources. As you examine how geospatial research, data collection and visualization techniques have enabled scientific discovery and improved human security settings across the globe, you’ll see a sharper picture of how the drive for innovation in GIS technology and the quest for further scientificdiscovery fuel each other, creating an increasing demand for GIS experts and leaders who can help steer the field into the future.

Programme format:

The convenient online format allows you to earn your graduate certificate while you work.

Core modules:

  • SSCI 581: Concepts for Spatial Thinking;
  • SSCI 587: Spatial Data Acquisition;
  • SSCI 582: Spatial Databases

Elective modules:

  • SSCI 579: Geospatial Intelligence Tradecraft;
  • SSCI 583: Spatial Analysis;
  • SSCI 584: Spatial Modeling;
  • SSCI 585: Geospatial Technology Project Management;
  • SSCI 586: GIS Programming and Customization;
  • SSCI 588: Remote Sensing for GIS;
  • SSCI 589: Cartography and Visualization;
  • SSCI 591: Web GIS;
  • SSCI 592: Mobile GIS;
  • SSCI 593: Geospatial Data Integration

Gainful Employment (GE) Disclosure

Programme information

Led by a highly regarded faculty, the online GIST graduate programs at USC offer skills and knowledge to keep up with GIS technology and delve into exciting new territories within the GIST field, such as how to leverage geospatial intelligence to support national security, disaster response and humanitarian relief efforts.


Admission requirements:

New students applying to the online GIST Graduate Certificate program must have a B.A. or B.S. degree or its international equivalent, with a minimum 3.0 GPA (A=4.0). All coursework taken at the undergraduate level is used to calculate the GPA.

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)
Tuition fee: Please visit
Workload / Credits: The 16-unit graduate certificates can be completed in two semesters, taking 2 courses each semester.
Language: English
UNIGIS Institution:
UNIGIS USA – University of Southern California

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