In the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate program, students learn how to use geographic mapping and imaging software, interpret and analyze geospatial data, and present conclusions to clients for land development projects, resource monitoring and management, and scientific studies. Situated in the heart of the Rockies, Gunnison’s unique location lends itself to the study of landscapes altered by both human actions and natural processes. Offered through the Geography and Geospatial Analysis program, the GIS Certificate ensures students have the skills they need to study, record, understand and evaluate changes in these landscapes through the use of digital technology, so they can help clients make better decisions and develop timely policies regarding the development, use and conservation of different landscapes.
Analyze the past, present and future of landscapes around the world.
Western’s 15-credit GIS Certificate can be completed within or independently of a minor in Geography and Geospatial Analysis. The program builds students’ expertise in a range of geospatial technology and analysis skills increasingly sought by a wide range of employers and graduate programs. Through earning the certificate, students will be able to:
- Understand how places came to be through maps, photos and satellite images.
- Use computer software to create visual conceptualizations of a variety of geographical data.
- Interpret and analyze data displayed in maps.
- Organize, present and explain map data to clients.
- Help clients make better decisions and policies based on geospatial analysis.
A global perspective
The wide applicability of the GIS Certificate allows you to apply your knowledge of geography and mapping to both local areas, as well as those around the world, expanding your perspective far beyond Gunnison.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
A minimum of 15 credits is required, including:
|GEOG 222||Our Digital Earth||3|
|GEOG 340||Introduction to Geographic Information Systems||3|
|Select nine credits of the following:||9|
|UAV Imagery Acquisition|
|Satellite Remote Sensing|
|Advanced Applications in GIS|
|Geography Independent Study|
|Internship in Geography|
Take the first steps toward your dream career.
Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.
The data is automatically collected by Lightcast, a firm that sources job market data. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.
Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship
The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.
Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.
- This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
- Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
- GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).
Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.
Alumni Legacy Scholarship
The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).
Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:
- This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
- Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
- The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
- The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
- GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).
The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.
Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship
The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).
- Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
- The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
- The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.
The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.
For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.
The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.
There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.
For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.
Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.
For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.
Take your education beyond the classroom.
Get the hands-on learning experience you need to apply your knowledge and launch your career.
- Backyard Laboratory: Tenderfoot (aka “W”) Mountain, just one mile away from campus, is home to structures dating to the Paleo Indian period—more than 10,000 years ago. Western has conducted field schools on the site since 2001.
- Research: Students have many opportunities to research in the field and have access to state-of-the-art technology and sites. All students are encouraged to develop and present their own creative and relevant research projects at conferences.
- Fieldwork: Students explore the Elk, West Elk and San Juan ranges; the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gold Belt; the active tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift and more.
- Study Abroad: Travel to India, Ecuador, Prague, London, Italy or Belize through Extended Studies.
A versatile resume-builder
Through the GIS Certificate, you’ll gain knowledge in critical thinking, data analysis and using the most up-to-date digital mapping technology. These skills are increasingly sought after by employers in many industries and an array of competitive graduate programs.
Western Colorado University
Kelley Hall 240
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231