FB Pixel Skip to Main Content
Additional Information

Geographic Information Systems

Additional Information

Scroll to bottom of section

Why Earn a GIS Certificate?

In a world that increasingly relies on digital technology to obtain, analyze and share data, a strong skillset in geographic information science (GIS) will set you ahead of your peers when applying for jobs, internships and graduate school opportunities. A GIS Certificate complements a diverse variety of academic programs, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Energy Management
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Geology
  • History
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Politics and Government
  • Recreation & Outdoor Education
  • Sociology

Through earning this certificate, you’ll not only learn about topics related directly to your major, but also how to apply that knowledge in practical ways through the use of geospatial analysis and technology. In addition, pursuing a GIS Certificate will help you hone skills in critical thinking, project management, and data compilation and interpretation, all of which are useful no matter your major or desired profession.

The Program

The GIS Certificate can be completed alongside any major at Western. The certificate can be completed as part of a minor in Geography/Geospatial Analysis, or independently of that minor. To earn the certificate, students must take 15 credits, including:

  • GEOG 222 – Our Digital Earth (required, 3 credits)
  • GEOG 340 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (required, 3 credits)

As well as nine credits from the following list:

  • GEOG 371 – UAV Data Acquisition (1 credit)
  • GEOG 372 – Satellite Remote Sensing (2 credits)
  • GEOG 375 – Web GIS (1 credit)
  • GEOG 460 – Geospatial Analysis (3 credits)
  • GEOG 482 – Advanced Applications in GIS (2 credits)
  • GEOG 492 – Independent Study (1-6 credits)
  • GEOG 499 – Internship in Geography (1-3 credits)


GIS professionals work in a variety of diverse fields, allowing students to incorporate the GIS Certificate into many different professional settings suited to their other skills and interests. Students with GIS Certification will be better qualified for careers in the following professions, in addition to many others:

  • City and county planning
  • Corporate logistics
  • Geospatial data analytics
  • Energy management
  • Geoscience Technician
  • Mapping Technician
  • Recreation management
  • Wildlife biology

Our knowledgeable faculty would love to discuss how you can apply a GIS Certificate to your field of study. Contact Phil Crossley, Ph.D., to learn more about how earning a GIS Certificate can enhance your degree and prepare you to excel professionally.

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Students pose for a photo on top of Mount Crested Butte in the summer

Apply to

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Colorado Hall with the Palisades in the background on a bluebird day.


The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

A group of four alumni look at a display of old photos on a table.


We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

A few students pose for a photo behind a table.


Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.