Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Science – Advanced

Geospatial Information Science is a research field that utilizes specialized computer hardware, software, and procedures for presentation and analysis of all types of natural and social science data referenced (mapped) to the earth’s surface. Students who complete the requirements for the Advanced certificate should be able to:

  • Perform advanced GIScience techniques using vector, raster, and remote sensing data;
  • Apply GIScience to display, support, and analyze research questions in the social or natural sciences;
  • Collect and create GIScience data using various technologies and softwares;
  • Recognize and apply computer science concepts such as data collection, representation, queries, and storage; and
  • Enter GIScience employment or continue GIScience work at the doctoral level.

An Advanced graduate certificate in GIScience consists of a minimum of 12 hours in courses designated as GIScience courses beyond the requirement for the GIScience Certificate – Basic. Students must have a B (3.0) average in all their GIScience courses and no grade below a C (2.0) in their GIScience courses to earn the certificate.

Download the Full Color Brochure (PDF)

For the Certificate Completion Form, visit the Graduate College website and find the Forms section.

Admission Requirements


Students may pursue the graduate certificate while enrolled in any master’s program OR as a certificate-only student.

  • Students already enrolled in a master’s degree program should submit to Graduate Admissions a Secondary Program Request Form (PDF)
  • Applicants interested in the certificate-only program should apply for admission to Marshall University as a Certificate/Professional Development student and select on the application form the Certificate in Geospatial Information Science – Advanced.

Applicants to the Graduate GIScience Certificate – Advanced program must have completed the Certificate in Geospatial Information Science – Basic before entry into the program. Students transferring from other institutions or Marshall graduates with the equivalent of the Basic certificate may enroll for the Advanced certificate with permission of the GIScience Director.

GIScience credits can count toward a master’s degree in several departments such as Geography, Physical Science, Health Informatics, Environmental Sciences, Technology Management, and Information Technology. Please see an advisor in the appropriate department.

Required courses:


  • At least one advanced analysis course: GEO 529 GIS Vector Analysis (3 hrs.) or GEO 530 GIS Raster Analysis (3 hrs.). This requirement is waived if a student completed one of these courses as part of the Certificate in Geospatial Information Science – Basic, an undergraduate equivalent of one of these courses, or an equivalent advanced analysis course from another institution.
  • At least one remote sensing course: GEO531 Principles of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (3 hours), BSC/PS510 Remote Sensing with GIS Applications (4 hours), BSC 511/PS 511 Digital Image Processing and GIS Modeling (4 hrs.), PLS533 GIS and Remote Sensing for Natural Resource Management (3 hrs.), or a Special Topics remote sensing course. This requirement is waived if a student completed one of these courses as part of the Certificate in Geospatial Information Science – Basic, an undergraduate equivalent of one of these courses, or an equivalent Remote Sensing course from another institution.
  • At least one applications course or internship (minimum three credit hours): GEO 631 Advanced GIS Projects, GEO 690 Internship (must be GIScience approved in advance), or NRRM602 GIS/RS Research Method in NRRM.

Graduate GIScience electives courses:


  • BSC 510/PS 510 Remote Sensing with GIS Applications (4 credit hours)
  • BSC 511/PS 511 Digital Image Processing and GIS Modeling (4 hrs.)
  • *GEO 526 Principles of GIS (4 hrs.)
  • *GEO 529 Principles of GIS 2 – Vector Analysis (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 530 GIS – Raster Analysis (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 531 Principles of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 532 Enterprise GIS (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 533 GPS and Mobile Geospatial Technologies (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 631 Applied GIS Projects (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 690 Internship (1-6 hrs.; must be GIScience approved in advance)
  • NRRM533 GIS and Remote Sensing for Natural Resource Management (3 hrs.)
  • NRRM602 GIS/RS Research Method in NRRM (3 hrs.)
  • PS 570 Practicum (4 hrs.; must be GIScience approved by the student’s advisor in advance)
  • PS 670 Advanced Practicum (4 hrs; must be GIScience approved by the student’s advisor in advance)
  • Special Topics courses as approved by the GIScience Curriculum Committee

*Also available as online courses.