Online Geographic Information Systems Certificate

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Geographic Information Systems

There’s a growing market for professionals with critical thinking skills who understand how to use geographic information systems to affect change.

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate from PennWest will prepare you to do just that.

Whether you’re passionate about climate change, conservation or work in other environmental areas, or seek a career in an industry or government agency that requires expertise in the design, implementation and analysis of spatial information, the GIS certificate can propel you forward.

It’s the perfect complement to your bachelor’s degree and a proven way to enhance your career potential.

Under the guidance of expert faculty from PennWest’s Environmental Science department, you’ll acquire a wide variety of technical and applied skills, including how to collect, compile and analyze different types of geographical data, how to plan and design geographical databases, integrate GIS data from a variety of online sources, manipulate metadata and more. In addition, you’ll explore aerial photographs and satellite images and apply remote sensing to topographic and planimetric map construction for use in agricultural and land identification, landform study and forestry.

This certificate also fulfills some of the requirements for GISP, ASPRS and Esri certification.

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Median annual wage for cartographers and photogrammetrists in May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In demand says many companies and industries use GIS to gather data and improve products and services.


Arms you with the expertise you need to succeed in multiple industries.

Fast Facts


Student-to-faculty ratio at PennWest




100% online


Chadwick Hanna

Careers and Salaries

There are a variety of careers available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree and a GIS certificate. For example, you could become a cartographer or photogrammetrist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that some states require special licensing for cartographers, photogrammetrists, surveyors and remote sensing.

Cartographers and photogrammetrists may also receive certification from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation offers certifications for GIS professionals.

Program Outcomes

  1. Recognize, state essential GIS concepts, and solve spatial problems using GIS Software (ArcGIS)
  2. Identify geographic problems and how to approach it using Geospatial Technologies, and applying GIS tools to real-world problem solving
  3. Manipulate geographic and non-geographic datasets (i.e., create, edit, and modify datasets)
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts and applications of geographic analysis

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.
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