Geographic Information Scientists (GIScientists) have an ongoing concern with the collection, analysis and display of high precision spatial data. The Department of Geography (GEOG) and the Department of Computer Science (CSCI) are offering a joint undergraduate certificate in GIS and Computational Science. The program draws upon faculty expertise in both departments, providing interdisciplinary training in spatial data analysis and computation, both of which characterize GIS in most career paths. Computational geospatial skills are in high demand on campus and in local, regional and national job markets such as government employment, industry or consulting careers, and graduate school. This certificate will be available to GEOG majors, to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in CSCI program managed through the College of Arts & Sciences, and to students in other earth science disciplines (e.g., GEOL, ENVS, ENVD, EBIO, ANTH) and social science disciplines (e.g., PSCI, ECON, SOCY). Non-matriculated students may enroll at CU through Continuing Education and once admitted, may apply for the certificate.
The undergraduate certificate in GIS and Computational Science will teach students to identify, analyze and understand spatial patterns, with an emphasis on computation and analytical problem solving. Required coursework in GIS, basic statistics, and basic programming, coupled with advanced electives in GIScience will give students the computational knowledge and skills to tackle society’s important and pressing environmental problems. The interdisciplinary nature of the certificate introduces students to the special characteristics (scale dependence, spatial autocorrelation) that complicate spatial data analysis, and offers additional programming skills relative to the basic GIS concentration. The computational emphasis will also increase students’ competitive edge in the job market and when applying to graduate school. Upon completion of the required courses, students receive a signed certificate from the Geography and Computer Science Departments.
How to Apply
Students must apply to and be accepted into the certificate program. It’s easy to apply. Simply bring a transcript (unofficial is acceptable) to the certificate coordinator (listed below) to check that prerequisite courses have been completed. We prefer a face-to-face meeting as opposed to email. To be awarded a certificate, visit the coordinator again and bring your (unofficial) transcript so that your course and grades can be checked.
Students must earn a C or better in all coursework in the certificate, and may not take certificate courses Pass/Fail. The certificate requires 18-20 hours of coursework, including required courses and electives (but not including prerequisites). Core courses are offered each semester and Geography electives are offered at least once per year. If a student has fulfilled the Introductory Statistics requirement through AP coursework in high school, he or she would be eligible to take an additional elective. Students undertaking the Certificate as well as a GEOG minor must take at least 6-9 credits outside of GEOG GIS classes to satisfy the minor.