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The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is intended for students currently admitted to a graduate program at the University of Memphis or another university or students holding a graduate degree with an interest in using GIS as a problem-solving tool.

Current Course Descriptions

Courses in Geographic Information Science are mainly offered through the Department of Earth Sciences. Courses with GIS and Geographic Information Science components are also offered by departments across the campus.

Total credits required for the certificate: 12 [Required courses: Total credits: 9; Elective Courses: Total Credits: 3]

REQUIRED COURSES: Total credits: 9

ESCI 6515 Geographic Information Science 3
ESCI 6525 Analytical Geographic Information Science 3 
ESCI 7504-8504 Seminar in Geographic Information Science 3


Description of required courses and their web links:

ESCI 6515 Geographic Information Science (3)

Cross listed with City and Regional Planning. This course is designed as an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). The overall goal of this course is to provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to understand the fundamental GIS concepts, capabilities, and applications, with emphasis on the nature of geographic data and on the issues of data input, data models, database design, spatial analysis, and data output. At the end of the course, students are expected to have a good understanding of GIS development, capabilities and potential applications. Completion of this course will enable students to extend their learning to a variety of applications and software environments, and prepare them for more advanced training in GIS.

ESCI 6525 Advanced Geographic Information Science (3)

Cross listed with City and Regional Planning. This course is designed as a continuation of GEOG 4515-6515 Geographic Information Science. All students enrolled in the course should have successfully completed GEOG 4515-6515 or its equivalent. In this course students will gain hands-on practical experience with ESRI’s ArcGIS 9 software through lab exercises and project work, gain a greater understanding of topics relating to the principles of GIS, and explore the varied applications of GIS.

ESCI 7504-8504 GIS Seminar (3)
Cross listed with City and Regional Planning. This seminar provides a setting to discuss the short term and long-term GIScience research topics by University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). Special focus will be on current/cutting-edge research and applications of GIS such as Internet GIS, possible effects of Internet GIS on society, Public Participation GIS, Participatory GIS, GIS for Homeland Security, Geo-spatial society, and Geovisualization.
ELECTIVES: Total credits 3

Students are required to take 3 hours of electives. Brief descriptions of elective courses are listed. These electives could come from a variety of related fields with approval of the Certificate Program Committee.

Description of possible elective courses and their web links:

ESCI 6502 Computer Mapping (3)

Cross listed with City and Regional Planning. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the art and the science of map making. The class provides a foundation in cartographic techniques and design. Theories and concepts presented in class provide confidence to produce maps for illustrating reports, papers, theses, and to critically analyze other maps. A broad range of computer related techniques and concepts are taught using programs such Freehand, ArcGIS 9, Trimble's Pathfinder Office, and Web Design Programs.

ESCI 6511 Remote Sensing of the Environment (4)

Systematic treatment of elements and steps involved in interpreting, measuring, and mapping of images appearing on aerial photographs, survey of theory and application of Remote Sensing, use of color infrared, thermal and radar images generated from satellites for geographic, environmental, and planning purposes.

ESCI 6521 Quantitative Methods (3)

Cross listed with City and Regional Planning. Introduction to quantitative methods in spatial analysis; univariate descriptive statistics, descriptive statistics for spatial distributions, elementary probability theory, Random variables and probability distributions, sampling, parametric statistical inference, estimation, hypothesis testing, two sample tests, correlation analysis, regression analysis, nonparametric statistics.

ESCI 6531 Field Methods (3)

Basic methods of geographic analysis used in classifying, analyzing and reporting field-generated data including field mapping, sampling procedures, questionnaires and archival and public document research.

ESCI 6610 Spatial Statistics (3)

This course reviews a range of spatial analytical techniques and their implementation in state of the art spatial statistics software. Specific methods covered include “traditional” spatial analysis, such as spatial interpolation and point pattern analysis, an introduction to spatial data analysis such as the analysis of spatial autocorrelation, and some spatial econometric techniques including spatial lag and error regression models. An important aspect of the course is to gain hands-on experience in applying these techniques with spatial statistics software.

ESCI 7613 GIS and Human Health (3)

This course is for geographers, public health practitioners, epidemiologists, medical anthropologists, nurses, geneticists, and community members interested in applying GIS to the study of human health problems. This course is designed to help students become conversant with some fundamental concepts in how GIS can be used to map and analyze the geographical distributions of populations at risk, health outcomes, and risk factors; to explore associations between risk factors and health outcomes; and to address health problems.

COMP 6001 Visual Basic (3)

This course is an introduction to the concepts of computer programming while learning how to program with VB .NET which is a platform to customize ArcGIS 9 software.

COMP 6011 Advanced Visual Basic (3)

Students must have taken Comp 4001-6001 Visual Basic (3) or have the equivalent VB. NET background. In this course students will learn the following Visual Basic topics: Developing Classes, ADO database programming, XML input and output, Web Programming with ASP, Web Services, Assemblies and Components, Versioning and COM Interoperability.

PLAN 7202 Land Use Planning (3) Theory and practice of land use planning, with emphasis on methods of land use analysis and economic and social basis for land use decisions.

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Last Updated: 4/10/14