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
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
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
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
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.