Earn a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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Our certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will develop your geographic awareness and geospatial technology skills, while expanding your career opportunities. We combine research with extensive hands-on experience using the latest data sourcing and online GIS learning techniques, leveraging the best GIS software and working with spatial data in a real-world context. Graduates will be able to go beyond basic analysis of GIS data and be able to develop solutions for some of the industry’s most complex problems.

By completing this certificate, you'll be able to:

  • Create map apps to communicate geographic information
  • Use cutting-edge GIS software
  • Apply GIS analysis to real-world situation

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Only online graduate GIS certificate degree offered in the Mid-South + only online graduate GIS certificate taught by an accredited university in Tennessee.

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Choose the program path that best fits your schedule. Complete coursework in a classroom and lab setting, fully online through UofM Global, or a hybrid of both.

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Earn Credit for Prior Learning
Only program in the country to accept or offer experiential learning credit for GISPs. Learn More >

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

Experiential Learning Credit

We are the only program in the country to accept or offer experiential learning credit for GISPs. We count 9 credits of experiential learning credit towards completion of our GIS certificate program if applicant has GIS Professional status. GISPs can complete the certificate program by taking the capstone GIS project course (ESCI 7998) and execute a comprehensive capstone project at the end of their program. 

GISP® recognition is a method of showing competence as professionals to employers in the GIS profession. The GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) is a non-profit organization that provides the GIS community with a complete certification program, leading to GISP® recognition.


GIS certificate can be taken completely online, or you can enroll in hybrid program and come to campus for instruction. Required courses are offered online as well as face-to-face.  

12 Credit Hours Required

Required Courses (9 hours):

ESCI 6515 | Geographic Information Science
ESCI 6525 |  Advanced Geographic Information Science
ESCI 7998 | Capstone GIS Project

Elective Course (3 hours):

For the hybrid program, the electives could come from a variety of related earth science fields with approval of the Director of GIS Certificate Program. Possible elective courses include: Modular GIS, GIS and Human Health, Urban Geography, Transportation Planning, Remote Sensing of the Environment, Quantitative Methods, Field Methods, Automation Process In GIS, Archeological Spatial Analysis, Seminar in Geographic Information Science, Visual Basic, Advanced Visual Basic, Land Use Planning.

Modular GIS for an elective course (ESCI 6535- 3 credits):

This online course is elective course for the fully online GIS certificate program.  All content, learning activities and assessments are delivered online. Students will be able to access a wide variety of modules by applying GIS technology to the needs within their disciplines and topics of interest. The overall goal of this course is to provide students with modular learning content within the various GIS domains (i.e., mapping and visualization, analytics, web sharing etc.).

Internship course for an elective course (ESCI 6700- 3 credits):

This elective internship course represents the culminating experience for students in the GIS certificate program. This course is designed to provide practical experience in the application of GIS Certificate course content in real world professional settings. Students will select a professional project in consultation with their internship supervisor and GIS certificate director and will then design, implement and report on their activities as internship course deliverables.

Review the Course Catalog >

SAGE Laboratory

The SAGE Laboratory supports and facilitates the teaching and research activities of the GIS Certificate in the areas of geographic information systems, remote sensing, geospatial web visualization and geospatial data management. Learn more about the lab, view live dashboard examples and more >

Advance Your Career

GIS Technology is used in thousands of careers: Earning a Certificate in GIS could open the door to many opportunities and give you the edge you need to land the internship or job you desire. Potential career areas include:

  • Precision Farming
  • Academics
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Urban & Community
  • Natural Hazard &
    Risk Management
  • App Development
    • Computer Science
    • Business & Marketing
    • Self-Driving Cars
    • Criminal Intelligence
    • Crime Mapping
    • Civil/Environmental
  • Community Sustainability
  • Earth Sciences
  • Transportation
  • Oil & Gas Industry
  • Utilities Industry
  • Public Health

Apply to the Program

To apply, complete the Graduate School's online application. You will need to include a letter of intent in your application submission.

Request Information


Contact Us

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Dr. Esra OzdenerolDr.Esra Ozdenerol
GIS Certificate Program Coordinator
Department of Earth Sciences
236 Johnson Hall, Memphis, TN 38152
Telephone: 901.678.2787