Frequently Asked Questions About the GIS Certificate

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No, a BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university is required.

No, a BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university is required

No, software training by ESRI or any other vendor is not the same as a university course in the fundamentals of GIS.

Yes. We review applications in April, January and September, accepting 10 to 15 students into the program. We receive applications in the Mid-South area and nationwide. We welcome international applicants as well. We provide online GIS certificate degree and online courses. Reapplications are welcome.


Financial Questions

You can go to the tuition estimator to find the current cost of the courses.

 Financial support at present is limited to full-time graduate students in earth sciences, not for students only enrolled as certificate students.

There is no funding from the Certificate Program for conferences. If you go to a conference, it will be at your own expense. There are other scholarship opportunities in the college and students are encourage to seek funding. Memphis Area Geographic Information Council (MAGIC) offers student scholarships.



You will need to check with your specific department policies for dual-counting hours to see how many credit hours you can apply to both.

No, all course work must be at the graduate level. However, we allow to substitute that course with a different graduate level GIS related course. You can apply for a credit by exam based on prior undergraduate GIS courses you took in Earth Sciences.

If you graduated with a master's degree at UofM, took courses that are applicable to the GIS certificate program, and want to pursue the GIS Certificate after your graduation, you need to apply to the graduate school again and get accepted to the GIS certificate. You can only apply up to 6 credit hours of GIS related course work towards both. You will need to check with your specific department policies for dual-counting hours to see how many credit hours you can apply to both.

Up to 6 credits will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Yes, if you meet all the program requirements.

Applications are assessed as we receive them.

Yes. After you take the capstone GIS project course (ESCI 7998) and execute a project, you have completed the required 12 credits and are eligible to receive your certificate.

All our GIS-related courses are open to non-degree students, provided they meet the prerequisites for a particular course and provided space is available in the course – certificate students and graduate students who still need a course to meet their program requirements get priority enrollment.

This is not recommended, but applies in rare cases. For example, PhD candidates needing 7000 level courses. This can be only done if the student attends to the 6000 level course and completes the course content and does extra work to be counted to 7000 level. This must be followed by contract agreement and a letter from the professor.

Yes, there are local companies and government agencies employ our certificate students. You can do an internship as part of your capstone GIS project. You can take ESCI 6700 Internship course as elective course and count your internship towards GIS certificate.

Yes, ESCI 6610 Automation Process In GIS and ESCI 6535 Modular GIS.

The master's program has a separate application process and admission is based on different criteria. Acceptance into the GIS Certificate Program does not guarantee acceptance into the master's program.

Yes, if students skip a semester (summer does not account), they have to reapply.

You can take as many courses as your schedule and time allow, as long as you meet the pre-requisites for each course.

At present, most of our certificate courses are taught as daytime classes and online.

Yes, we offer online GIS courses in the summer.

Yes, we offer the Modular GIS course as an elective course where you can specialize in a GIS application specific to your discipline and interests by selecting modules (e.g., remote sensing imagery analysis, criminology, transportation, urban planning, disease mapping, etc.). We also develop standalone specialization courses, which can be taken as elective course such as GIS and Human Health course. We plan to add more online standalone specialization courses as elective every year. Below are currently available online elective offerings:

1. Modular GIS
2. GIS and Human Health
3. GIS Seminar


General Questions

The GIS Certificate Program at the UofM compares very favorably to similar programs elsewhere, for several reasons:

1.The program consists of a total of 12 credit hours, which is comparable to many other programs.
2. Most courses are taught in small classes by full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
3. We offer online program and courses.

The GIS Certificate Program is NOT a certification program. Certification is recognition of an individual skills and experience in a particular professional field, typically carried out by a professional organization; a university therefore cannot "certify" you. Certification of GIS professionals is in the hands of the GIS Certification Institute. Completion of the GIS certificate degree and graduate level courses like the ones in the GIS Certificate Program count heavily towards GIS professional certification (GISP).


If you have additional questions not answered here, contact the program director, Dr. Esra Ozdenerol, at eozdenrl@memphis.edu.