2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Geographic Information Sciences Certificate

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus, Online

Program Coordinator/Contact

Bob Watrel, Department Head
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences
109 Wecota Hall

Program Information

Geographic information sciences are concerned with geographic concepts, the basic elements used to describe, analyze, model, and make decisions on phenomena distributed on the earth and surface. These technologies are utilized by many local, state, and federal governmental agencies, including the US Geologic Survey. With GIS’s capability to visually display large amounts of geo-spatial data, thereby making it easier to analyze, there is a demand for college graduates educated in its use.

The certificate in Geographic Information Sciences will prepare students to utilize their knowledge of geography, the physical environment, the cultural environment, geographic applications, and various technologies to meet the challenges of today’s society.  The program includes the necessary courses to prepare the graduate to function in geographic information science and allows students to develop their knowledge and skills in one of two technical specialties, either GIS or Remote Sensing/Cartography.

The certificate targets people seeking a different level of learning outside of a traditional degree format. The Department delivers the certificate statewide, especially targeting employees of the EROS Data Center. Since the targeted audience will in most cases minimally hold a bachelor’s degree, some flexibility in the certificate plan of study will need to be made on a case by case basis. Substitutions and alternate courses may be approved as the need arises.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate, students will:

  • acquire foundational and specialized knowledge in both the physical and human worlds and their interconnectedness at different scales;
  • effectively communicate geographical ideas using common media from the discipline (submitted samples might include maps, oral presentations, text, photos, illustrations, flowcharts, tables, graphs, graphics);
  • engage in applied learning, laboratory, and/or field experiences;
  • demonstrate the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and synthesize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial-temporal context.

Academic Requirements

Students must earn at least a “C” in each course used to meet the certificate requirements.

Course Delivery Format

The program includes lecture, discussion, laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel, with limited online coursework.

Technical Electives

Select six credits from GIS Technical Electives or Remote Sensing/Cartography Technical Electives. 

Total Required Credits: 12