Undergraduate Geographic Information Science Certificate

The Undergraduate Geographic Information Science Certificate is a 24 credit hour online interdisciplinary program including a GIS internship experience. Students who successfully earn a GIS certificate are eligible to apply for entry level positions in the geosciences requiring knowledge of Geographic Information Systems or geospatial analysis. The program is geared to new and professional students seeking part-time education from a distance.

Program Description

This program is designed for students with at least a High School diploma who wish to enter the field of GIS, become more competitive within it, or to apply knowledge to research and graduate study involving spatial analysis. The program provides a solid background in the fundamentals of geography and geospatial science that extends beyond the software. A total of 7 courses including a required internship have been carefully combined to reflect real-world workforce requirements. With this knowledge, expect to better understand what’s happening behind the scenes in the software and become more efficient at work. Students completing this program can expect to be marketable as GIS Technicians, GIS Analysts, and GIS Managers in several industries including:

  • geography,
  • environmental sciences,
  • archaeology,
  • business,
  • information technology services,
  • defense and intelligence, and
  • public health/safety.

Department Contact

Brett Haskell
GIS Coordinator

 Phone: (850) 857-6121
 Email: gisonline@uwf.edu 

GIS Internship: Students enrolled in the Certificate (GIS) program are required to complete a one semester Internship experience, under the direct guidance of a qualified mentor and under the supervision of the GIS 4944 Internship course instructor. Students currently employed in a GIS position may elect to use their current position for internship experience.  A Directed Study course option is available for students who wish to complete a guided project in lieu of an internship.

More about Internship

What Makes UWF's Online Certificate in GIS Different?


UWF was the first online GIS program to employ remote desktop technology to give students full access to GIS software from any computer, at any time, eliminating the need to obtain, install and maintain bulky GIS software on your personal computer.

High Quality

UWF has been providing a mix of hands-on software training with conceptual instruction  from highly qualified GIS professionals since 2006. Experience up-to-date, quality online GIS course content taught by qualified instructors from an accredited University. Learn more about the quality of our courses at the Quality Matters Program.


Our program is designed for working professionals. With 1yr and 2yr program options, a flexible course schedule provides greater flexibility for completing your certificate at your preferred pace.


We offer courses at a lower per-credit-hour rate than other institutions. No matter location, the price per credit hour does not change.

Class Environment

Courses are instructor-led through UWF's eLearning course site where you can expect to complete weekly assignments using your personal computer or tablet to access recorded lectures and virtualized GIS software. Remote access to software eliminates the need to install resource intensive GIS, Design, and Remote Sensing software on your own computer. Students are asked to complete hands-on GIS lab assignments and share weekly project deliverables via blogspot.com as a way to self-market skills and to help build a sense of community among peers.  Weekly concept lessons include online quizzes that provide immediate feedback and some graded discussion assignments involving relevant peer-reviewed journal articles and white papers.  Communicate with instructors and classmates at your convenience via online discussion boards, email, and attend regularly‌ scheduled virtual office hour sessions.‌ Our students are free to work at times and places that best suit their busy schedules. 

Student Spotlight

Population density fl spotmap spotlight
Dot Density map using Adobe Illustrator by Melissa Thrush, Undergraduate GIS Certificate

Melissa Thrush does an excellent job of conveying the population information in her Population Density of South Florida map, a GIS 3015 Cartographic Skills lab assignment. The inset map and legend provide clear communication. The addition of data sources and year at the bottom show an in depth understanding of not just the basic map elements, but of all the essential parts. 


Faculty Spotlight

Mitchell P
Penelope Mitchell, UWF GIS Instructor for Cartographic Skills and Applications in GIS courses

While with FL DEP, I used GIS as a valuable tool in performing land use analyses to determine site suitability for various habitat restoration projects. Post DEP, my husband and I traveled around the world volunteering on projects ranging from rain water harvesting infrastructure in the Andes, organic farming in Argentina, to sheep farming and wetland restoration in New Zealand. I am enjoying working with the UWF GIS Certificate Program as it is a valuable program that is constantly being reinvented and improved upon by the ever creative and perseverant UWF GIS Team.


Admissions Requirements

In addition to the University admission requirements, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the criteria listed below are used to assess the potential success of each applicant.

University Requirements

  • Submission of Undergraduate UWF Non-degree seeking student application (Free of charge)

Departmental Requirements

  • Submission of GIS Certificate Program Application (Free of charge)
  • Submission of letter of intent describing relevant experience and reasons for pursuing the certificate program, including how the certificate relates to career goals
  • Submission of unofficial transcripts for any relevant GIS course work, up to 6 credit hours will be considered for UWF credit


Application Priority Dates

Fall placeholder calendar image

Spring placeholder calendar image

Quality Matters Program Implementation Plan Icon

Program Accolades

Learn more about the Quality Matters Program.