Geographic Information Systems

The GIS Certificate provides students with experience and knowledge in the theory and application of GIS.  Students learn the basic components of GIS and spatial data, understand problems that arise in data acquisition and analysis, and develop a sound background in cartographic principles.  

The courses required for the program are "hands-on", balancing the development of skill and confidence with the knowledge to solve complex spatial and temporal problems.  Most of the courses are project-based, where students use GIS, or develop tools, to solve real world problems; thus, when finished, students have a portfolio of deliverables that reflect newly acquired technical and critical thinking skills.

Our Alumni

Students who have participated in this program have received internships/employment at Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Michigan Tech Research Institute, numerous consulting firms (i.e. FTC&H), municipalities (i.e. Livonia, Novi), and private organizations.  Additionally, several graduates have continued their GIS education in reputable postgraduate programs throughout the U.S.

Contact us

Please contact the GAM Program Director with any questions: 

Dr. Jacob Napieralski
University of Michigan - Dearborn
Department of Natural Sciences
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128

Program requirements

The GIS certificate comprises 16 credit hours, of which 7 are allowed to count towards an undergraduate major/minor.  Required courses include Mapping our World (Fall/Winter), Introduction to GIS (Fall/Winter), and Advanced GIS Applications (Fall).  

Electives include Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis and GIS, and research/internship opportunities.  

Most courses are offered in the evening, such that non-degree seeking students can attend; several are also hybrid in design with online lecture and laboratory sessions on campus. 

Students of any UM-Dearborn major with a GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply for this program (as a minor).  Non-degree seeking postgraduates must apply through the CASL Campus Option Program.

Required Coure courses (10 credit hours)

Courses must be taken in order
GEOG 302Mapping Our World3
GEOL 440Advanced GIS Applications3
Electives (6 credit hours required):
Choose from:
Remote Sensing
Info Systems in Management
Database Systems I
OR Any 498 Independent Study or 499 Laboratory and Field Research with Permisison

1. A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and sophomore standing are required for admission to the program.

2. A maximum of two courses (totaling up to seven credit hours) used toward a student’s major may count toward the minimum 16 credit hours required for the program.

3. A maximum of seven credit hours of transfer coursework may counted (upon approval of the program director) toward the minimum 16 credit hours required for the program.

4. 498 and 499 credits can be taken in any discipline but must be approved by the GIS program director by petition.

5. A minimum 2.0 GPA in the UM-Dearborn courses counting toward the GIS certificate is required at the time of graduation and/or awarding of the certificate