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Advanced Geographic Information Systems

a woman looks at a graph on a computer screen

Expand your GIS skills with the Capstone Certificate in Advanced Geographic Information Studies (GIS). Earn your custom certificate online at your own pace, without disrupting your career.


Is this program right for you?

Do you know GIS already? Did you take several classes as an undergraduate or do you work with it regularly? Then this program is exactly what you’re looking for.

UW–Madison’s Capstone Certificate in Advanced GIS will provide you expert GIS skills in both conceptual and applied realms. You’ll learn how to make informed decisions to solve real-world problems. Learn how to create your own GIS tools, solve big data and spatial analyses, and build interactive, mobile visualizations. Plus, our program is 100% online, making it easy for you to complete your certificate with minimal disruption to your career.

Better yet? You choose the GIS topics most relevant to you. With this flexible degree, you select any three classes from our online curriculum. Our courses emphasize everything from geocomputing, spatial analysis, cartographic design, and geovisualization, to spatial and web programming.

The GIS industry is an expanding sector in the global economy. The tools required in the field have become increasingly complex, prompting a large demand for individuals with formal advanced training in GIS. Our program gives you the relevant skills and knowledge to fill that demand.

Is this program right for you?

Do you know GIS already? Did you take several classes as an undergraduate or do you work with it regularly? Then this program is exactly what you’re looking for.

UW–Madison’s Capstone Certificate in Advanced GIS will provide you expert GIS skills in both conceptual and applied realms. You’ll learn how to make informed decisions to solve real-world problems. Learn how to create your own GIS tools, solve big data and spatial analyses, and build interactive, mobile visualizations. Plus, our program is 100% online, making it easy for you to complete your certificate with minimal disruption to your career.

Better yet? You choose the GIS topics most relevant to you. With this flexible degree, you select any three classes from our online curriculum. Our courses emphasize everything from geocomputing, spatial analysis, cartographic design, and geovisualization, to spatial and web programming.

The GIS industry is an expanding sector in the global economy. The tools required in the field have become increasingly complex, prompting a large demand for individuals with formal advanced training in GIS. Our program gives you the relevant skills and knowledge to fill that demand.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a background in GIS including two undergraduate-level courses in introductory GIS and/or cartography. Equivalent work experience will also be considered.
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Application materials required:

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Program highlights

  • UW–Madison’s GIS Program is world-renowned as a leader in geographic information technology and computer-generated mapping technologies.
  • Our certificate is flexible and accelerated: you can earn your certificate in just one semester, or spread out your courses and graduate in three semesters.
  • The Advanced GIS certificate program is offered entirely online, so you can earn your certificate on your schedule from anywhere in the world.

How you'll learn

  • Fully online curriculum can be taken full- or part-time; earn your certificate in 1-3 semesters.
  • Select any three classes from our amazing online curriculum, in the topics you want to learn most about.
  • Courses delivered 100% online, so you can learn from anywhere in the world without disrupting your career.

Sample curriculum

Choose at least 3 courses:

  • Spatial Databases
  • Geocomputing
  • Graphic Design in Cartography
  • Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization
  • Spatial Web & Mobile Programming
  • GIS & Spatial Analysis

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • GIS Analyst1
  • GIS Specialist
  • GIS Technician
  • Cartographer
  • GIS developer
Top Industries
  • Government (Federal, state and regional)2
  • Surveying, engineering and construction
  • Utilities (Electrical, telecommunications)
  • Academic
  • Environment and natural resources

Market Salary
$63K in 2019

Projected Job Growth
30.7% for Software Developers (2016-2026)

Job Postings
5,899 in 2019

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Burning Glass Technologies’ Market Salary is an estimated expected salary. Market Salary uses machine learning algorithms to account for experience, skill, and education among other factors that may impact individual salaries.
Source 1: Burning Glass and alumni survey data
Source 2: What Can You Do with a GIS Degree?

Ready to learn more about Advanced Geographic Information Systems?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach

Kyle Roebling

 This program has been a great boost in my confidence as a GIS professional. I finally feel like I belong in the profession. Early in my career I had imposter syndrome because I had not finished my GIS certificate in undergrad studies. I never imagined that I would be able to work full time and go back to school but it can be done with hard work and determination. 

Kyle Roebling, Advanced Geographic Information Systems