The Department of Geography offers an online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Fundamentals Capstone Certificate. 

The GIS Fundamentals Capstone Certificate is intended to produce individuals, both inside and outside of Wisconsin, skilled in the basic conceptual and methodological underpinnings of GIS technology and able to make informed use of current GIS applications in real world problem solving. GIS Fundamentals Capstone Certificate students will acquire basic technological skills needed in applying GIS towards a wide variety of disciplines while gaining experience with common commercial and open-source GIS software.

The course package will provide foundational competency in mapping science and spatial analysis; consisting of 3 core courses. These core courses include two introductory courses covering fundamentals in cartography and GIS and a third more intensive programming course.

Admission REQUIREMENTS

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Submission of unofficial student transcripts, a one-page statement of interest, and two letters of recommendation
  • Students cannot enroll in other undergraduate or graduate programs nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.
  • Students are not permitted to accept graduate assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver and .
  • Non-native English speakers must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score that meets Graduate School minimum requirements

Note: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are NOT required.

APPLICATION STEPS

  1. Submit an online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: GIS Fundamentals. This application is received and processed by ACSSS with final decision held for approval from GIS Professional Programs Admissions Committee. 
  2. Fill out the online supplemental application. This includes submission of contact information for two references, a letter of interest (one-page essay), and your unofficial transcripts. The GIS program will contact referees for their recommendation letters, but applicants should ensure they will write you a letter prior to submitting their names. Referees will be asked to submit letters of recommendation electronically. Please note that the submission of official transcripts to the GIS Professional Programs (550 North Park St Madison, WI 53706) are required if admitted to the program.
  3. International students from non-English speaking countries must also submit TOEFL scores that meet Graduate School minimum requirements
  4. Applications are accepted for fall, spring, and summer semesters. For first consideration apply by March 31st for Fall and October 15th for Spring. Our application cut-off deadlines are June 30th for Fall and December 31st for Spring or when we reach capacity.

Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the department offering the capstone certificate program makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials.  Consult the GIS Program website for further detail and assistance.

ENROLLMENT

When admitted to the program applicants MUST send their official transcripts to the GIS Professional Programs: 550 North Park St Madison, WI 53706. Formal recommendation for admission will only occur after official transcripts have been received from the appropriate institution(s). Admitted students then receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information. 

The Department of Geography–GIS Capstone Certificate Program will send an email to admitted students with specific information pertaining to enrollment in courses and completion of the capstone program.

Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

Students in this program are required to take all of the following courses:

GEOG 370 Introduction to Cartography4
GEOG/​CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST  377 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
GEOG 378 Introduction to Geocomputing4
Total Credits12

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA while enrolled in the program. Students who do not meet this requirements risk academic probation or dismissal from the program. 

1. Establish a foundation in the conceptual underpinnings of GIS technology in order to make informed use of current GIS applications in real world problem solving.

2. Acquire basic technological skills needed in applying GIS towards a wide variety of disciplines while gaining experience with common commercial and open-source GIS software.