The 12-credit GIS certificate program's courses comprise the first year of Penn State's Master of Geographic Information Systems online degree program. Students who successfully complete the certificate may apply to the online master's degree program and, upon acceptance, immediately begin the second year of study.
The certificate program is designed for professionals who wish to enter the field of GIS or who wish to become more competitive within it. The program provides a solid background in the fundamentals of geography that extends beyond a particular software program's capability or features. With this education your tasks can become easier to understand, analyze, and successfully complete.
The certificate program consists of instructor-led courses in which you will complete weekly assignments using your own personal computer. Although you will be expected to deliver assignments on time, you are free to work at times and places that best suit your busy schedule. Project assignments involve reports that you will learn to publish in an online portfolio. Weekly lessons include online quizzes that provide immediate feedback. You will communicate with fellow students and instructors primarily through e-mail discussion groups.
The GIS certificate program will operate on five 10-week terms. With two terms that partially overlap in fall and spring, and one term in the summer, you are provided with the greatest flexibility possible in completing your certificate at your preferred pace. You can choose to schedule your courses without any overlap, or take as many courses as possible to finish sooner.