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Graduate Certificate in
Geospatial Intelligence Analytics

Courses

We recognize that the geospatial intelligence professional is expected to understand and make analytic judgments on a broad spectrum of problems, support diverse customer sets, and cope with unprecedented types of information. Given these challenges, Penn State is committed to providing a flexible curriculum to meet the exceptionally diverse needs of the working professional.

All courses are online and instructor-led. You'll complete weekly assignments, submit projects online, take quizzes, and receive feedback from faculty. The geospatial course work includes, but is not limited to, geographic foundations of geospatial intelligence, GIS, and remote sensing.

The geospatial intelligence analytics graduate certificate program comprises six courses totaling 15 credits. The curriculum is designed so that all 15 credits earned in this certificate program count toward Penn State's online Master of Geographic Information Systems or Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security programs, should a student be accepted into one of these highly competitive master's programs.

The GEOINT analytics certificate course content focuses not just on technical skills but also on the analytical knowledge necessary to apply those skills in the real world. In the capstone course, students apply what they have learned to complete a semester-long virtual field experience.

The courses listed show a typical sequence. Actual courses taken will vary based upon technical experience and will be determined upon consultation with your faculty adviser.

To determine the first day you are able to register for classes, enter your semester, campus location, and student level into the Registrar's Registration Timetable. Note: Certificate students are considered 'nondegree' as the student level.

Required Courses (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    The application of cultural geography in the intelligence analysis and synthesis process by identifying prominent threats to civil security.

    • 3
      credits

      Understanding remote sensing systems' operation, data products, and processing techniques to address typical problem scenarios faced by the GEOINT professional.

      • Prerequisite

        GEOG 480

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Using imagery and terrain data in typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

      • Prerequisite

        GEOG 482 or equivalent professional experience

      • Note

        For individuals with professional experience in GIS, these prerequisites may be waived as part of the application review process.

  • 3
    credits

    How geographic information systems facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems faced by the geospatial intelligence professional.

    • or both:
      • 1
        credit

        Seminar that brings together the threads of the Geospatial Intelligence program and reinforces the standards of professionalism applicable to geospatial intelligence analysis in government and business.

        • Prerequisite

          GEOG 882, GEOG 883, GEOG 884, GEOG 885 or equivalent courses

      • and:
        2
        credits

        Culminating experiences in current professional and ethical problems facing the geospatial intelligence professional.

        • Prerequisite

          GEOG 594A

    • or:
      1–3
      credits

      Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

Elective Courses (select 3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Using imagery and terrain data in typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding lidar systems; design, operation, data processing techniques, and product generation to address typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

  • 3
    credits

    Case studies, student investigations, and projects reveal the scope, impact, and character of the Geospatial Revolution.

  • 3
    credits

    How geographic information systems facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 482 or GEOG 882 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Database design, creation, maintenance, and data integration using desktop GIS software.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 483 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Customizing GIS software to extend its built-in functionality and to automate repetitive tasks.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or GEOG 884 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Theory and practice of cartographic design, emphasizing effective visual thinking and visual communication with geographic information systems. Technologies: ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox Studio, QGIS

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Real-world applications of GIS and spatial analysis to investigate a variety of current environmental issues.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, and solving complex geoprocessing tasks using both proprietary and open source platforms. Technologies: ArcGIS Pro, ArcPy, Jupyter Notebooks, ArcGIS API for Python, QGIS, GDAL/OGR.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces students to emerging topics at the interface of concepts and tools that capture/sense environmental information (e.g., LiDAR) and concepts/tools that allow for immersive access to geospatial information (e.g., HTC Vive).

  • 3
    credits

    Systematic approach to requirements acquisition, specification, design, and implementation of geospatial information systems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484

  • 3
    credits

    Design, development, and implementation of web mapping applications using OGC standards and open source software. Technologies: JavaScript, QGIS, GDAL, OGR, GeoServer, TileMill, Leaflet, and OpenStreetMap

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485

  • 3
    credits

    Choosing and applying analytical methods for geospatial data, including point pattern analysis, interpolation, surface analysis, overlay analysis, and spatial autocorrelation.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485 or GEOG 486 or GEOG 487

  • 3
    credits

    Requirements analysis and proposal writing to plan and implement GIS solutions supporting emergency management activities of government agencies and contractors.

  • 3
    credits

    Addresses cutting-edge geospatial intelligence topics that impact the global academic and professional community.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding location technology and geospatial analysis to support an efficient and effective pathway to better business decisions.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores three important topics related to georeferenced data: datums, map projections, and grid systems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 483 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Cultivates a working knowledge of current and future capabilities of GPS and the emerging Global Navigation Satellite System.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on how geospatial professionals can create applications using industry-related geospatial APIs. Students will build applications using the core web technologies of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Technologies: JavaScript, ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS Online, CSS

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding remote sensing systems' operation, data products, and processing techniques to address typical problem scenarios faced by the GEOINT professional.

  • 3
    credits

    Prepares current and aspiring geospatial intelligence professionals to apply and interpret results of non-quantitative analysis and modeling techniques.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 882

Program Flexibility

The GEOINT analytics certificate program operates 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.

Description of fall, spring and summer semesters

Registration for most courses begins three months before the start of the course. Given the limited number of seats available in our courses, early registration is strongly encouraged.

It is strongly recommended that students take only one course during each of the five terms.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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