GIS Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science at LSU is a 12 credit hour standalone certificate with courses offered in the Department of Geography and Anthropology, College of Art and Design, Department of Economics, School of the Coast and Environment, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Computer Science. 

Current LSU graduate students in any department can take the required courses to attain the certificate. Certificates can be earned by regularly enrolled, degree-seeking students, as well as non-traditional, certificate-only students. Non-students wishing to begin the GIS certificate program can apply to the LSU Graduate School as a non-degree seeking applicant, which exempts them from certain requirements, such as taking the GRE. Graduate certificates provide a shortened, condensed, and focused course of study that often draws expertise from multiple academic units. 

Students must complete at least one method, theory, and applied topics course, for a combined total of 12 credit hours (though some courses may be listed under more than one category, they may only be used to fill one requirement). Elective courses allow students to choose a focus within the certificate.  For example, a returning professional with an interest in sustainability studies could take Environmental Economics and Policy and Design of Environmental Management Systems as electives.  Each department will offer at least one elective course per semester.  

Course Breakdown

The course breakdown is as follows (3 credit hours for each):

Theory (3-6 hours)

  • ARCH 4041 Issues in Sustainability
  • ARCH 4700 Research Methods
  • DSM 4013 Disaster Anthropology
  • GEOG 4044 Computer Cartography
  • GEOG 4045 Environmental Remote Sensing
  • ECON 4320 Environmental Economics
  • ECON 7320 Seminar in Environmental and Resource Economics*
  • ENVS 7047 Environmental Economics and Policy
  • LA 4102 Critical Cartographies* (Note: also listed under “Method”)

Method (3-6 hours)

  • GEOG 4047 Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 4048 Methods of Spatial Analysis
  • GEOG 7973 Advanced Geographic Information Systems*
  • LA 4102 Critical Cartographies
  • LA 7102 Graduate Landscape Representation II*

Application (3-6 hours)

  • ARCH 4993 Advanced Computer Aided Architectural Graphics
  • CSC 4356 Interactive Computer Graphics*
  • CSC 7443 Scientific Information Visualization*
  • ENVS 4149 Design of Environmental Management System
  • ENVS 4900 Watershed Hydrology*
  • GEOG 4020 Aerial Photo Interpretation and Image Processing
  • GEOG 4046 Web GIS
  • GEOG 7945 Socio-economic Applications of GIS*
  • GEOG 7975 Advanced Remote Sensing Seminar*
  • LA 7103 Advanced Digital Representation
  • LA 4504 Advanced Elective in Landscape Architecture
  • OCS 4410 Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis*

[*course requires a pre-requisite or instructor approval]

Who should consider applying?

  • Graduate students who already have or are pursuing a graduate degree in another discipline, but have a need to develop specific geospatial skills to apply to their primary discipline
  • Professionals whose responsibilities include spatial analysis, but have never had any training in this area
  • People considering a graduate degree in this area, but do not have the time to complete a full degree program
  • Entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use the power of geospatial technologies to benefit their endeavors
  • Professionals with experience in geospatial technologies that would like to refine their skills


Contact the graduate secretary in the Department of Geography & Anthropology:

Graduate Secretary
227 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Both current and prospective students can start their enrollment by applying to the LSU Graduate School.

Apply Now