Top 5 GISc Certificate Programs


What is GIS Science (GISc)

In the US, there are about 120 colleges that offer GIS focused degrees and certificates.  The majority of these are limited with general classes in GIS, Cartography, and Database Development.  They show you how a GIS works and the concepts of producing data, analysis, and map products.  Then there are those programs that have an added focus on developing GIS systems and fall in the subset called GIS Science.  This is often a blend of GIS and IT to serve and scale map information to more people to make more decisions.  We have selected 5 excellent programs that will allow you to develop your GISC skills and attain an online GISc certificate.

Top 5 online programs to get GISc Certification

These were ranked from a student consumer perspective.  A student is preparing for a career and typically cares about the strength of their curriculum, their cost, and time to complete.  All of these programs will be attractive for different reasons to different students.

1. Bootcamp GIS

Cost $5,982
Time to Complete 6 months
Format Online, Start anytime
Description This is a unique platform that is taught by instructors that are working in industry.  Students follow their real world methods within project-based courses in applied topics like: UAVs, AWS Cloud, Python, Data Science, GIS management.  They offer multi-step career services preparation.


2. Penn State World Campus

Cost $11,083
Time to Complete 6 months, Specific start times
Format Online
Description They offer choices of a few different certificate specializations but the one we like is the Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development which covers a nice range of topics including Python, Web mapping, Open Source, and Cloud Servers. They have a wealth of experience doing this for a long time.


3. San Francisco State

Cost $4345
Time to Complete 6 months
Format Online, Some classes start anytime and others have specific start times.
Description Depending on the format you like, they have a flexible attendance format with some classes asynchronous and others synchronous.  The synchronous classes are 8hr classes taught in a full day.  Good selection of classes using GPS, UAVs, Database development, Python scripting, and GIS management.  


4. University of Denver

Cost $17,856
Time to Complete 12 months, Specific start times
Format Online
Description They have comprehensive offerings in GIS systems like Python, UAS, and Web mapping.  Furthermore, we are impressed with their wide number of application courses in Business management, Public Health, Telecom, Crime, and others.


5. Brandman

Cost $10,500
Time to Complete 12 months
Format Online, Specific start times
Description This program has a concise set of classes with a unique range of topics: Data wrangling, Programming, Spatial communications, and Project management.  With a focus on business GIS, this can be transitioned to their bachelors degree in business.


Your marketability with GISc

The GIS industry is growing at a 30% CAGR to $25B.  The largest part of this growth is in new software, hardware, and services that really fall within the GISC category of skills.  We did a survey of 200 recent GIS job announcements and made a list of the required skills. They repeatedly asked for skills in:  Software development, Cloud Architecture, Data Administration, System Integration, and UAVs.  When students follow industry needs and get these skills, they are super marketable.  Be one of these students as the industry needs more of this type of talent.


  1. […] GIS and IT have formed the field of GIS Science and produces the coveted GIS architect. Having a solid IT background is a competitive advantage.  Syed confirmed this by saying ‘My Masters in GIS Technology was not enough.  Once I really dived into cloud architecture to serve GIS data, my opportunities flourished.’  If you want to prioritize your learning, you can gain skills through AWS, GCP, and Azure.  And these technologies are utilized in these top ranked GIS Science programs.   […]

  2. Excellent Post! Thank you for sharing the top 5 GIS certification program. we know that in the US, there are about 120 colleges that offer GIS-focused degrees and certificates, But here you shared the top 5 opportunities to join this Graduate Certificate Program (GIS) in Geographic Information Sciences. As a college student, I am also interested to participate in this GIS Certificate Program in future, Recently I checked this educational platform to get many mathematical questions with answers by the professional tutor that can help to solve my academic math problems, As well as help to do my assignment. In this pandemic time, I am focusing on online education and learning.


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