Undergraduate Certificate


The certificate of undergraduate study in geographic information systems is a pre-professional curriculum in the design and use of geographic information technologies. The certificate consists of three core courses that focus on forms of spatial data and their essential properties, principles and methods for collecting spatial data, principles of map design and effective graphic communication, and how spatial data can be used to investigate complex social and environmental issues. Each of these courses involves a significant laboratory component in which students are introduced to the standards that are used in the development and application of spatial data and to specific GIS technologies, such as spatial database and desktop mapping software and global positioning systems receivers. The second component of the certificate curriculum involves practical experience through the use of GIS in applied settings. Students are required to select at least two courses from the set of designated courses.

The certificate of undergraduate study in geographic information systems is open to all students admitted to degree or non-degree study at Northern Illinois University. Students must maintain good academic standing within the university, achieve a minimum grade of C in each certificate course, and complete all certificate course work with a GPA of 3.00 or higher; students admitted for postgraduate study must achieve a grade of B or higher in all certificate course work. Only NIU courses may be used for the certificate. Some courses may carry prerequisites that are not part of the certificate curriculum. Certificate courses may also be applied to satisfy requirements for the B.A., B.S., or M.S. degrees. The Department of Geography reserves the right to limit enrollment in any of the certificate courses. The GIS curriculum of Northern Illinois University features GeoMedia and ArcGIS software. The Department of Geography has been designated as a Team GeoMedia Registered Research Laboratory by Intergraph Corporation and serves as the university licensee of Environmental Research Systems Institute (ESRI) software.

Required Courses (9):

GEOG 256, Maps and Mapping (3)
GEOG 359, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEOG 459, Geographic Information Systems (3)

Course work from the following (electives): 6 hours

GEOG 391 - Internship: (3)
            J. Methods and Techniques (3)                                                                        K. Mapping/Geovisualization (3)
GEOG 403, Soil Geography and Land Use Planning (3)
GEOG 432, Geography of Health (3)
GEOG 455, Land Use Planning (3)
GEOG 458, Geovisualization (3)
GEOG 460, Remote Sensing of the Environment (3)
GEOG 464, Location Analysis (3)
            OR OMIS 379, Business Application of Geographic Information             Systems (3)
GEOG 467, Workshop in Cartography (3)
GEOG 468, Workshop in GIS (3)
GEOG 490, Community Geography (3)
GEOG 491, Undergraduate Research in Geography (1-3)
GEOG 493, Computer Methods and Modeling (3)
GEOG 498, Seminar in Current Problems:
            J. Methods and Techniques (3)
            K. Mapping/Geovisualization (3)

Various elective courses in the certificate may be offered at NIU-Hoffman Estates, NIU-Naperville, NIU-Rockford, or other sites.

For more information please contact the GIS Certificate Advisor.