Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) | Online

Program Type
Certificate of Graduate Study (Online)
Certificate of Graduate Study
Modes of Study

Tuition per credit hour

Online mode of study:
$460 for in-state &
$494 for out-of-state residents. Blended mode of study: cost varies. See details and other costs

Credit hours

12 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Program duration

Finish in as little as 1 year. Explore program requirements


Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Choose a mode of study that is blended (a mix of online and in-person courses) or fully online.
  • Save money with reduced e-tuition for out-of-state students who choose to study fully online.
  • Make progress toward a future degree: Apply course credits from your certificate toward a USM master’s degree in Policy, Planning, and Management.
  • Build basic and advanced skills in geospatial technology, remote sensing and satellite imaging, digital mapping, and GPS.
  • Prepare for a wide range of careers in geospatial technology, which has been designated by the U.S. Department of Labor as an emerging, “high-growth” industry sector.
  • Study in state-of-the-art facilities and have access to high-end equipment that supports geospatial technology-related work.
Two students look over a file on a laptop.

Competitive advantage

Develop expertise in mapping, visualizing, and analyzing geo-enabled data. With an understanding of how to use GIS properly, you can apply your skills in diverse fields such as business and marketing, biology, emergency management, geology, infrastructure, and environmental and urban planning.

Students are outside doing field work on the coast.

State-of-the-art equipment

Students can put theory-to-practice in one of our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) labs, which provides a dedicated space, high-end computers, industry-leading software, and equipment to support geospatial technology-related work.

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Actively engaged faculty

Our world-class, widely published faculty cover a diverse range of subjects and expertise. Along with their active roles in teaching and hands-on learning, they are publishing research in national and international venues.

A student working on a computer

Program requirements

Our curriculum builds a foundational knowledge in geospatial technology skills. Along with remote sensing and global positioning systems, integrated geospatial technologies provide the tools to address complex societal and environmental challenges.

Students do field work outside.

Fieldwork opportunities

Field education is the backbone of our geographic information systems (GIS) program. Students will engage in case studies as well as intensive field and lab research through internships.

Students have a discussion in front of a board.

Future degree planning

Interested in earning your Master’s Degree in Policy, Planning, and Management in the future? The credits you earn through this certificate program can be applied to our MPPM. Some restrictions may apply.

A student is shown working over a diagram with their hands over it.

A growing industry

The U.S. Department of Labor recently identified geospatial technology as among the most important emerging and evolving fields within the economy.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Meet us

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Admission information: Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Certificate of Graduate Study

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term startSummer term start
FinalAugust 1December 15April 15

Criteria for admission include successful completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Personal statement discussing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals.

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address