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Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science

Map your place in the world with a science that touches every part of it.

Whether you’re seeking to enhance your background in Geographic Information Services (GIS) or stepping into the field for the first time, GIS is a relevant science that intersects with virtually everything in our world — making it a high-demand career in almost every field. Our online certificate program is designed for anyone with a bachelor’s degree in any field who wants to gain the skills and industry know-how to pursue or launch a GIS career in education, public health, natural resources, manufacturing, public safety, and sustainability.

At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, you’ll immerse yourself in hands-on applications of GIS software, principles, and technologies. Our dedicated faculty with years of industry experience will help you delve into languages and applications such as SQL, Python, GPS, workflow design and strategies, cartographic design, spatial and tabular data, as well as geodatabase design and development. 

Grounded in our Lasallian Catholic heritage, Saint Mary’s empowers learners to lead lives of ethical service and leadership. As you advance in your career, you’ll be a force for good in the world — an example of what it means to place values and virtues at the forefront of everything you do.

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per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time





per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time


Program Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in optional paid applied learning experiences through GeoSpatial Services (GSS), a unique on-campus project center at Saint Mary’s that is nationally recognized with clients including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Gain the skills and professional know-how to pursue certification from the GIS Certification Institute.
  • Apply credits from this program toward our M.S. in Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytics program and advance your career even farther.
  • Financial aid may be available for this program, helping to ease the stress of paying for courses so you can focus on what matters most.
  • Take your career to the next level by applying earned credits from this certificate program to our M.S. in Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytic program, saving you time and money as you advance your career. In addition, Saint Mary’s is regionally accredited, meaning that most other colleges and universities will accept our credits for transfer.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You'll Learn

  • Analyze geospatial data
  • Demonstrate proficiency in data collection and database administration
  • Develop custom workflows and scripts for visualization and analytics
  • Engage in complex critical thinking
  • Best practices of integrated technology
  • Ethical implications of data handling and decision-making

Information Session

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program, the application process, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet program staff, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • Applicants may apply for admission to a master’s degree program at any time during the year. 
    • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. 
    • Applicants must complete an interview with a program director as part of the admission process.

  • Students with transcripts from universities located outside of the United States or a waiver country listed here are required to take and pass English Proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    1. A completed application form
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.)
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, One Earth International Credential Evaluators or any approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards.
      • Saint Mary’s can order and cover the cost of transcripts from institutions that allow third-party requests for eligible degree-seeking applicants. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.
      • Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission
        • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
          2500 Park Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55404
        • Or electronically:
    3. A personal statement that includes the following:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
      • description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability.
    5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    • Fall: August 2, 2024
    • Spring: December 2, 2024
    • Summer: April 4, 2025

    • Fall September 3, 2024
    • Spring: January 6, 2025
    • Summer: May 6, 2025

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as:

  • Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems
  • Data Acquisition and Location of Things
  • Python Programming for Technology Applications
  • Advanced GeoSpatial Data and Location Analytics 

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

Around the world, everyone from farmers to health professionals depends on spatial data and GIS technology, making this a high-demand career that can take you anywhere.

GIS Analyst

$67,012 per year*

Related Programs

Advance your career with flexible programs designed for busy professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

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     At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom: 

    Student Central: Your one-stop for student services.

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students. 

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education. 

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

    Learn more here.

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