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Graduate Certificate

FIU GIS Center > Academics > Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems provides students with an interdisciplinary background in GIS. The program consists of graduate level courses in Geographic Information Systems and related subjects offered by the departments of Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Earth and Environment, Global and Sociocultural Studies, Public Administration, and Statistics. This certificate program is open to degree-seeking students only.

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a set of computer hardware and software used to organize, manipulate, and analyze maps and spatial data. GIS is a rapidly developing technology that can be applied to many areas of the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and planning.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Assefa Melesse: phone: (305) 348-6518; email: melessea@fiu.edu.


Admission Requirements

Applicants must currently be enrolled in a Graduate Degree program at FIU and must exhibit basic proficiency with computers.

Starting in Fall 2013, admission to the Graduate Certificate Program in GIS is restricted to students currently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program (e.g. Masters or Doctorate) at FIU. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate basic proficiency with computers.

Note: Some of the courses in the Program have prerequisites. Students in these courses must satisfy these prerequisites or get permission from the instructor.


How to Apply

Students may apply by submitting the paper application Graduate Certificate Program Application form. Applicants must obtain the signature of the Program Director, Dr. Assefa Melesse (AHC-5-390), and submit the completed form to the University Graduate School.

Applications will be considered for the Fall and Spring Terms only (no Summer applications, please). Applications must be submitted before the following deadlines established by the University Graduate School: Fall: June 1, Spring: October 1


Download the Graduate Certificate Program Application form.


Prescribed Courses and Other Requirements

The certificate program will require 15 graduate level credits (5 courses) distributed as follows:

Required Courses: (One course from each of the following 3 categories)

  1. Introduction to GIS

    CGN 5320 GIS Applications for Civil and Environmental Engineering
    GIS 5050 Environmental GIS

    Students who demonstrate prior GIS course work or substantial GIS work experience may substitute this requirement with 3 elective credits from the courses listed below with approval of the Program Director.

  2. Intermediate/Advanced GIS

    CGN 6325 Advanced GIS for Civil and Environmental Engineering
    EVR 5044 Advanced GIS and Environmental Data Analysis
    GLY 5758 GIS and Spatial Analysis for Earth Sciences
    SYA 6356 GIS and Social Research or equivalent

  3. Remote Sensing

    GLY 5754 Applied Remote Sensing in Earth Sciences or equivalent

    Electives: (6 credits out of the following)

    CCJ 6079 Geospatial Crime Analysis
    COP 6727 Advanced Database Systems
    EVR 6268 Remote Sensing in Hydrology
    EVR 7056 GIS Water Resources
    EVR 7329 Watershed Analysis and Management
    GIS 5620 Surveillance, Intelligence, and International Relations
    GIS 5935 Topics in GIS
    MET 5412 Remote Sensing in Meteorology
    PCB 5328 Spatial Ecology
    PAD 6710 IT and E-government
    PAD 6717 GIS Applications for Urban Management or equivalent;

    or

    Additional intermediate/advanced GIS courses under Category 2 Required Courses;

    or

    Other GIS-related courses approved by the Program Director in consultation with the Coordinating Committee. Up to 3 credits of a graduate level statistics or data analysis course may be counted towards the Certificate requirements with approval of the Program Director.


Coordinating Committee

Program Director

Name Location Email
Assefa Melesse AHC5 390 melessea@fiu.edu

Coordinating Committee Members

Name Position Location Email Telephone
Zhaohui (Jennifer) Fu GIS Center Head GL 272-A / HL 126 fujen@fiu.edu (305) 348-3138 / (305) 919- 5727
Dean Whitman AHC5 396 whitmand@fiu.edu
Jennifer Gebelein ECS 467 gebelein@fiu.edu
Hugh Gladwin ACI 281 gladwin@fiu.edu
Xia Jin EC 3603 xjin1@fiu.edu

Teaching Faculty

Name Position Location Email Telephone
Daniel Gann OE 237 gannd@fiu.edu
Derrick Scott SIPA 306 derrick.scott@fiu.edu
Assefa Melesse AHC5 390 melessea@fiu.edu
Stephen F. Pires PCA 368-A sfpires@fiu.edu
Dean Whitman AHC5 396 whitmand@fiu.edu
Jennifer Gebelein ECS 467 gebelein@fiu.edu
Hugh Gladwin ACI 281 gladwin@fiu.edu
Winifred E. Newman PCA 376-B wenewman@fiu.edu
Patricia Houle AHC5 374 houlep@fiu.edu
Susan Jacobson AC II 319B sujacobs@fiu.edu
Xia Jin EC 3603 xjin1@fiu.edu
Nicholas Martinez nicholas.martinez4@fiu.edu
Seema Sah ECS 315 seema.sah@fiu.edu
Shimon Wdowinski AHC5 388 shimon.wdowinski@fiu.edu
Jennifer Richards OE 233 richards@fiu.edu
Levente Juhász Research Associate GL 275-D ljuhasz@fiu.edu (305) 348-6444
Genevieve Reid SIPA 300 genevieve.reid@fiu.edu
Clinton Jenkins Clinton.Jenkins@fiu.edu
Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar AHC5 360 maruthisridhar.balajibhaskar@fiu.edu

Application for Completion

The certificate candidate must fill out the Application for Completion form and submit it, along with a copy of the transcript showing the completed courses required for the certificate, to the Certificate Program Director, Dr. Assefa Melesse.

Note: Do not fill out this form if you have not applied and been admitted to the Certificate Program. You must be admitted to the program to be issued a certificate. Office: AHC-5-390 Tel: (305) 348-6518 FAX: (305) 348-3877 E-mail: melessea@fiu.edu. A letter of memorandum will be issued from the Certificate Program Director to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Download the Application for Completion form.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who may apply to the Program?
    • Starting Fall 2013, admission to the Program is restricted to students currently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program at FIU.
  2. How do I apply to the Program?
    • Students may apply by submitting a paper application form available at https://gradschool.fiu.edu/documents/Certificate_Application.pdf.
  3. When are the application deadlines?
    • Fall admission: June 1, Spring admission: October 1
  4. I am not currently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program, can I still take GIS courses at FIU?
    • Yes, you may take courses as a Non-Degree Seeking Student by filling out a form available at the Registrar’s office at http://onestop.fiu.edu/non-degree-students/index.html. You cannot apply to the Certificate program until you are admitted into a degree program.
  5. Why is admission now restricted to students currently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program at FIU?
    • We were forced to make these changes by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  6. I have taken some courses in the Program as a student enrolled in a Graduate Degree program. Can I later count those credits towards the Certificate?
    • Yes, but you will have to apply to the Certificate program before you finish your Degree program.
  7. I am currently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program (Masters or Doctoral). Can I also pursue the Graduate Certificate?
  8. Can I count courses taken towards the Certificate towards a Master’s Degree?
    • All the credits earned in a Graduate Certificate program (with approval of the particular degree program director) may be used in a Master’s Degree program provided the student is admitted to the Master’s Degree program prior to the completion of no more than 12 Graduate Certificate credits.
  9. Can I count undergraduate level GIS courses towards the Certificate?
    • No, University Graduate School regulations do not allow undergraduate level courses (4999 or below) to count towards a Certificate.
  10. Can I count GIS courses taken at another university towards the Certificate?
    • No, University Graduate School regulations do not allow credits to be transferred into Certificate programs.
  11. Can I count independent study or work experience towards the Certificate?
    • In general, no.
  12. I already have extensive GIS experience. Can I waive some of the requirements?
    • Yes, students who demonstrate prior GIS course work or substantial GIS work experience may substitute 3 elective credits for the Introduction to GIS requirement (GIS 5050 or CGN 5320) with approval of the Program Director. See the program description for more information.
  13. Are GIS courses in the Program offered during the Summer terms?
    • In general, not at this time. However, some courses in the elective list may be offered during the Summer terms. Check the Schedule of Classes for availability.
  14. How long does it take to complete the Certificate?
    • Most students take 1.5 to 2 years to complete all requirements.
  15. How much does the Certificate program cost?
  16. Is financial aid available for the Certificate program?
    • No, current University policy does not allow for financial aid towards Certificate programs unless taken as part of a degree program.

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