Capstone Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

College: Letters and Science
Department: Geography
Web site:
Contact: Karen Tuerk;

Information Systems (GIS) is an exciting and fast-growing field with a broad range of applications in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. As an alternative to traditional graduate degrees, the department's shorter Capstone Certificate program provides formal training in the use and application of GIS tools to solve problems in physical and social systems. The Capstone Certificate in GIS is intended for students with bachelor's degrees in any of the physical, biological, or social sciences, or in the humanities. The goal is to add marketable technical expertise to topical knowledge acquired in a traditional liberal arts degree.

The GIS Certificate Program is a one-year nondegree program with an internship, developed to fill a technological need in today's job market. It is a non-specialist program intended to provide a mix of GIS theory and practical knowledge for possible applications in the following areas:

  • Environmental Analysis
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Land Records Management
  • Marketing
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Utilities Management
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Wildlife Management, and more!

The program is intended to serve:

  1. recent graduates who wish to acquire technical expertise to support the topical knowledge gained in their undergraduate major(s).

  2. returning students who wish to acquire specialized training to meet current (or future) job requirements calling for GIS knowledge.

The program covers the foundations of GIS and spatial analysis, including cartography and statistical methods, hands-on exposure in the form of lab exercises, course projects, and an internship or independent project.


Apply for this Capstone Certificate as a University Special student through the Division of Continuing Studies using the online application. Additional application materials also are required. Please refer to the program website for further admission and application requirements.

For more information

Contact: Karen Tuerk, Department of Geography, 464 Science Hall, 550 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706-1491; 608-265-9975; fax 608-265-3991;