Professional GIST Graduate Certificate, Online

The PGIST Certificate is offered as 17 graduate credit hours. Students completing the PGIST Certificate that will to continue on to the MSGIST can transfer credits earned from this certificate into either the online or in-person degree.  Descriptions for each course can be found here.


In the first semester students take :

  • GIST601a, b

In the second semester students take the following 6 credit course:

  • GIST602a, b

In the third semester students also take the following courses:

  • GIST603a
  • GIST909: Master's Project in Geographic Info Systems Technology (2 units)

GIST604A: Applied GIS (3 units)

A GIST-based problem solving approach within the context of a student-directed project. Specific GIS skills covered include project planning, spatial data sources and acquisition, data compilation, coding, analysis, representation, and presentation of results. The course can be repeated for credit, as the topics will vary; each course will examine a different urban or environmental issue in the natural and social sciences using geographic information systems technology. 

GIST603A: Geographic Information Systems Programming and Automation (3 units)

The goal of this course is to gain an introductory understanding of geographic programming and data automation techniques using ModelBuilder and the Python language.  Students will become familiar with the ModelBuilder tools inside ArcGIS for Desktop to automate redundant tasks using ModelBuilder and learn how to build a script using Python to customize functionality and task with GIS.

GIST602A: Raster Spatial Analysis (3 units)

This course exams the principles and practices associated with raster data development and analysis, particularly the development of real world surfaces and statistical analysis based on these surfaces.  The course is presented in a lecture/laboratory format.  The lecture portion will deal with conceptual issues necessary for the use of raster approaches within a GIS framework.  The laboratory portion will provide practical experience with rasters in an ArcGIS environment.

GIST602B: Vector Spatial Analysis (3 units)

This course focuses on providing students with an introduction vector based spatial analysis and their application in GIS software.  Students will learn about how to analyze distribution, direction, orientation, clustering, spatial relationships and processes, and how to render analytic outcomes into cartographic form. This course provides foundational knowledge of global positioning systems, data collection, geodatabase development, and georeferencing.

GIST601B: Remote Sensing Science (3 units)

This course provides an introduction to the scientific principles and practices of remote sensing.  Topics that will be covered in this course include issues of spatial resolutions, the electromagnetic spectrum, remotely sensed sensors, spectral characteristics, digital and digitalization issues, multispectral and LiDAR image processing and enhancement, and land-use and land-cover classifications (LULC) and change detection. The course also emphasizes integration issues and analysis techniques that arise when merging remotely sensed data with geographic information systems (GIS). 

GIST601A: Geographic Information Science (3 units)

This course will introduce the fundamental concepts of geographic information systems technology (GIST).  It will emphasize equally GISystems and GIScience.  Geographic information systems are a powerful set of tools for storing, retrieving, transforming and displaying spatial data from the real world for a particular set of purposes.  In contrast, geographic information science is concerned with both the research on GIS and with GIS.    As Longley, notes (2001, vii) “GIS is fundamentally an applications-led technology, yet science underpins successful applications.”  This course wil

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