Volga river from Landsat satellite. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. Adobe Stock image.

Embedded Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Start Something New in GIS! 
Use technology to solve a wide range of real-world issues
Learn from international leaders

Enhance your undergraduate degree

Employers need grads with geographic information and analytics skills

Get the chance to work in the private or public sector or in social enterprise.

What is Geographic Information Science?

Application of science and information technologies related to:

Gathering, studying, displaying, and understanding geospatial data.

UCalgary Geography has been an international leader in GIS research and education for more than 20 years

Our areas of emphasis include

  • remote sensing: imaging Earth’s surface to gather information
  • geographic information systems: computer systems for storing, analyzing, and visualizing spatial information
  • geospatial modeling: analytical techniques for extracting information from spatial information that improves and informs decision making 
An illustration that graphically depicts aspects of geographic information science. Adobe Stock image.

An embedded certificate in GIS will tell employers that you can use technology to solve a wide range of real-world issues.

Spatial data is fundamental

We'll train you to apply geographic information technologies and GIS principles to obtain, analyze, visualize, and interpret spatial data.

We also emphasize the development of strong analytical and problem-solving skills. 

GIS skills and knowledge


  • Remote sensing
  • Cartography/geovisualization
  • Spatial analytics

Core skills and knowledge

Areas include: 

  • mapping/visualizing geographic phenomena
  • statistical approaches to geospatial modeling
  • extraction/interpretation of geographic information from spatial data for informed decision making

Skills for the labour market

  • GIS and technology skills are in high demand
  • For business, social enterprise, natural science, engineering, medical science or social science
  • Combine your disciplinary training with geospatial technology and boost your job prospects

Gain a competitive edge

Why take an embedded certificate in GIS? Show employers that you can apply technological solutions to solve their real-world problems. 

What will you learn?

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Recognize the fundamental properties of spatial features and geographic phenomena. Identify appropriate geographic representations. 
  2. Exercise critical spatial thinking when confronted with spatial problems. Determine the influence of location, direction, distance, and adjacency.
  3. Develop a breadth of knowledge about geospatial software applications. Visualize, analyze, and interpret geographic data.
  4. Show basic skill using industry-standard geospatial software. Learn technologies like GIS, remote sensing, spatial/statistical modeling, digital cartography, and geovisualization.
  5. Think critically about the impacts of geospatial technologies on individuals and society. Including the ethical use and management of spatial data and geospatial analytics.
  6. Develop and design effective digital mapping products. Communicate powerful spatial information in maps and graphics.

Talk to a program advisor about adding the certificate to your degree today!

Experiential learning and portfolio development

All courses in this embedded certificate program integrate hands-on experience:

  • computer lab exercises with industry-standard software
  • student-led term project work
  • practical experience working with real-world spatial data or data acquisition instruments (e.g., GPS or survey instruments). 

In lab sessions, you'll use what you've learned in class to work on projects in small groups.

Build a digital portfolio

Bright graphical pattern representing the Faculty of Arts.

Start something innovative with a certificate in GIS

You'll have the option to integrate what you've learned and accomplished into a digital portfolio, including:

  • software proficiencies
  • online course certifications
  • geographic datasets
  • software tools
  • geospatial projects
  • web-based mapping products

Display your wide-ranging achievements, prove your in-depth knowledge of GIS, your mastery of technological tools and your ability to solve problems using geospatial analytics.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to the embedded certificate in GIS, you must:

  • be in good academic standing and enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at UCalgary
  • have completed a total of 60 units of undergraduate coursework before you start
  • have completed Geography 380: Geospatial Communication with a grade of C- or higher

Program requirements

To earn the embedded certificate in Geographic Information Science, you will successfully complete 18 units of coursework.

Core course: 12 units

Elective courses: 6 units

  • Geography 480
  • Geography 482 or Geomatics Engineering 351
  • Geography 484 or Geomatics Engineering 435
  • Geography 485

Complete 6 units from the following:

  • Geography 567 or Computer Science 219 or Computer Science 233
  • Geography 582
  • Geography 584 
  • Geography 585 or Geomatics Engineering 563 or Statistics 431 or Ecology 425
  • Geography 586 or Geomatics Engineering 551
  • Geography 587
  • Geography 588

As easy as 1,2,3

Start something innovative in your education and career with the embedded certificate in GIS at the University of Calgary. Follow these steps to enroll in the certificate.

Talk to an advisor

See if the certificate is right for you. Work out a roadmap to finishing your degree and certificate successfully.

Book an appointment

Declare the certificate

Add the program to your student centre: Under the “Admissions” header, select “Change of Program” and complete the online application to add the embedded certificate to your degree.


For more information about the embedded certificate or the Department of Geography, contact the Academic Program Specialist.