Data Analysis - Mapping - Remote Sensing

Build high-demand skills and knowledge in a growing field with the entirely online certificate in geographic information science (GISc). The 15-credit certificate in GISc focuses on the diverse skillset employers are searching for, including spatial data visualization and analysis, remote sensing, cartography (map creation and design), and computer programming.

This program is designed for working professional seeking career advancements or career changes, and students interested in gaining new skills that can translate to several career fields.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll be prepared for employment in fields that require knowledge using industry standard methodology and software in:

  • Aerial photograph interpretation
  • Computer programming (Python)
  • Database management
  • Data visualization
  • Digital mapping
  • ESRI software (e.g. ArcGIS Pro)
  • Geospatial intelligence
  • Remote sensing data collection
  • Statistics and data analytics

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities requesting GISc skills have a nationwide projected growth rate between eight and 15 percent over the next 10 years (Source: Lightcast™ – These skills can transfer to several industries, such as business, logistics, social and environmental sciences, urban and landscape architecture, health care, law enforcement, technology, engineering, government agencies, journalism, and more.

Top occupations with projected growth include:

  • Geographer/GISc Specialist
  • Software Developer/Software Engineer
  • Computer Systems Engineer/Architect
  • Civil Engineer
  • Security or Defense Intelligence Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Business Management Analyst
  • Water and Wastewater Engineer

Course Requirements

The certificate in GISc is 15 credits, comprised of 12 credit hours of core courses and one elective.

Core Courses (12 credits)

  • GEOG 265 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • GEOG 433 Cartography and Visualization of Spatial Data (3 credits)
  • GEOG 436 Introduction to Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • GEOG 438 Advanced Geographic Information Systems Analysis (3 credits)

Choose one of the following (3 credits)

  • GEOG 434 Maps, Environment, and Society (3 credits)
  • GEOG 437 Advanced Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • GEOG 445 Geographic Information Systems Applications Design and Development (3 credits)
  • GEOG 448 Geographic Information Systems Design (3 credits)

View the course catalog for a complete list of course descriptions.

View Catalog


If this certificate sounds like the career direction you’d like to take, contact your advisor.

Apply Online

Whether you are transferring credits in from another university or have never taken college courses anytime or anywhere before now, we invite you to learn about Ball State's admission requirements and how to apply to this program. Admission requirements vary with how far along you are in your education.

Application Deadlines

This program has rolling admissions—which means you can apply any time. Your advisor will help you determine which semester you can start registering for courses.

Please plan to give staff from your previous schools at least 3-4 weeks to send official transcripts to Ball State. We will review them as soon as we receive all your application materials.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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