This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems emphasizes the core functions and applications of GIS. It provides specialized training in the operations and techniques related to the creation, analysis, modeling, visualization, interpretation and management of geographic information.

The certificate program is designed to meet the educational needs of both traditional and nontraditional students. The GIS program prepares traditional students to utilize GIS in their major areas of study. Nontraditional students can also take advantage of the certificate program to learn and/or upgrade GIS knowledge and skills that are applicable and important to their professions.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Understand the fundamental principles and concepts upon which GIS technology is based 

  2. Understand typical sources of GIS data, including federal, state and local governments, as well as nonprofit and private sources

  3. Utilize various data structures for storing geographic information in GIS database creation and management

  4. Apply appropriate GIS techniques in spatial analyses and problem-solving 

  5. Design maps and other GIS outputs that communicate effectively

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.