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Certificate in GIS

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Why GIS?

Geographic Information Science involve the theory and methodology of capturing, displaying, querying, analyzing, modifying and storing digital information about human, physical and environmental phenomena distributed on or near the Earth's surface. GIS is powerful because it brings together tools for working with geographic data in many different ways. For example, with GIS you can display spatial information in maps, charts, or tables; investigate patterns, relationships and details about places at different scales and in different map projects; or perform statistical analyses and database functions.

The application of GIS has extended to domains that range from physical to social sciences and from basic research to applied problem solving. For example, GIS is used to plan school bus routes based on student residences; study water consumption patterns in arid areas; design noise abatement buffer zones around airports; profile bank customers by branch office; research changing wildlife habitats; model hurricane evacuation scenarios; analyze patterns of toxic waste in soils; and document archaeological sites and findings.

The local and national job markets for GIS professionals are very strong and are expected to grow substantially in the foreseeable future. GIS professionals work in a variety of settings, including the private sector (for example, logistics and market analysis), public sector at the local, state and national levels, and in GIS software firms. The geography program at Texas State has been successful in placing undergraduate and graduate students in numerous employment areas that need skilled GIS professionals. Employers are seeking individuals with the skills and knowledge required to solve the increasingly complex problems facing today's businesses and government agencies. To meet these needs, Texas State Geography offers a certificate in GIS.

What skills does a GIS certificate provide?

The certificate in GIS provides the necessary skills to apply GIS effectively and competently in a variety of areas. It consists of 16 undergraduate credit hours of GIS course work(GEO 2426, Fundamentals of GIS; GEO 2427, Management and Implementation of GIS, OR GEO 3411, Map and Mapmaking, OR GEO 3416, Principles of Remote Sensing; GEO 3426, Advanced GIS I; GEO 4427, Advanced GIS II). Completion is possible within a single, 12-month year. With permission, some course work may be transferred from another institution.

What are the admission requirements for undergraduates with no degree?

Admission Requirements

Students with an undergraduate degree
 should contact the Texas State Graduate College at 512.245.2581 or visit their website.  You may also download a graduate application.  The cost of a complete graduate college master's application is $10 in U.S. currency along with a formal transcript of credits.  The department must approve the application before the student will be activated into the CATS registration system.  Once approved, the student can register through CATS, providing the prerequisites have been met.

The intent for the certificate program is to target students in a degree seeking status OR post baccalaureate.

Students with NO undergraduate degree should contact the Texas State Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 512.245.2364 or visit their website.
A. Special Student Options
(certificate-seeking student, non-degree status)

    Option I. Completed college work with 2.25 GPA or higher

  • undergraduate application: (Texas Common Application www.applytexas.org and select the non-degree special student option)
  • $40 U.S. currency fee.
  • undergraduate Admissions Special Student Form
  • cumulative GPA of 2.25 in previous university work
  • not on suspension, dismissal or enforced withdrawal at another institute of higher learning
  • not eligible for financial aid
  • application for special student status must be made prior to registration, and student must reapply each semester. Initial application fee is $40 and each subsequent reapplication fee is $10. Reapplication must be made prior to registration; thus, it is recommended that the student reapply early in the semester to take advantage of advance registration. Advance registration will provide better selection of class lecture and lab times. Enrollment as an undergraduate special student is limited to the GIS courses and cannot exceed 24 credit hours.
  • must clear Texas Success Initiative Program (TSIP) status. The Texas State TSIP office is located in ASBN 101; phone 512.245.3942, website 
    If you have not been a Texas State student,  your previous institution can provide your TSI record.
  • approval must be granted by the director of admissions and the Department of Geography. Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.

    Option II. Completed high school diploma or GED and have not been enrolled in any secondary or post-secondary coursework for the last three years.

  • undergraduate application: (Texas Common Application www.applytexas.org and select the non-degree special student option)
  • $40 U.S. currency fee
  • high school diploma or equivalent and not enrolled in any secondary or post-secondary institution for the last three years
  • not be suspension, dismissal or enforced withdrawal at another institution of higher learning
  • not eligible for financial aid
  • application for special student status must be made prior to registration, and student must reapply each semester. Initial application fee is $40, and   each subsequent reapplication fee is $10. Reapplication must be made prior to registration; thus it is recommended that the student reapply early in the semester to take advantage of advanced registration. Advanced registration will provide better selection of class lecture and lab times. Enrollment as an undergraduate special student is limited to the GIS courses and cannot exceed 24 hours.
  • must clear TSI status. The Texas State TSIP office is located in ASB 101; phone 512.245.3942, and website.  If you have not been a Texas State 
    student, your previous institution can provide your TSIP record.
  • approval must be granted by the Director of Admission and Department of Geography.  Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.

B.  Student with no prior college experience and completed high school less than three
     years ago (degree-seeking status)

  • required to meet general admission requirements (Texas State Undergraduate Catalog 2006-2008, page 18) and must go through 
     new-student orientation.
  • Texas Common Application: (www.applytexas.org) for Freshman Admission including one essay and information on extracurricular activities, $40 application fee and all credentials by the required deadline.
  • submit high school transcript with class rank and SAT or ACT
  • take the SAT I or ACT and have your test results sent directly to Texas State
  • complete the Texas Recommended High School Program
  • acceptance letter will be sent to the student. Once approved, the student will be activated in the CATS registration system and may register for courses.

Current Texas State students - non-geography major

  • provide name and student ID number to the academic advisor or call 512.245.0372
  • verify that prerequisite requirements have been completed.

 

What are the required courses for catalog 2011 - 2012 and earlier ?

For the GIS Certificate, students must complete the following four courses:

1. GEO 2426 - Fundamentals of GIS

This course introduces students to geographic information systems (GIS), which is a tool for integrating and analyzing spatial data to visualize relationships, seek explanations and develop solutions to pressing problems. Foundation and theory of GIS will be emphasized.

2. GEO 2427 - Management and Implementation of GIS

This course covers strategies for successful GIS management and implementation in an organization-wide context. The course is organized around four primary issues: implementation planning, data management, technology assessment and organizational setting. Prerequisite: GEO 2426 with a minimum grade of "C".

OR

GEO 3411- Map and Mapmaking

An introduction to reference and thematic map use and design. The course introduces basic cartographic mapping techniques for quantitative and qualitative data, teaches about geospatial analysis and interpretation, and enables students to design basic maps.
Prerequisite: MATH 1315 with a minimum grade of "C".

OR

 GEO 3416 - Principles of Remote Sensing

Introduction to the acquisition, mensuration, interpretation, and mapping of aerial photographs and satellite images for environmental monitoring and inventorying. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a minimum grade of "C".

3. GEO 3426 - Advanced Geographic Systems I

This course builds on the principles introduced in GEO 2426. It presents an in-depth examination of the technical aspects involved in spatial data handling, analysis, and modeling. Prerequisite: GEO 2426 with a minimum grade of "C".

4. GEO 4427 - Advanced Geographic Systems II

This course presents students with the opportunity to work as a team on a GIS project. Projects will be designed and conducted by the class. Students will develop and demonstrate competence in using GIS techniques in a substantive application. Prerequisite: GEO 3426 with a minimum grade of "C".

What are the required courses for catalog 2012 - 2014?

For the GIS Certificate, students must complete two required courses (GEO 2426 & GEO 3426) and three courses choosen from below:

GEO 2426 - Fundamentals of GIS


This course introduces students to geographic information systems (GIS), which is a tool for integrating and analyzing spatial data to visualize relationships, seek explanations and develop solutions to pressing problems. Foundation and theory of GIS will be emphasized.

AND

GEO 3426 - Advanced Geographic Systems I

This course builds on the principles introduced in GEO 2426. It presents an in-depth examination of the technical aspects involved in spatial data handling, analysis, and modeling. Prerequisite: GEO 2426 with a minimum grade of "C".


Three courses chosen from below to complete 19 – 20 hours required

GEO 3411- Map and Mapmaking

An introduction to reference and thematic map use and design. The course introduces basic cartographic mapping techniques for quantitative and qualitative data, teaches about geospatial analysis and interpretation, and enables students to design basic maps.
Prerequisite: MATH 1315 with a minimum grade of "C".

OR

GEO 3416 - Principles of Remote Sensing

Introduction to the acquisition, mensuration, interpretation, and mapping of aerial photographs and satellite images for environmental monitoring and inventorying. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a minimum grade of "C".

GEO 4324 - GPS and GIS

(2-2) Students will learn to plan and conduct fieldwork using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to differentially correct GPS data, and to build Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications using GPS technology. The course is project-based and involves working with external client(s). Prerequisite: “C” or higher in GEO 2426.

GEO 4411/5417 - Advanced Cartography Design

(2-4) This advanced course in cartography focuses on thematic map design. The objective is to produce a cartographic portfolio of well-designed, professional grade maps. Theoretical concepts and principles will be introduced using practical examples and written assignments. Prerequisite: GEO 3411 with a grade of “C” or higher.

GEO 4412/5415 - Digital Terrain Modeling

(3-2) Introduction to the digital image processing of satellite scenes including restoration, enhancement, classification, change detection, and mapping for environmental monitoring and inventorying. Prerequisite: GEO 3416 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher. (WI)

GEO 4422/5408 - Web Mapping

(2-4) The course introduces students to modern interactive and dynamic mapping and GIS techniques that allow internet-based cartographic representations of temporal and non-temporal geospatial objects and phenomena. Prerequisite: GEO 3411 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher.

GEO 4427/5418 - GIS Design and Implementation


This course presents students with the opportunity to work as a team on a GIS project. Projects will be designed and conducted by the class. Students will develop and demonstrate competence in using GIS techniques in a substantive application. Prerequisite: GEO 3426 with a minimum grade of "C".

What are the certificate requirements?

  •  no grade lower than a C in any of the required GIS courses
  •  minimum 2.5 overall GPA for the four required GIS courses
  • only two courses from other institutions can be given credit and must be   approved by the undergraduate advisor.
  • students will receive a GIS certificate, and the completion of the certificate will be noted on the transcript.

Whom do I contact?

Stella LoPachin
Administrative Assistant II
512.245.0372
sl15@txstate.edu

Dr. Richard Earl
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
512.245.3204
re02@txstate.edu

Dr. Phil Suckling
Department Chair
512.245.2170
ps33@txstate.edu