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Geographic Information Systems

About the Program

The discipline of Geography studies the spatial relationships that make every place on earth unique.  This includes both the physical characteristics and cultural traditions, along with the economic and governmental structures that make each place distinct.   Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial technology are among the fastest growing fields according to the US Department of Labor. A certificate in GIS provides the student with the proficiency necessary to apply spatial thinking to analyze social and physical sciences information, helping to build better and more sustainable connections between humans and the environment. 

GIS careers can be standalone and are also found in nearly every field of discipline, from law enforcement to health care and from environmental sciences to business and marketing. Having a working knowledge of GIS, whether a single course or a certificate, will make your resume stand out from the competition. GIS coursework develops critical skills such as organizational and communicational competency, identification and solving of problems, analysis and interpretation, and a high level of computer expertise.   A GIS certificate provides a catalyst for a wide range of fields, including business and marketing, local and regional planning, environmental sciences, law enforcement, conservation, and all levels of government.  For further information, visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists at or, the American Association of Geographers at

Program Requirements

Program Code: GIS.CC

Type: Local

General Education: None

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Create GIS datasets for use in maps, tables, and graphs.

  • Create, edit, and manipulate data, stored in proper format and with appropriate metadata.

  • Perform applicable and relevant analyses of GIS datasets.

  • Produce professional presentation of GIS results and provide results over a wide range of platforms.

  • Properly prepare students for ESRI Desktop GIS Certification exam.

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Required courses:
7 Units


Cynthia Bynoe, Chair
(530) 879-4136

Department Office: LRC 304
(530) 895-2471

Counseling and Advising:
(530) 895-2378

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