Geographic Information Systems Certificate
The Department of Geology and Planetary Science offers a certificate in geographic information systems (GIS). GIS is a computer-based system that accommodates virtually any type of information about features that are referenced by geographical location. For example, a GIS database may include both location and attribute data, providing a spatial visualization capability for analyzing descriptive characteristics about geographical features, both natural and man-made. One of the most important benefits of GIS analysis is the ability to spatially interrelate multiple types of information stemming from a range of sources. Such computational manipulation of geographic data has become increasingly important in many areas of science, government, and industry. Students who demonstrate experience with computers in general, and GIS/image processing in particular, are at a distinct advantage when looking for jobs in geology, environmental science, city and regional planning, and engineering. This cerificate is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for immediate success in GIS-related jobs.
Only University of Pittsburgh undergraduates pursuing a degree are eligible to enroll in this Certificate Programs. 16 total credits will be required to complete this certificate program; approximately four terms (two academic years). It is therefore suggested that undergraduates begin no later than their junior year. A grade of C or better is required in all courses for successful completion of the certificate. GIS topics covered include the nature of geographic data, map projections, raster images, the basic elements of a GIS database, sources of data, and training in the Arc/Info software package. Students also have the option of focusing on remote sensing theory and applications. RS topics include image analysis and processing, field validation of satellite and airborne datasets, GPS training, and the use of software packages such as ENVI, Erdas Imagine, ERMapper, and Trimble's Pathfinder Office.
Students must declare their intent to complete the GIS Certificate by filling out the appropriate form in the Arts and Sciences Advising Center (201 Thackeray) or Student Records (140 Thackeray).
Core Courses (6 credits)
Elective Courses (6 credits)
Two elective courses may be chosen which have special relevance to the student's major or employment goals. Appropriate courses will be available from many different departments. Courses not on the following list may be selected contingent on approval by the certificate advisor.
Other courses may be appropriate if they contain GIS or remote sensing components. To get these courses approved for your GIS Certificate, contact Dr. Harbert for courses involving GIS and Dr. Ramsey for courses involving remote sensing.
GEOL 1901 Independent Study (4 credits)
Students must demonstrate proficiency in the application of the techniques by completing a project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Sufficient work must be performed to earn four independent study or directed research credits. Faculty from any department may serve as the advisor, but students are encouraged to work with faculty in their primary area of interest. Projects must use GIS and/or RS as a major tool, and result in a published report/map/CD-ROM that describes the results of the research.
A copy of your project should be turned in to your faculty advisor and either Dr. Harbert (mainly GIS) or Dr. Ramsey (mainly remote sensing). Click here for further guidelines and a list of items you should hand in.
Department of Geology & Planetary Science
University of Pittsburgh
4107 O'Hara Street
SRCC, Room 200
Pittsburgh PA 15260-3332