Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate

Why GIS?

Our GIS graduate certificate will give you the skills you need to launch a rewarding career in a growing and enjoyable field.

The certificate

This 20-unit certificate can be completed either online or on campus.

A sequence of five required courses provides intensive training in:

  • fundamental GIS principles
  • software operations
  • enterprise geodatabase development and manipulation
  • advanced spatial analysis skills
  • GIS programming

The certificate program is enhanced by our state-of-the-art GIS lab facilities. Distance students can enjoy cutting-edge software (ArcGIS software family) by logging in to our virtual labs.

Courses and certificate information

Check out the courses you will take.

Go to the NAU academic catalog for additional details on courses and certificate information. (In the Search Degrees box, enter "gis certificate".)

Apply now

To apply for the GIS graduate certificate:

  1. Write a one-page Statement of Interest to the department in which you explain: (a) Why do you want to pursue this certificate? (b) What are your educational goals?
  2. Complete the application form on the Graduate College website; include your Statement of Interest and a scanned copy of your previous college transcripts.
  3. Arrange for an official copy of your previous college transcripts to be submitted to the NAU Graduate College.
  4. Arrange for a reference to submit a letter through the NAU Graduate College website (information on doing this will be provided when you submit the application form).

NOTE: This program carries a $249 program fee ($199 for early applications) *, which is used to support the software and technology that is necessary to provide students with the most current skills in GIS. The fee is due one month after your first semester in the certificate program. 

*The GIS Certificate Program Fee is posted on your NAU account after the University's official 21 day student headcount, which is approximately three weeks after the start of classes. The university's state budget is set on this date, which determines the department's allocation of funds to offer classes and student services. The GIS Certificate Fee is used to support the GIS software and technology that is necessary to provide students with the most current skills in GIS. The fee is not refundable after the university's 21 day student headcount.


To receive the certificate, a student will need to submit a graduation application form to the department upon completion of the course work.  The form can be found on the Graduate College website at

More Questions?

Please see our FAQ for Graduate Certificate Applicants.