GIS Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science at LSU is a 12 credit hour standalone certificate with courses offered in the Department of Geography and Anthropology, College of Art and Design, Department of Economics, School of the Coast and Environment, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Computer Science. 

LSU awards the certificate at a regular graduation ceremony with an official LSU diploma and is recorded in the graduate transcript. Certificates can be earned by regularly enrolled, degree-seeking students, as well as non-traditional, certificate-only students. Graduate certificates provide a shortened, condensed, and focused course of study that often draws expertise from multiple academic units.  Current Graduate students expecting to complete the requirements for the certificate must file an application for graduation with the Graduate School by the normal Application for Degree deadline of each semester or summer term. 

Graduate certificates must be completed within five years from entrance into a certificate program.  See the general catalog for more information on course time limits for graduate certificates.


  • Students must complete at least one method, theory, and applied topics course, for a combined total of 12 credit hours (though some courses may be listed under more than one category, they may only be used to fill one requirement). Elective courses allow students to choose a focus within the certificate.  For example, a returning professional with an interest in sustainability studies could take Environmental Economics and Policy and Design of Environmental Management Systems as electives.  Each department will offer at least one elective course per semester.
  • At least one-half of the minimum required coursework credit in the student’s certificate program must be in courses at or above the 7000-Level (6 hours).
  • Candidates for the certificate are required to submit one piece of work (class project, term paper, thesis, manuscript, etc.) that can show their abilities in mapping, GIS theories, and applications to the GIS Certificate advisor when submitting the Graduate Certificate Audit.  The Graduate Certificate Audit must be submitted to Dr. Lei Wang to approve as the Graduate Program Advisor.
  • At least one course must be from the field of Geography.

Course Breakdown

The course breakdown is as follows (3 credit hours for each):

Theory (3-6 hours)

  • ARCH 4041 Issues in Sustainability
  • ARCH 4700 Research Methods
  • DSM 4013 Disaster Anthropology
  • GEOG 4044 Computer Cartography
  • GEOG 4045 Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 4048 Methods of Spatial Analysis
  • ECON 4320 Environmental Economics
  • ECON 7320 Seminar in Environmental and Resource Economics*
  • ENVS 7050 Spatial Modeling and Environmental Data
  • LA 7075 GIS for Designers

Method (3-6 hours)

  • GEOG 4046 Web GIS
  • GEOG 4047 Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 4057 GIS Programming
  • GEOG 4048 Methods of Spatial Analysis
  • GEOG 4049 Geospatial Applications of Small Unoccupied Aircraft Systems
  • GEOG 7973 Advanced Geographic Information Systems*
  • LA 4201 Theory and Methods of Landscape Planning
  • LA 7102 Graduate Landscape Representation II*

Application (3-6 hours)

  • ARCH 4993 Advanced Computer Aided Architectural Graphics
  • CSC 4356 Interactive Computer Graphics*
  • CSC 7443 Scientific Information Visualization*
  • ENVS 4149 Design of Environmental Management System
  • ENVS 4900 Watershed Hydrology*
  • GEOG 4020 Aerial Photo Interpretation and Image Processing
  • GEOG 4043 Crime GIS
  • GEOG 4046 Web GIS
  • GEOG 4049 Geospatial Applications of Small Unoccupied Aircraft Systems
  • GEOG 7945 Socio-economic Applications of GIS*
  • GEOG 7975 Advanced Remote Sensing Seminar*
  • LA 7103 Advanced Digital Representation
  • LA 4504 Advanced Elective in Landscape Architecture
  • OCS 4410 Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis*

[*course requires a pre-requisite or instructor approval]

Who should consider applying?

  • Graduate students who already have or are pursuing a graduate degree in another discipline, but have a need to develop specific geospatial skills to apply to their primary discipline
  • Professionals whose responsibilities include spatial analysis, but have never had any training in this area
  • People considering a graduate degree in this area, but do not have the time to complete a full degree program
  • Entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use the power of geospatial technologies to benefit their endeavors
  • Professionals with experience in geospatial technologies that would like to refine their skills

Graduate Office

If you have any questions regarding coursework or particular aspects of the GIS Certificate program, please contact the Program Advisor, Dr. Lei Wang. If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at or by phone at 225-578-6792.