Online Graduate GIS Degree Programs with Course Information

Online graduate courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) instruct students in the use of computer technology to manage and illustrate location-specific data. These courses are commonly available through post baccalaureate certificate and master's degree programs, many of which can be found fully online.

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Online Graduate Courses in GIS

Here are some common GIS courses offered through online degree and certificate programs.

  • Principles of GIS Course: This introductory course covers the fundamentals and foundations of Geographic Information Systems. Students experience how GIS is utilized for problem-solving, and different kinds of GIS software usage is introduced. Topics discussed include cartography, geo-referencing and database design.
  • Remote Sensing Systems and Applications Course: Remote sensing systems are used to further students' grasp of Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere. Students learn to work with remote sensing systems, such as satellites, to become familiar with information-gathering techniques and analysis. These remote sensing systems can be used to detect natural resources, environmental pollution and potential disasters.
  • Spatial Analysis Course: The principles of statistics are used for spatial problem-solving in this type of course. The course employs examples of problems found in many different types of industry, like business, security and public health. Major topics include spatial sampling and regression analysis applied to spatial data.
  • Advanced GIS Modeling Course: Students apply GIS principles toward solving specific problems found in various fields. They learn about current research in the field and apply advanced software tools to create solutions; the effective use of software is a key concern of the course. This type of course may culminate in a GIS project for presentation.
  • GIS Project Management Course: In this advanced course, students focus on all areas of concern in project development and implementation, including technical, legal and ethical challenges. Organizational management issues like planning, staffing and budgeting are also discussed. Students also learn to design and utilize geospatial databases.
  • GIS for Emergency Management Course: Students in this course learn how to employ GIS technologies to help emergency management agencies respond to natural disasters. Emphasis is placed on web-based GIS maps that can be used in the field to mitigate the damaging effects of various emergencies. Students examine how to use these maps in logistics, command operations and management of public information.
  • Web Mapping Course: This course covers the platforms that are used to deliver web GIS and other geographic information online. Students learn how the platforms are designed and created, as well as how they can be used for editing, geoprocessing, geocoding and image evaluation.
  • Python Scripting for GIS Course: In this course, students learn how the Python programming language can be used for application creation and workflow automation in the GIS field. In particular, students are familiarized with the ArcPy modules and third-party modules that are relevant to GIS.

Program Information

Online Master of Geographic Information Systems degrees are available at various universities, both in fully online and hybrid format. Students can also take a subset of GIS graduate certificate courses geared toward achieving certification through the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI). Students taking these courses online may need to purchase specific software, such as Spacial Analyst, 3-D Analyst and Network Analyst. Some camera equipment is also required for specific courses.

Individuals who want to pursue graduate-level studies can find both master's degree and graduate certificate programs that offer advanced training in a wide range of GIS-related subjects.

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