College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Geography and GIS > GIS Certificate > FAQ
DePaul operates on the quarter system (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer) and there are five courses required for the certificate. Therefore, if you take one class per quarter, it would take about a year and half to complete the program. However, many students choose to take two classes at a time and are able to finish in three or four quarters. We often offer introductory GIS courses (241 or 441) in the Summer quarter. See requirements.
If you are a full-time DePaul undergraduate student, there is no additional cost for the certificate program if you take the five courses in conjunction with your existing studies as electives or learning domain requirements. Otherwise, the tuition charged for the GIS Certificate is part-time, undergraduate tuition. The 2023-2024 undergraduate tuition is $758 per credit hour. Each certificate course is four credit hours and there are five courses. Therefore, the tuition will be $15,160. The 2023-2024 graduate tuition is $758 per credit hour. Each certificate course is four credit hours and there are four courses. Therefore, the tuition will be $12,128. In addition to tuition, there are fees and the cost of books. If you are a graduate student, you should check with your degree program about how to incorporate the GIS Certificate into your program of study. Some graduate programs may allow undergraduate GIS courses to be counted towards a graduate degree; others may not. Many graduate students who complete the 5-course GIS Certificate are in a master's in Public Service, Master of Public Health, master's in Psychology (e.g. Community Psychology) and master's in Sociology program.
GIS classes may be offered in-person in the Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses, online, or as a hybrid course. In Lincoln Park, GIS classes are generally held in the GIS Lab, Room 3135 of the 990 Building at Fullerton and Sheffield, or in SAC 224 (Quantitative Reasoning Lab). In the Loop, in-person GIS classes are generally held in the Daley Building, Room 1327. Courses may also be held remotely. Please reach out to the instructor or our GIS Coordinator, Cassie Follett (firstname.lastname@example.org), to make sure you have the necessary technology.
You can find GIS installed in the following computer labs in the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses:
Lincoln Park Campus
• 990 W Fullerton, Room 3135 (GEO GIS Lab)
• Richardson Library (all floors)
• Arts and Letters, Room 110
• Schmitt Academic Center, Room 224 (SAC GIS Lab)
• Daly 1327
• Loop Library (all floors)
Yes. GEO 241 GIS I has a prerequisite of LSP120 Mathematical and Technological Literacy I (MTL I) OR an equivalent college-level math course. For questions regarding the proficiency exam for testing out of LSP 120 please go to http://qrc.depaul.edu/ and click on ‘Placement.’ If you have already completed a BA/BS degree, the LSP 120 requirement will probably be waived. Contact LASAdvising@depaul.edu to confirm this wavier.
A student with an associate’s degree must apply to DePaul as an undergraduate, degree seeking student. Once accepted into DePaul as an undergraduate, you can enroll in the GIS Certificate.
You should enroll in either the GIS Undergraduate Certificate or the GIS Graduate Certificate as a non-degree student. Further application information can be found at DePaul's Non-Degree Admissions Page. If you have additional questions regarding undergraduate or graduate non-degree seeking student admissions process please contact LASAdvising@depaul.edu.
A student from another university, who wishes to enroll in GIS Certificate courses at DePaul, must be in good academic standing at that university and should enroll as a student-at-large at DePaul.
International students who are seeking admission to the program must apply through the Office of International Admission at DePaul.
You cannot enroll in any DePaul courses until you have been admitted as a student to DePaul University. Once you have been admitted and have a DePaul ID number, you can enroll in GIS courses through Campus Connection. The deadline for enrolling in any GIS Certificate course is the ‘Add Classes’ deadline for all DePaul courses. This is typically one week after the start of the academic quarter.
This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As the Certificate requires only five courses, it is department policy to only allow a maximum of one previously completed non-DePaul GIS course to be counted toward the certificate.
Students interested in completing the GIS Certificate who are not currently enrolled at DePaul University need to apply to DePaul online as an undergraduate, non-degree seeking student (even if you have already earned an undergraduate or advanced degree). Please indicate that you are interested in pursuing the GIS Certificate Program. For more information, please contact the department at 773-325-7669. Also please visit the main DePaul Admission website.
If you are an undergraduate student, you need to declare the program on the Major Declaration Form. Indicate in the “Minor 1” field that you want to declare the “GIS Certificate Program.” If you are a Geography major and the system will not let you declare your GIS Certificate in this way, send an email with your name, DePaul ID number and a statement that you wish to add the GIS Certificate to LASAdvising@depaul.edu.
If you are a current DePaul student but are a graduate student, then you must apply to the university separately as a “non-degree seeking undergraduate” and declare the GIS Certificate Program in that application. In some cases, arrangements can be made with the department in which you are completing your graduate degree for a GIS course to count towards that degree. If you are a current DePaul student and wish to enroll in the GIS Certificate, for additional information please contact LASAdvising@depaul.edu
The DePaul Geography Department's GIS certificate was created as a coherent set of courses in 1997 in response to a general demand for credentials in geotechnology, before there were any formal certification standards in GIS. These standards have been developing over the last 10 years or so - mainly through the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) which was formed by URISA, the AAG and the ACSM in 2001 to develop standards for GIS certification and to create a post baccalaureate certification process. You can find more about this at gisci.org.
Bottom Line: The education that you get either through pursuing a BA in Geography at DePaul or the GIS certificate alone (when combined with an allied major) is a great start to pursuing a formal professional certification from GISCI.
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) is the main professional organization of land surveyors and has become a growing resource for GIS professionals. They have an education section linked from their website that has a listing of colleges and universities offering training for certification as a land surveyor (this depends on the state you are working in typically).
Recent graduates of the Department of Geography’s Certificate Program work for the U.S. Government (NSA, EPA, National Imaging and Mapping Agency, Department of Labor, Bureau of the Census), engineering and environmental consulting firms, cartographic production firms (Rand McNally, Mappix, Nystrom), and state and local government agencies such as the Illinois Department for Natural Resources or the City of Chicago. Many students also find employment in the burgeoning non-profit sector.