Geographic Information Systems


Phone: 703-993-2109

Fax: 703-993-2121

The George Mason University non-credit Geographic Information Systems certificate program offers GIS classes in Virginia for working professionals to increase their technical knowledge of GIS and enhance their spatial thinking. Students entering our program come from a multitude of backgrounds and professions. Individual courses may be taken without pursuing the entire certificate, though in some cases prerequisites must be met. The required courses focus on exposing students to different facets of incorporating GIS to solve geospatial problems within their area of study. The program begins with an introduction to GIS applications and an introduction to a prominent GIS software package. Students then must complete the remaining four core courses, along with two electives to receive a final certificate.

The Geographic Information Systems Certificate requires the completion of eight total courses.

A concentration in Defense and Intelligence can be added to your certificate by completing the following two electives:

The GIS classes in Virginia are intense three consecutive day sessions offered at the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus (formerly Prince William) in Manassas. Each class is held in a state of the art lab with large individual student workstations. Companies/agencies interested in GIS training and workforce development can bring the program in-house or may host classes at our Science and Technology location. Contact George Mason Learning Solutions at 703-993-2109 or for details.

  • Eight courses (six core, two electives)
  • Any waived course must be approved prior to commencing the program and replaced with another elective.

The professional GIS certificate is awarded to those who complete the requirements for each of the eight courses. Please note: If you are taking the Geographic Information Systems program and have chosen the Defense and Intelligence concentration, your elective courses will be prescribed (GIS 0220 and GIS 0350). The GIS certificate must be completed within 36 months of the date the student begins the first class. The student must attend all sessions of each class for successful completion.

Certificate and non-certificate students are awarded 1 CEU (Continuing Education Unit) per ten hours of successful classroom participation in this program.
Courses taken elsewhere may be evaluated toward acceptance for a George Mason certificate. Students normally have an undergraduate degree and professional experience before entering the certificate program. Students working toward the certificate must take GIS 0100 and a software class (GIS 0110), unless waived. The software class must be taken prior to all classes except GIS 0100.

Students may request to waive GIS 0100 and/or GIS 0110, although most students benefit from taking these courses. Requests are to be arranged through the program office, and must be accomplished before taking any courses in the program. If either of these courses is waived, an elective must be taken in the place of each waived course. A total of eight courses must be taken in order to achieve the GIS certificate.
The instructors in the program come from government, private industry, and academia. They have extensive experience in working with spatial data and GIS. Each instructor brings a unique perspective to the program. The classes are kept small (18 is the maximum number) to allow the instructors to teach in a seminar environment.

Please click here for a list of our instructors.
"I completed the entire GIS Certificate Program over a calendar year, refreshed my theory, got up to speed on the latest software, and made connections along the way. A few months later, and I am using my IT Project Management and GIS skills at a GIS software company. This is a great program, with great people."
Bill Kane

"...classes covered a breadth of information, and I was surprised by just how much I learned in a relatively short period of time. And learning GIS in a lab setting with in-person instruction was invaluable."
Maggie Iskander

"The GIS Professional Certificate Program run by George Mason University’s OCPE is the real deal from top to bottom. Through the guidance of their helpful, articulate, and vastly knowledgeable professors I was transformed from a complete novice in ArcGIS to an intern at a reputable agency doing GIS work for the US military in about six months."
Daniel Marx

"I needed a high quality GIS curriculum and I needed the flexibility to pursue the classes on my schedule. Mason’s OCPE does it right!"
Karl Linderoth, Computer Networking Instructor, Bay College

"Mason's GIS program set me up for success by teaching the latest in GIS technology and how to apply it to my daily work..."
Robert J. Alberts, Imagery Analyst, Booz Allen Hamilton

"The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program provides professional training from Mason professors and professionals from the field. George Mason offers training in all aspects of GIS, and allows students to register for the whole program, or just a class. I would recommend this program for new GIS professionals, and seasoned GIS professionals who may need a refresher, or training on the newest ESRI software."
Courtney Erland, BAE Systems

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