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Students must complete 20 graduate credits, including 8 credits of core courses and 12 credits of courses selected from the list of electives.  All certificate program courses must be taken for a letter grade (A-F). The program prerequisite, GEOG 380 (Maps and Geographic Information), cannot be used toward the certificate requirements.

Students admitted Fall 2011 or later have up to 3 years to complete the Certificate program. Only courses taken within 3 years of the program completion date can be used to fulfill the program requirements. Students admitted prior to Fall 2011 can use courses from up to 7 years prior to the certificate award; however, the program must be completed by Summer 2014.

Required core courses (8 credits)*:


GEOG 588/USP 591 GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4 credits
GEOG 588L/591L Concurrent registration in GIS Lab sessions 0 credits
GEOG 592/USP 592 GIS II: Applications 4 credits
GEOG 592L/592L Concurrent registration in GIS II Lab sessions 0 credits

*USP 531 or G 524 may be substituted for GIS I.

You may request a waiver of these 2 courses from the program director on the basis of prior educational background under the following circumstances:

1) If you have taken the courses at the undergraduate level or taken them as part of an undergraduate program at PSU.

2) If GIS I and GIS II equivalent courses were taken at another institution you must submit syllabi from those courses as part of your waiver request.

Waivers are at the discretion of the program director. If the waiver is not approved you must take GIS I and GIS II. If the waiver is approved you must take additional credits from the following list to fulfill the required 8 credits of core curriculum:

GEOG 575 Digital Compilation and Database Design - 4 credits

GEOG 581 Digital Image Analysis I: Intro - 4 credits

GEOG 597 Spatial Quantitative Analysis - 4 credits

Electives (12 credits):

 G 525 Field GIS 4 credits
 GEOG 575  Digital Compilation and Database Design  4 credits
 GEOG 580  Remote Sensing and Image Analysis  4 credits
 GEOG 581 Digital Image Analysis I: Introduction  4 credits
 GEOG 582 Digital Image Analysis II: Advanced 4 credits
 GEOG 584 Cartographic Applications of GIS  4 credits
 GEOG 585 Map Design and Production  4 credits
 GEOG 589 Building a GIS Database with GPS 4 credits
 GEOG 590 GIS Programming  4 credits
 GEOG 593 Digital Terrain Analysis  4 credits
 GEOG 594 GIS for Water Resources 4 credits
 GEOG 595 Maps, Models, and GIS  4 credits
 GEOG 597 Spatial Quantitative Analysis  4 credits
 USP 543 Geographic Applications to Planning  4 credits
 USP 593 Public Participation GIS 3 credits
 Approved 510 courses see experimental courses below   


Transfer Credits

Transfer credit is defined as eligible graduate credit taken at other accredited institutions.  Two-thirds of the Graduate Certificate program requirements or 15 credits minimum, whichever is larger, must be taken at Portland State University.  Transfer credits must be letter-graded with a B or higher and eligible for use in master’s degree programs at PSU.  The Proposed Transfer Credit form (GO-11GC) must be used for approval of transfer credit.

Experimental 510 Courses

Due to the fast developments in geospatial technologies, some experimental courses can be used toward the Certificate with the approval of the Program Director. Please verify the eligibility with the instructor or Geography department before taking a 510 course to fulfill the Certificate requirements. Each student can have a maximum of one 510 course per program. The experimental course can only be used as a substitute for an elective, not a core course. Joint campus courses (JC 510) are considered transfer credits for which all transfer credit limitations apply.

Course Overlap between Degrees and Certificates

Graduate courses can be applied to a master’s (or a doctoral) degree and a graduate certificate. However, graduate courses cannot be applied to two different graduate certificates. See PSU Bulletin for more information about course overlap.