GIS (Geographic Information Systems)


Geographic Information system (GIS) technology involves the digital input, transformation, storage, analysis, and output of spatial information such as maps, global positioning systems (GPS) data, scanned aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and text/tabular data. The field of geographic information system technology is rapidly expanding. GIS technology is being applied to many areas outside of the professional field of geography.

Geography majors who want to obtain GIST certificates along with their degree will acquire GIS technical and problem solving skills that are applicable to the professional fields of civil engineering, geography, computer science, criminal justice, biology, environmental science, agriculture, geology, business marketing, archeology, anthropology, and other fields utilizing geographical data.

A secondary purpose of this certificate is to service post-baccalaureate geography students who need to acquire additional GIS skills.

This program has been running continuously since 1999. 

Check out American Sentinel University's eBook, "GIS Certificates: How They Can Work For You."


Our department offers a GIS certificate program. This certification can be completed by students enrolled in a CSU Chico baccalaureate program or by individuals who have already completed a baccalaureate.  This certificate can also be completed by individuals seeking GIS technology skills.


  • Map reading and aerial photographic interpretation emphasizing working with scale and coordinate systems.
  • The entry of spatial and attribute data using GPS units, raster scanners, digital tablets, keyboards, and other hardware devices.
  • The conversion of existing digital spatial and attribute data from different formats.
  • The transformation of digital spatial data into different coordinate systems and map projections.
  • Map production in manual and digital technology environments.
  • The classification of spatial data in a GIS environment.
  • Development of an approach for statistical problem solving.
  • The error analysis of GIS attribute data within a database.
  • The quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis of spatial and attribute information in a GIS database.



The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this certificate, and can also be found in our school catalog.

  • GEOG 211  - Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (3.0)FS
  • GEOG 311 - GIS Concepts and Techniques (3.0)SP
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 or equivalent
  • GEOG 313 - Introduction to Cartography (3.0) FA
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 or equivalent
  • GEOG 315 - Applied Statistical Methods in Geography (3.0)FA
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 and GEOG 219; and MATH 105 or equivalent
  • GEOG 318 - Remote Sensing of Environment (3.0)SP
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 and GEOG 315 or MATH 105 or equivalents
  • GEOG 411 - Geospatial Analysis and Modeling in GIS (3.0)SP
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 and GEOG 315. Recommended: GEOG 311 (may be taken concurrently)
  • GEOG 413 - Advanced Cartography and Geovisualization (3.0)SP
  • Prerequisites: GEOG 211 (may be taken concurrently) and GEOG 313