The Department of Geography (GEOG) and the Department of Computer Science (CSCI) are offering a joint undergraduate certificate in GIS and computational science. The program draws upon faculty expertise in both departments, providing interdisciplinary training in spatial data analysis and computation, both of which characterize GIS in most career paths. 

Geographic Information Scientists (GIScientists) have an ongoing concern with the collection, analysis and display of high precision spatial data. Computational geospatial skills are in high demand on campus and in local, regional and national job markets such as government employment, industry or consulting careers, and graduate school.

The certificate is available for all majors to apply to and may be of particular interest for students in other earth science disciplines and social science disciplines.

Non-matriculated students may enroll at CU through Continuing Education and once admitted, may apply for the certificate.



Visit the GIS and Computational Science Certificate website for application and admissions details.


Two prerequisites are required for admission into the certificate program (7–8 credits; alternatively, some prerequisites can be met by completing AP coursework in high school or by completing an equivalent course that transfers from another college).

GEOG 3023Statistics and Geographic Data (or equivalent course w/spatial statistics focus)4
CSCI 1200Introduction to Computational Thinking3-4
or CSCI 1300 Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
or INFO 1201 Computational Reasoning
or INFO 1701 Programming for Information Science 1

Required Courses and Credits

The certificate requires 18–20 hours of coursework, including required courses and electives (but excluding prerequisites). Courses required for this certificate are offered each semester, and geography electives are typically offered at least once per year. Required courses and electives must be taken at CU Boulder.

Students who fulfill the introductory statistics requirement through AP coursework in high school are eligible to take an additional elective. Students undertaking the certificate as well as a GEOG minor can count no more than 9 credits from the GIS GEOG courses listed below toward the GEOG minor requirements. 

Students must earn a C- or better in all coursework in the certificate and may not take certificate courses Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U).

Required Courses
Three (3) core courses are required:11-12
Geographic Information Science: Spatial Analytics (prereqs GEOG 3023 and 3053)
Programming for Information Science 2
Computer Science 2: Data Structures
Geographic Information Science: Mapping (may be concurrent with GEOG 3023) 1
GIS in the Social and Natural Sciences
Choose two or more GIS electives to fulfill 18-20 credit hours, note only one remote sensing-focused course may count towards the GIS certificate:6-7
Advanced Geovisualization and Web Mapping
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Geographic Information Science: Spatial Modeling
Geographic Information Science: Spatial Programming
Geographic Information Science: Space Time Analytics
Geographic Information Science: Project Management
GIS for Geologists
One or two upper-division GIS-based courses in another A&S department (syllabi to be approved beforehand by the certificate oversight faculty committee) (2-4 credits apiece)
On occasion, a GIS-based Special Topics class in GEOG or a cognate unit will be considered for inclusion as an elective. Syllabi for any special topics electives must be approved by the certificate oversight faculty committee before a student enrolls in the class.
Total Credit Hours18-20