Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS Summer Academy)

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS Summer Academy)

Classroom Program


6 weeks


18 Units

UCR Extension

2017 Program Dates: June 26 - August 4

In just six weeks, you can earn a Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. Today, GIS includes the web, crowd-sourcing, social media and web services, which opens up powerful streams for sharing information. This project-based curriculum combines lecture and practical lab work (with real-world data) using the ArcGIS software platform and desktop software, including Web GIS, Online Cloud GIS, Mobile GIS and Apps, ArcGIS Pro, geospatial and spatial analysis tools, web mapping, and JavaScript. You will actively learn, practice and apply critical GIS skills to understand the various projects assigned throughout the program, culminating with a final project and presentation. The program includes filed visits to the Esri User Conference in San Diego, the UCR Map Gallery, and the Esri headquarters in Redlands. Several workshops including ArcGIS Pro and Python Scripting are also included.

Information Session: April 27, 2017

What You'll Learn

  • State-of-the-art technologies and software using the ArcGIS platform: ArcGIS Desktop, Mobile apps, Online Cloud GIS, Web App Builder and web app templates, ArcGIS Enterprise.
  • How to manage a GIS data structure and design and create and use data from various sources.
  • Analyzing tools and methodologies.
  • Visualization using cartographic design and web services.
  • Practical implementation of GIS in an organization/business and project development.

What You Can Do

Positions are available in small companies, corporations, government, or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • GIS Technician
  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Coordinator or Manager
  • GIS Developer

Who Should Attend

Individuals who:

  • Wish to start a GIS career or apply GIS in their current profession.
  • Wish to sharpen GIS skills and obtain a certificate.


What You Should Know

Program Cost

  • Regular Rate: $5,295
  • Early Bird Rate: $4,995 (if paid on or before June 1).
  • International Student Rate: $6,150 (see IEP website for more information).
  • Pay a $500 deposit to reserve your spot.
  • Deposit is nonrefundable after June 1.
  • Balance is due on or before June 15.

What's Included

Students are provided with all course materials, texts, parking, and a luncheon.

Field Trips (incl. transportation):

  • Esri User Conference in San Diego.
  • UCR Map Gallery.
  • Esri headquarters in Redlands.

Specialized workshops:

  • Python Scripting
  • ArcGIS Pro
  • GIS Career Workshop


  • An ArcGIS 10.5 student license (provided upon arrival).
  • An external hard drive with pre-installed data sets, software and other resources.

Suggested Equipment

A laptop is not required, but if you bring your own, it must have minimum system requirements requirements to run the ArcGIS software.


Accommodation is not included in the program fee. For housing at the International Village, please visit here, but there are hotels near UCR Extension.

Download the GIS Academy Schedule

Also of Interest

Twelve-month GIS Certificate Program

Contact Info

Jennifer Campbell
(951) 827-5804

Program Overview


18 Units

“The program opened my eyes to the varied world of GIS applications and processes. The skills I acquired have enabled me to apply GIS within my profession in a more in-depth and meaningful way. I am now my firm's lead GIS specialist.”

Andrew Garrison

Senior Researcher and GIS Specialist
Scientific Resource Surveys, Inc.
Aliso Viejo, CA

Earning the Certificate

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Summer Academy

Practical Approaches for Implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

ERT X450

3 units

Overview of the history, fundamentals, and techniques of the GIS industry and the basic implementation issues for business and governmental entities.  Main topics include:

  • GIS strategy in needs assessments
  • business processes,
  • application development
  • database specifications
  • project definitions

GIS software will be used hands-on to demonstrate practical solutions to real-world problems.

Cartographic Design

ERT X104

3 units

One of the first things requested after an analysis is made with a geographic information system (GIS) is a map. This course is an in-depth study of cartographic techniques and methods employed in the creation of maps. Map design and content, design procedures, and production techniques are discussed. The course involves students in:

  • color selection
  • the use of text with maps
  • the creation of a "visual hierarchy" to assist the map reader getting the best out of the map

Thematic and general mapping with the use of GIS data are explored. Cartographic design strategies for both printed maps and web maps are discussed.

GIS Applications Lab

ERT X453.4

3 units

This course explores the tools in ArcGIS to develop and implement GIS projects from conception to finished product. Topics include:

  • database creation
  • data analysis
  • geodatabase concepts
  • spatial analysis concepts

Databases from local agencies are integrated into the course for analysis and to provide hands-on practice with real-world applications.

GIS Database Design

ERT X454.5

3 units

The goals and industry tools available for planning and implementing each phase. Physical design is emphasized using the ESRI Geodatabase. Geodatabase architecture is discussed and a variety of geodatabase behaviors, such as:

  • Domains
  • Subtypes
  • Annotation
  • Topology
  • Relationship

Principles of Web GIS Applications

ERT X453.61

3 units

Web GIS is a promising field with great applicability to government, business, and our daily life. This course teaches you the state-of-the-art Web GIS technologies, including:

  • ArcGIS Online
  • Cloud GIS
  • ArcGIS Enterprise (Portal and Server)
  • smart mapping
  • story maps
  • web app templates
  • Web AppBuilder
  • Operations Dashboard
  • online analysis
  • ArcGIS API for JavaScript
  • Collector
  • other mobile GIS apps
  • 3D web scenes

Drones, real-time GIS, internet of things, and big data technologies will also be discussed in the context of Web GIS.

Essential GIS Skills

ERT X454.65

3 units

This course introduces both the “how” and “why” of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Using hands-on exercises, you will receive step-by step instructions to accomplish a wide range of real-world tasks such as making maps, and creating and editing data from various sources. The course combines an understanding of basic GIS concepts with practical skills using the ArcGIS platform, specifically:

  • WebGIS
  • Online GIS
  • ArcGIS Pro
  • spatial analysis
  • geoprocessing tools
  • Mobile GIS
  • Apps

Software and tutorials provided.

“I am a senior developer at Esri, the world leader in GIS. I have authored "Getting to Know Web GIS" and "Web GIS: Principles and Applications." Web GIS is an exciting and promising career field. Join me in the GIS Summer Academy, and seize the opportunity!”

Dr. Pinde Fu

Senior GIS Application Developer and Project Lead
Redlands, CA

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