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GIS means creating intelligent and meaningful maps to answer the core geographic questions: What? Where? Why? A GIS integrates geospatial data, hardware, software, and geographic concepts to analyze and visualize geographic information. GIS is expanding beyond geography, planning, and environmental science and now extends into public health, social services, homeland security, law enforcement, business and marketing, communications and media, political science, and more.
GIS is a high-growth industry with excellent job and salary opportunities in a wide variety of fields. GIS skills are highly-marketable and a GIS Certificate from Westfield State University demonstrates to potential employers that you have attained a high level of GIS competence and experience.
Our GIS Certificate includes a 12-credit course series to account for the diversity of backgrounds, needs, and computer experience of the students. The target audience is non-traditional students, e.g. professionals from the private and public sectors, educators, local town government officials, etc., with and without an academic degree. The GIS Certificate is also available for 'regular' students wanting 'formal' GIS training without completing our GIS Minor.
The GIS Certificate is awarded through Graduate & Continuing Education; however, coursework may be taken during the day or evening offerings. Some coursework from other institutions may be accepted in transfer after review by the Certificate Director.
“It was a privilege to work with the supportive and knowledgeable faculty in the WSU Geography department. I appreciated that they always made time for me if I was having trouble with something. In fact, I still feel supported even several years later. I really feel like I became part of a community.”- Peter Vancini, 2014
“The Certificate gave me the recognition of my skills in the engineering profession and was useful to my company for marketing me as a GIS professional.”- Kristine Baker, 2010
“I use the skills from the program (and skills that I built on top of them) nearly every day. I currently work as the GIS administrator for a water utility, and the fundamentals of GIS are just as important as the more advanced skills I've picked up along the way.”- Jay Guarneri, 2011
“Currently I am utilizing the skills I learned in the GIS Certificate program at my job working as an Engineer Aide. I am using GIS to map things such as storm water drains and sewer man holes.”- Alexa Repko, 2017