Geographic Information Systems (Certificate)

  • Certificate

About this Program

Unlike one-size-fits-all programs, the geographic information systems certificate program is precisely focused on environmental biology. The program builds high-demand expertise in the use of computerized cartography and spatially referenced databases. In fact, most job postings in the field include GIS as an emphasis and even as a qualification requirement.

Program Overview

Tuition & Fees 
Funding Opportunities
Download Environmental Biology Brochure

Unravel Pressing Problems

GIS skills provide an increasingly critical visual bridge in communications between bioscience and policymakers, as well as nonprofits and stakeholders. Hood’s program equips students to support the decision-making and analysis entailed in urgent conservation efforts, natural resource management, climate change and more.

Master the Preeminent Software

Coursework begins with a core introduction to prevalent environmental issues. Students delve into the applications and informed use of GIS in resource conservation and insect, fresh water and invasive species ecology. Hands-on practice hones proficiency with ArcGIS, remote sensing imagery and other cutting-edge technology. Capacity-building experiences include capturing and managing multiple types of geographic data, assessing relationships, measuring change and modeling events.

Learn While You Work

The 18-credit program’s small, evening classes offer the advantage of individual attention and the flexibility to continue working by day. Beyond the campus, close ties with NASA/Goddard, Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources and more afford access to top minds in the profession.

Please note that graduate certificate programs are now eligible for loans.

Degrees Offered

  • Certificate

Related Graduate Programs

For students applying to the certificate in geographic information systems (GIS) program, please submit the following to the Graduate School:

  • One copy of official transcripts from each institution attended.
  • An essay (550 words or less) that includes background experience and future goals.

Applicants who have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0, must also submit the following:

Prerequisites for Admission
It is recommended that entering students have completed undergraduate course work in the following:

  • Biology (Two semesters, with lab)
  • Chemistry (Two semesters, with lab)
  • Mathematics (One semester)

Transfer credit policy for admitted students

Students may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from an external, accredited institution, or another Hood graduate program prior to the first semester of study in the current program. Please review the full graduate transfer credit policy in the College catalog.

Required Core Courses (9 credits)

ENV 501  Introduction to Environmental Biology  (3 credits)
ENV 502  Principles of Ecology (3 credits)
ENV 526G  Introduction to GIS Mapping (1 credit)
ENV 526H  Introduction to GIS Analysis (1 credit)
ENV 526I  Introduction to Remote Sensing (1 credit)

Electives (minimum of 9 credits):
Once students successfully complete ENV 526G and 526H and meet all the prerequisites for a given course, students will select an additional 9 credits of GIS electives. The elective courses will require a major GIS-related project or paper in order to receive certificate credit.

ENV 503 Pollution Biology (3 credits)
ENV 506 Environmental Microbiology (3 credits)
ENV 507 Natural Resource Management (3 credits)
ENV 509 Ecological Invasions and Biological Control (3 credits)
ENV 511  Conservation Biology (3 credits)
ENV 512  Insect Ecology (3 credits)
ENV 513 Marine Ecology (3 credits)
ENV 563  Freshwater Ecology (3 credits)
ENV 564 Environmental Toxicology (3 credits)
ENV 577 Climate Change (3 credits)

Program Contact

Eric Annis, Ph.D.

Program Director

(301) 696-3662
Nick Masucci

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission & Data Management

Office: 301-696-3601 Cell/WhatsApp: 240-651-4015

Our Faculty...

provides support and assistance in the development of new programs, serves as ambassadors for our program and identifies best practice standards.

All Faculty
Eric Annis

Eric Annis

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Program Director, Environmental Biology
Boulton photo_2020

April Boulton

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Dean of the Graduate School
Drew Ferrier

Drew Ferrier

  • Professor of Biology
  • Co-Chair, Department of Biology
  • Director, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies
  • Director, Sustainability Studies
Eric Kindahl

Eric Kindahl

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Program Director, Environmental Science & Policy
Soil Ecology

Graduate Program Focus | Methods in Soil Ecology

Graduate Program Focus | Methods in Soil Ecology Faculty Graduate School Graduate Student

"One of the things I love about soil science is that it is applicable on many scales. All of my students are now equipped to improve the health and fertility of the soil in their surroundings, whether that be through their work, research projects, internship experiences, or just in their own backyards."

  • Academics
  • Experiential Learning
  • Research
  • Natural Sciences
Christopher Burch

Graduate Student Spotlight | Christopher Burch

Christopher Burch, M.S. Environmental Biology Graduate School Graduate Student

"With most of the classes offered at night, and even some online, the Hood College program was perfect! It was flexible with my work schedule. It was close to home. It had all the courses I wanted to take, and best of all, the price was very affordable compared to any of the other schools I explored."

  • Academics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Awards