Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the GIS Certificate? Please see some common questions below or reach out for more information:

How long does it take to complete the certificate program?

The certificate is designed to be completed within 12-16 months. The length of the program depends on when you start the program and which elective you choose. Classes are offered at least once per year, with some required classes offered twice per year.

Can I complete the courses at my own pace and on my own schedule?

Yes and no. This certificate is online and asynchronous, meaning that the lectures and course materials are pre-recorded and available for viewing anytime. However, assignments are generally due every week.

What GIS Software do you use in the courses?

We use several software packages for the GIS courses, including but not limited to: ArcGIS Pro, SketchUp, City Engine, and QGIS. All the GIS software used is free to students through the University of Florida campus site license with ESRI.

What kind of computer is recommended?

Esri software (ArcGIS Pro) is meant to be run on a Windows operating system. Most laptop or desktop computers will be powerful enough to perform the processing required for the class. For more information we recommend looking at the system requirements for ArcGIS Pro. Macs can run Esri software if Boot Camp or Parallels is installed. Another option if you have a Mac is using UF-Apps, but performance can vary based on time of day, your internet connection, and other factors.

I am currently an on-campus University of Florida student, why can’t I enroll in the certificate?

The GIS certificate program is currently only an off-book program (not funded by the State of Florida). On-campus students are not eligible to enroll in off-book courses/ programs.

What are the tuition and fees associated with this certificate program?

Classes are $675 per credit hour (including fees) and each class is 3 credit hours. The approximate total cost for the 12-credit certificate is $8,100. Additional expenses include a $30 application fee and required textbooks for each course.

Is the GIS certificate program covered under the State Agency Employee Tuition Fee Waiver or the Employee Education Program(EEP)?

No. The GIS Certificate is an off-book program that is not funded by the State. Hence, the courses are not covered for State Agency or State University Employees.

However, there is another online certificate program that is covered by EEP: UF School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Geospatial Analysis Certificate.

Can GI Bill Funds be used to cover the certificate tuition?

Yes. Please contact the Office of Student Veterans Affairs to file the appropriate paperwork.

Can Florida pre-paid be used for online programs?

Yes, you can use pre-paid for online programs. Please note, prepaid only pays at the undergraduate rate.

Is there a different tuition rate for in-state versus out-of-state residents?

No, the price of the online certificate is the same for all students regardless of location.

What are the potential financial aid opportunities?

The University of Florida only provides financial aid for degree seeking programs. This is a certificate program, so there is no financial aid available.

I’m a recent graduate of the Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning program, and I’ve already taken a few of these courses. Do I have to retake them?

Up to 6 credits of the following courses are eligible towards the certificate (students must have earned a B or better in the course):

  • URP6270 – Introduction to Planning Information Systems
  • URP6271 – Spatial Statistics/ Urban Spatial Analysis
  • URP6272 – Automation for Geospatial Modeling and Analysis
  • URP6905 – 3-D Geospatial Visualization and Modeling

Please note: URP6270 must be taken within 2 years of enrolling in the GIS certificate to count towards the certificate program.

Can I pursue an on-ground Master’s degree and GIS certificate at the same time?

No. Currently, only online students can pursue the GIS certificate. We are hoping to expand the certificate to on-ground students in the future.

Do credits earned in the GIS certificate count towards the Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning program?

Yes! All 12 credits earned in the GIS certificate program (with a grade of B or better) can be applied towards both the Online Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and the On-campus Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning.

Can I pursue an Online Master’s degree and GIS certificate at the same time?

Yes. The GIS Certificate credits can count as electives towards the Online Master’s degree. No additional credits (above the 52 required for the master’s degree) should be needed.

I am an Online Master’s student – how do I apply for the certificate program?

Go to the following website, complete steps 1 & 2, and notify Kyle Dost, Assistant Director (Online Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree Program) that you intend to complete the GIS certificate:

Please Note: Do not apply for the GIS certificate until you are at least half way through URP6270. If you did not fare well in 6270 and/or you do not enjoy the material, then chances are you will probably not enjoy the rest of the certificate courses.