FAQs

What kind of computer do I need?

Students will utilize UVM’s Virtual Desktop Interface to access ESRI’s ArcGIS software licensed by the university. They will need access to a laptop or desktop computer and the internet. Due to the visual nature of this field, a monitor of 13” or larger is recommended.
Students with their own computer have the option to install ArcGIS if they are running Windows and have enough RAM (recommend 16 GB). The complete system requirements and recommendations can be found here.

Students without a computer capable of running ArcGIS can use our Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI).

How do you ensure quality of instruction?

Instructors are selected based on their knowledge of the subject area and skills in teaching. Course evaluations are used to make improvements and provide feedback. The certificate, courses and instructors are periodically assessed relative to the course learning objectives and outcomes.

How much prior experience do I need?

If you are new to GIS (or ArcGIS Pro), you will enroll in Introduction to GIS. This course assumes no prior background with GIS (or ArcGIS Pro). For professionals with GIS (and ArcGIS Pro) experience, see the next question.

Do I enroll in Introduction to GIS or Advanced GIS?

Participants should self-select into Introduction or Advanced GIS based on their experience and skills.

Professionals returning to upgrade their skills from an earlier software version may appreciate starting from the beginning with Introduction to GIS. All GIS courses use ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro.

Enrollment in Advanced GIS assumes you have taken Introduction to GIS or its equivalent and are comfortable learning with ArcGIS Pro. You should be comfortable with concepts such as raster and vector data types, projections and coordinate systems, and basic concepts of cartography. You should be familiar with tools such as spatial analyst and raster calculator.

See course descriptions for more details on the content of these courses.

Are materials included? If yes, will they be housed on the online site?

Course materials will be delivered online. Intro to GIS has one required textbook:  Paul Bolstad’s GIS Fundamentals, 6th ed. (ISBN 978-1-59399-552-2). This book is also helpful for the Advanced GIS course, and will be referred to frequently.

What types of assignments will we be asked to complete?

Course work consists of materials including readings and videos and assignments including comprehension self-quizzes, written or video reports, maps, and computer software exercises.

What is the time commitment per week?

Each course is roughly equivalent to a 3- credit college course, taking 10-12 hours per week.

Is this a graduate level program?

The program is appropriate for graduate level learners but requires no prior experience.

How do the Certificate courses relate to typical college credits?

The courses are designed to be the equivalent of a 3-credit course experience at the level of a 2xx-3xx course at UVM (advanced Bachelors students or Masters/PhD students).

Is there technical support?

Instructors have vast experience with the tools they teach. In the cases of specific technical issues, we have assistance from the GIS software manager and technical support at UVM.

Is any part of the instruction synchronous with a group?

All courses are asynchronous. Instructors or student groups may coordinate occasional live meet-ups or special guests however the primary modality is asynchronous.