FAQs

Who is the GIS & Data Communication Professional Certificate designed for?

The GIS & Data Communication Professional Certificate is designed for non-degree students, such as professionals or UVM staff, who are new to GIS or want to advance their skillsets in geospatial technologies & research. Courses can be taken individually or part of the certificate.

How long does it take to complete the certificate?

The 4-course GIS & Data Communication Professional Certificate is designed to be completed within one year. Students may extend their timeline based on their individual academic needs and course availability for a maximum of up to two years to complete all requirements. Please email learn@uvm.edu to discuss your certificate pathway.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

What is the payment policy for this program?

Students may register by paying the full $1,600 program fee online via credit card or by calling us at 802-656-8407 to make a partial payment of $500. Should you make a partial payment, the remaining $1,100 must be paid in full no later than two weeks prior to the start of this offering. If payment is not received by then, you will automatically be dropped from the course the following business day. Refunds will be issued less a $25.00 cancellation fee.

Are payment plans available?

Payment plans are not currently available for this program. Tuition must be paid in full two weeks prior to beginning the program.

What is the refund policy for this program?

If you need to cancel your attendance, you must notify us via email at learn@uvm.edu or call us at (802) 656-2085  at least three business days prior to the start date of the course to receive a full refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type of refund.