Certificate program in spatial analysis and "geographic-information systems" for undergraduates will begin this fall
April 24, 2008
DEARBORN / April 24, 2008---The University of Michigan-Dearborn will introduce a new undergraduate certificate program in spatial analysis and “geographic-information systems” this fall to train students who are interested in using GIS in planning and environmental positions at the municipal, state and federal level, as well as in graduate schools and consulting firms.
“The demand for students with experience in geographic-information systems to work in these areas has grown,” according to Jacob Napieralski, assistant professor of geology at UM-Dearborn and coordinator of the program.
“An increasing number of job descriptions in local government agencies and private businesses are being rewritten to require employees to use GIS in geography, urban planning, watershed planning and management, civil engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, environmental science, geoscience and related fields” he said. “And jobs that require GIS and remote-sensing expertise offer students competitive salaries. This program is designed for students who would like to acquire a proficiency in GIS and remote-sensing technology without sacrificing their concentration in another field of study.”
The program will target undergraduate students majoring in the natural and social sciences, although an increasing number of business, education and engineering students are getting involved, according to Napieralski, so the program will be multidisciplinary in scope, incorporating a wide variety of GIS technology and software applications.
“This certificate will be open to all majors on campus,” he said.
The certificate, which will comply with the standards set by the National Center for the Geographic Information and Analysis, will require students to have an overall GPA of 2.5 for admission to the program. A total of 16 credit hours are required to achieve the undergraduate certificate. Most students will be able to complete the program in two to three years, Napieralski said.
“As the program matures, our hope is that more faculty members throughout the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and the University will begin to incorporate GIS applications in both their coursework and scholarship,” he said.