UAF launches 12-week geographic information systems certificate

Filling a growing need for a workforce that can understand and interpret spatial data to reveal patterns and relationships, University of Alaska Fairbanks has created an online, 12-week professional certificate in geographic information systems as part of its edX partnership.

GIS is now used in virtually all industries to analyze data, make maps that reveal patterns and relationships, share insights, and solve complex problems of local to global significance. UAF’s new online professional certificate program makes GIS available to anyone with an internet connection.

Using the industry-leading ArcGIS Pro GIS software, courses provide a comprehensive introduction to state-of-the-art methods and modern applications of GIS. Students who complete the program qualify for entry-level GIS jobs and undergraduate programs in geospatial sciences. 

“We created this program to provide high-quality GIS education to learners around the world and to support universities, agencies and industries that need a GIS-proficient workforce,” said Santosh Panda, associate professor at UAF and lead developer of the GIS certificate. “It’s been very satisfying to hear from students around the world.”

Students can earn the certificate by completing three four-week classes. Students can enroll and progress through the online courses on their own schedule. Though the classes are available for free, earning the professional certificate requires completing graded assessments as part of the paid verified track, which costs $149 per course. Learners who purchase the certificate as a whole receive a 10% discount.

Since partnering with edX in August 2020, UAF has developed 11 courses for the platform and two professional certificate programs. More than 12,000 students from 135 countries have enrolled in UAF’s edX courses. 

More information about the GIS certificate is available at