Certificate of Achievement in GIS


Do you ever wonder how your Google Maps or Apple Maps on your smartphone work? These apps use geospatial technology to collect, store, analyze and display data.  Simply put, GIS allows you to visualize your data on a map.  Geospatial technology is an information technology field that uses a variety of tools to make maps to support decision-making for scientists, business analysts, and engineers.


This program is designed for students looking for a career or skills in geospatial technology.  Professionals in a variety of fields can benefit from this certificate to build on their current job skills and gain new expertise.  The certificate can also help supplement a degree in other study areas and provides students an edge for both continuing education and employment.

Watch this video from a current GIS student:


  • You will gain hands-on, practical knowledge.
  • You can earn the certificate by completing four courses in one year and it will only cost you $552 in tuition.
  • The Cuesta College GIS courses uses industry relevant software such as ESRI ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online and QGIS.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics show that GIS jobs and wages are growing faster than average.  Industry salaries for jobs with a strong GIS focus averaged $ 65,170/year.

Watch this "Cuesta College GIS Career Panel" video:


To complete the certificate, you must take three required courses and select one elective course for a total of 12 units.  

Required courses:

GEOL/GEOG 230 (formerly GEOL 225) Introduction to GIS (3 units) - (Course Outline of Record) no prerequisites

GEOL 231 (Course Outline of Record) Advanced GIS (3 units)   
prerequisite: GEOL 230 (or GEOL 225)

GEOL 232 (Course Outline of Record) Web Applications in GIS
prerequisite: GEOL 230 (or GEOL 225)

Elective Course (choose one):
GEOL 233 Date Acquisition and Management in GIS – (Course Outline of Record) prerequisite: GEOL 230 (or GEOL 225)

GEOL 234 Remote Sensing – (Course Outline of Record) prerequisite: GEOL 230 (or GEOL 225)


What our students are doing:

Attending ESRI User Conference in San Diego
Presenting at GIS conferences
Local paid internships - Current and future internship partners include Morro Coast Audubon Society (click here to see the Bird Finding Guide maps), Cuesta College (campus maps are being updated), City of Paso Robles, Caltrans, Earthworks, City of Arroyo Grande, SLOCOG (San Luis Obispo Council of Governments).

For more information about this program, contact Bret Clark.