Earth, Atmospheric, and Geographic Information Sciences

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

Community Development and Planning

The Community Development and Planning certificate is designed to meet the needs of students desiring to work and influence rural and urban communities by integrating coursework in both planning and economic development. Specialized coursework in the certificate program focuses on issues related to planning and community development in rural and urban areas. The program culminates in a closely supervised internship experience (11 months) in the management of community development projects. In lieu of internship, students may customize their coursework with additional planning and/or community development courses.

Career Opportunities
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Economic development agencies
  • Regional planning agencies
  • Rural community development agencies
  • Land-use planning agencies
  • Environmental planning agencies
  • Transportation planning agencies
  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Law firms

GIS Analysis

The Department Earth, Atmospheric, and Geographic Information Sciences in conjunction with other departments, offers this interdisciplinary, skill-based program (Geographic Information Systems or GIS) designed to train students to become qualified GIS analysts in their specific specialty fields or disciplines. The certificate welcomes students who wish to become an expert in: How to use GIS to model scientifically his/her interested phenomena; How to use and manipulate GIS data and tools properly to provide best-available GIS solutions; How experts in his/her field solve space-related problems using GIS, and how to reproduce the existing GIS applications; How to design and implement a GIS project in his/her field to solve real-world problems with practical GIS data and analytical procedures; How to make good maps and how to produce GIS technical reports of professional quality.

Career Opportunities

In today’s multi-faceted fields, there are few jobs beyond the technician level that do not require a background in Geography Information Systems (GIS). For example, utility companies, insurance companies, transportation, tourism companies, airlines, health departments, economic development agencies, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all require their mid-level employees to be familiar with the use and application of GIS to their particular missions. Potential career opportunities include the following:

  • Resource development
  • Environmental consulting
  • Landscaping
  • Working in state and federal agencies
  • Urban planning
  • Industrial or urban facility and site development
  • Agricultural management
  • Crime mapping
  • Emergency management
  • Climatology
Distinctive Features
  • Students will be taught correct use of GIS over a broad range of real-world problems, including both environmental (including ecological) and socioeconomic applications, many of which share similar GIS principles, methods, and tools.
  • There is an emphasis on a modeling-oriented GIS approach to guide students through a three-step procedure of (1) understanding and conceptualizing the problem in GIS, (2) representing the problem in GIS, and (3) analyzing the problem using GIS techniques.
  • Students are trained to use GIS wisely based on a solid understanding of this science, including its principles, methodologies, tools, and limitations