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Department of Geography

  • UofSC student examining an aerial image on a computer screen

Geospatial Intelligence Certificate

As part of its mission to promote geospatial intelligence tradecraft, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) sponsors a certificate program in Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT). The University of South Carolina is one of nineteen universities certified to participate in this program. 

The Certificate Program 

The GEOINT Certificate Program (GCP) at the University of South Carolina is administered by the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences. The existing range of technical geospatial and related courses within the Department of Geography meet the requirements for the core competencies of the GEOINT Certificate. Additional academic programs within the University of South Carolina provide supplemental technical and analytical courses that can augment and complement the GCP curriculum. All these courses ensure that students in our GCP are exposed to a wide variety of geospatial intelligence issues and problems. 

Eligibility of a student in the GCP is established by admission to the university for any undergraduate program. The certificate requires a minimum of 21 credit hours of approved coursework. The student’s cumulative average GPA must be a minimum of B (3.0 out of the 4.0 system) for all courses counting toward the GCP, with no grade lower than a C on any single program course. 

Required Coursework

9 credits total 

  • GEOG 341 Cartography (3)
  • GEOG 345 Air Photo Interpretation (3) –or–
    GEOG 551 Principles of Remote Sensing (3)
  • GEOG 363 Intro to GIS (3) –or–
    GEOG 563 Advanced GIS (3) 

6 credits total 

  • GEOG 531 Quantitative Methods in Geographic Research (3)
  • GEOG 541 Advanced Cartography (3)
  • GEOG 551 Principles of Remote Sensing (3)
  • GEOG 552 LiDARgrammetric and Photogrammetric Digital Surface Mapping (3) 
  • GEOG 554 Spatial Programming (3)
  • GEOG 563 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3)
  • GEOG 564 GIS Based Modeling (3)
  • GEOG 565 GIS Databases and Their Use (3)
  • GEOG 575 Digital Techniques and Applications in Remote Sensing (3) 

3 credits, 300-level or higher, to be approved. Course must involve spatial data analysis and be selected from the following areas: 

  • Computational and analytical methods (e.g., statistics, computer science, programming, math)
  • Political and cultural studies (e.g., political science, international studies, human and regional geography)
  • Visualization and data representation (e.g., geovisualization)
  • Natural sciences (e.g., geology, marine science, environmental science, environmental studies) 
  • GEOG 495 Seminar in Geography (3) –or–
    or equivalent semester-long approved independent study project involving significant geointelligence-related work 

If you have any questions about the requirements, please contact either of the GCP directors:  Prof. Susan Wang or Prof. Jerry Mitchell.

The Application Process 

To receive the certificate, at least one semester prior to graduation, you must submit the GEOINT application form [pdf] to one of the GPC directors. The GCP directors will evaluate the list of courses and, upon completion of all requirements and the undergraduate dregree, will certify to the USGIF that you have met the GEOINT requirements. If approved, the USGIF will mail the certificate to you within 1–2 months of graduation. 

More Information


Please contact one the the USC GEOINT directors for more information about the program. 

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