GIS Certificate Admissions Criteria Application Procedures

The following is required prior to enrolling in the GIS certificate program:

  • a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, earned under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State
  • TOEFL score (when applicable) of at least 550 on the paper or 213 on the computer-based tests


All applicants to the GIS Certificate Program (CPGIS) should apply first for Certificate Admission. Those who wish to apply to the MGIS degree program can do so later. Fifteen credits earned under "non-degree" status can be counted toward the MGIS degree.

To pursue the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS you must complete the official application. Select "Certificate Admission - $65.00". You will then have the option to select World Campus, Geographic Information Systems.


  1. Non-degree students are required to apply to Penn State's Graduate School. A $65 application fee is required.
  2. Essays and letters of recommendation are NOT required for the CPGIS application. Those sections of the online application do not need to be completed.
  3. To be admitted as a non-degree graduate student you must have earned, from an accredited institution, a baccalaureate degree earned under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State. Copies of official transcripts are NOT required for the CPGIS application.
  4. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires an institutional test of English proficiency upon first enrollment and, if necessary, remedial course work. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

Once you have applied and are accepted, follow the registration procedures at the bottom of this page.