Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development

The Penn State Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development, offered online through Penn State World Campus, helps geospatial professionals become skillful developers of software for the GIS, mapping, and spatial data science industries.

In this program you'll learn how to:

  • Customize GIS software using Python to extend functionality and automate spatial analysis tasks
  • Design, develop, and implement web mapping applications using open standards and open source software
  • Create web mapping applications using geospatial APIs with Javascript

This 15-credit, fully online certificate covers software development in the unique geospatial context using a mix of proprietary and open source languages and technologies. 15 credits earned in this program can be counted toward the Master of GIS degree program, and if you earn a 3.67 or higher GPA after your first three classes, you can qualify for Accelerated Admission to the MGIS program.


Our convenient, online format is an ideal choice for working adults who want to study on a part-time basis and at a distance. Our instructor-led courses are asynchronous, so you are not required to login for class at a specific time. We focus on peer and faculty engagement to provide a dynamic and enriching learning experience leveraging the state of the art in online course design.

Required Courses (9 credits)

GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Software Development

What you'll learn: Python programming fundamentals and methods for customizing off-the-shelf GIS software to automate spatial analysis tasks and modify interfacesEsri Innovation Program logo

Technologies you'll use: Python, ArcGIS

GEOG 585: Open Web Mapping

What you'll learn: Leverage the ecosystem of free and open source geospatial tools to go from desktop GIS to web maps

Technologies you'll use: Javascript, QGIS, GDAL, OGR, GeoServer, TileMill, Leaflet, and OpenStreetMap

GEOG 863: Web Application Development for the Geospatial Professional

What you'll learn: Build interactive applications with Javascript using geospatial APIs

Technologies you'll use: Javascript, ArcGIS API for Javascript, ArcGIS Online, CSS

Electives (choose 6 credits)

GEOG 486: Cartography and Visualization

What you'll learn: Theory and practice of cartographic design, emphasizing effective visual design and communication with geographic information.

Technologies you’ll use: ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox Studio, QGIS

GEOG 489: Advanced Python Programming for GIS

What you'll learn: Advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source libraries

Technologies you'll use: Python, ArcGIS, ArcObjects, QGIS, Github, GDAL, Jupyter, R, Anaconda

GEOG 865: Cloud and Server GIS

What you'll learn: Evaluate and implement cloud services for mapping, managing spatial data, and spatial analysis

Technologies you'll use: ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS OnlineGeoServer, CARTO, Amazon Web ServicesMapbox, Google Fusion Tables

GEOG 868: Spatial Data Management for the Geospatial Professional

What you'll learn: Design, implement, and query spatial databases for solving geographic problems

Technologies you'll use: SQLPostGIS, ArcSDE/Multiuser Geodatabases, QGIS

GEOG 580: Geovisual Analytics

What you'll learn: Design, implement, and apply geovisual analytics tools to solve complex problems

Technologies you'll use: ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Insights, Tableau, CARTO

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and Fee information, as well as guidance on how to apply for Federal Financial Aid for this program can be found here.

Start Today

You can begin your online application at any time, and admissions are made on a rolling basis.

  • Start your application
  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development" as the certificate

Let's Talk

Have questions? Want to talk to a current student in the program? We'd love to talk to you about planning the next phase of your career development. Drop us a line!