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A joint project by the GS and IA Programs


This certificate is a joint project by the Geographic Science and Intelligence Analysis Programs in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology.  To qualify for the certificate, students must, at a minimum, have a cumulative average of “B” for all of the core courses, and get a “C” or better in each one. 

As required by USGIF, students should also submit a portfolio of their geospatial work to demonstrate their geospatial skills. This can also be a valuable component of an application for an internship or job.  Portfolios should comprise four paragraphs and supporting evidence for each paragraph. Each paragraph should address an individual core competency (GIS and Analysis Tools, Remote Sensing and Imagery Analysis, Geospatial Data Management, and Data Visualization) and discuss the student's learning in the competency area, any strengths and weaknesses in their learning that they observed, and a brief explanation of the evidence that they are including (projects, labs, etc.). Additional details on the portfolio are available in a separate document.

Core Courses
  • GEOG 215: Cartography and GIS
  • GEOG 216: Earth Observation and GPS
  • GEOG 365: Cartography and Geospatial Visualization
  • GEOG 366: Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 385: Principles of Remote Sensing
  • IA 200: Introduction to National Security Intelligence
  • CISE 460: Selected Topics in Intelligence Analysis;

In accordance with their individual interests and ambitions, students pursuing the certificate, and seeking to expand their knowledge of issues and regions, are also encouraged to take additional courses in fields such as economics, history, international affairs, and political science, among others.

Course Objectives

The objectives of the overall certificate program to assure that students who complete the program can:

  • Explain basic concepts of geospatial intelligence.
  • Identify various potential sources of data, along with their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Describe how technology can help in dealing with a variety of issues, such as data management.
  • Identify and apply appropriate methods of research and analysis, including multidisciplinary perspectives.
  • Assess the quality of their work based on rigorous standards of critical thinking.
  • Work effectively in teams, including using planning and time management.
  • Communicate the results of research and analysis effectively orally, in writing, and through visualizations.

 More detailed objectives for each of the core courses are available in the syllabi.


Students desiring to obtain JMU’s USGIF-accredited certificate are required to fill out the USGIF Declaration Form and send it to Fasha Strange at

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