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Department of Geography

Terrance Randolph demonstrating the historical aerial photograph digitizing project

Geospatial Intelligence Certificate

The University of South Carolina is one of fifteen universities with an accredited Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Certificate Program from the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) .

The Certificate Program

The GEOINT Certificate Program (GCP) at USC will be 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 USC 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

Core courses to provide a foundation in GIScience

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)
Specialization courses in technical aspects of GIScience

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)   
Elective course

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)
Capstone course
  • GEOG 495 Seminar in Geography (3) –or–
    or equivalent semester-long approved independent study project involving significant geointelligence-related work


The Application Process

To receive the certificate, at least one semester prior to graduation, you must submit the application form [pdf] to one of the GPC directors (Dr. Susan Wang or Dr. Michael Hodgson). 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.