Green Hills

Geospatial Technology & Data Science

About the Program

GIS is everywhere!

Have you ever wondered how Waze and Google Maps work? These apps (and countless others) use geospatial technology to display data. Geospatial technology is an information technology field of practice that acquires, manages, interprets, or otherwise uses data focusing on the geographic and spatial contexts.


The Foothill College Geographic Information Systems Certificate Program offers a flexible schedule of online and evening courses leading to a Certificate of Achievement for Geographic Information Systems Analyst. If you start classes in the fall you can earn your certificate in one school year! 

 Now offered entirely online!

Gain hands-on experience. Complete your class labs with industry standard software ArcGIS Pro and QGIS using our virtual desktop server!

Quick facts

  • Archaeologists, architects, engineers, police and fire fighters, marketing and business, surveyors, data scientist, biologists and earth scientists all use geospatial technology.
  • Increasingly, public works employees need some knowledge of geospatial technology for their work.
  • A certificate or degree in geospatial technology can boost your earning potential and increase employability. 
  • Foothill College offers evening and online classes to accommodate your schedule.


Why Study GIS at Foothill?

The Foothill College GIS Certificate Program takes a practical, hands-on approach to learning. Our program does not simply teach students how to use a specific software. Students in our program learn how to apply GIS to their discipline and gain experience in a variety of the leading GIS software products. 

There’s a need to get people retrained in what this technology means. This is something anyone from front line to management can easily be a part of.   

- Steve Rodriguez, IT Manager, City of Mountain View

Through the sequence of certificate courses, students will learn to plan and implement GIS projects. The Foothill College GIS Certificate Program curriculum is modeled after the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Geographic Information Analysis (NCGIA) core curriculum in the geographic information sciences. 



California residents pay just $31 per unit for classes at Foothill College. This means that the entire 34 unit Certificate of Achievement in GIS will cost you just $1,054 in tuition. This is a fraction of the cost of other GIS programs offered at UC, CSU or private universities. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

Broad Exposure

The Foothill College GIS Program uses three different software products: ESRI's ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro 2.3, QGIS and more! No software purchase is required to particpate in our classes. You just need a computer with internet access and a web browser! Students access all software needed for class exercises and labs by logging into virtual machines through their web browser.

What can you do with a degree in Geographic Information Systems?

  • Archaeologist 
  • Cartographer
  • City manager
  • Geographer
  • GIS technician 
  • Mapping Technician 
  • Surveyor 

Degree & Program Types

Our program offers a set of certificates which scale up to an AS degree. These certificates were modeled on the GeoTech Center's model curriculum with guidance from the Foothill College GIS program advisory board and are newly approved by the State Chancellor's office for California Community Colleges. The certificates build a solid technical background in geographic information systems concepts

Check out this list for a quick view of our geographic information systems programs. For program requirements and full course listings, view degrees and certificates information.


All degrees and certificates can be taken completely online, or you can enroll in hybrid classes and come to campus for more hands-on instruction.

Associate in Science Degree

  • Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST)

Certificate of Achievement

  • Geographic Information Systems Technology I (22-24 units)
  • Geographic Information Systems Technology II (31-33 units)
  • Geographic Information Systems Technology III (43-46 units)

Courses Sequence

All GIS classes are offered through the GIS department. Our certificate program is designed for working professionals.

Most of our students have an associate's or higher degree and are 'upskilling.'

However, we have also had numerous students enter our program straight out of high school and step directly into GIS technician jobs or land high paying student assistantships at four year universities when they transfer in pursuit of a bachelor's degree.

View our course sequence guide to see which courses you would take depending on which quarter you enter the program.

K. Allison Lenkeit Meezan

Please contact me!

K. Allison Lenkeit Meezan, GIS Department Chair


Building 3000, Room 3020, Main Campus


Division Office Contacts

Sara Seyedin, Acting Division Dean
To meet with the dean, contact the Student & Faculty Support Center.
Business & Social Sciences Division

Download 2017 CTE Licensure Pass & Placement Rates

Gainful Employment Disclosures

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