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CFCLogoCollege of Arts and Sciences
An interdisciplinary program available to all academic majors at The University of Montana - Missoula

FAQ

Procedural Questions

How do I apply?

Our certificate program is designed as a complement to our undergraduate degrees and there is not a formal admission process.  One must simply fill out an Enrollment form with the Administrative Assistant in the Geography Department office when they decide to do the program so that we can track progress and plan for enrollments in some courses.

How do I get the Certificate conferred?

6 months before finishing you must get, complete, and submit an “Application for Certificate” to the Registrar’s Office (at Griz Central). 

Can I complete the Certificate in one semester or one year?

The Certificate is not designed to be completed in one semester.  Even one year is not optimal, as the required first introductory class is either GPHY 381/2 or FOR 250/350 and it must be taken before the others. However, we do sometimes have advanced students take GPHY 381/382 and either GPHY 468/469 or GPHY 487/489 in the fall.  In general, we strongly caution our students against taking more than 2 GIS-related classes in one semester due to the amount of lab work required.  Most of our courses are set up with 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours in-class lab each week.  For the 500-level classes, projects are essential and those can be very time-intensive.  Also, most of our courses are only offered only once a year and some only every other year, so to customize those of most interest to you would take some time.  This is particularly true of the planning-related offerings.  Note that Forestry and Geography typically offer GPHY381/FOR350 and GPHY487/FOR351 in alternate semesters to provide more flexibility of scheduling, though there are some differences between those offerings which should be considered to see which is more appropriate for each student.  FOR250 is offered each semester.

How can I get a course waived?

We do occasionally waive a class based on previous courses completed, but to do so, you have to sit down with one of the main Certificate contacts and convince them that you learned the material that would have been covered.  Also, there is a University policy being adopted that will require all courses applied to the Certificate to have been completed within 5 years.

Current Undergraduate Students

What are the differences between this and the undergraduate option in GIS and Cartography offered in Geography?

There are slightly fewer courses required in the Certificate program.  If you complete the requirements for the undergraduate option, you will automatically satisfy the Certificate requirements.  Just don’t forget to fill out the required paperwork.

I am in a major at UM other than Geography or Forestry.  Can I still do the Certificate?

Yes!  This Certificate was designed for just that situation.  The student only has to complete 5 courses and the Certificate is conferrable, without having to minor or major in either Forestry or Geography.

Current Graduate Students

Are graduate students eligible for the Certificate as well?

Yes.  Your transcript will simply say that you have received an Undergraduate Certificate GIS Sciences and Technologies.  Just be careful when submitting your Application for Certificate to make sure it goes to the Registrar’s Office (at Griz Central), NOT the Graduate School as most other paperwork does.

Interested Students with Bachelors from Another University

Can I get the Certificate without enrolling for another Bachelors or a Graduate Degree?

Yes.  For someone with a bachelor's degree, you would need to enroll as either a post-baccalaureate or a graduate student with the University and then register for classes.  The Registrar’s Office may be able to help you decide which is more appropriate for your situation.

Will I be eligible for Financial Aid as a returning student?

Unfortunately those not enrolled in degree programs are generally not eligible for Financial Aid.  Contact that Office directly for more details.