Program Overview

GIS analysts, technicians and specialists are in-demand in both the private and public sector, and require a unique skill set and knowledge of current technologies. Discover a rewarding career with Fanshawe’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, available in-class or online with courses scheduled Monday to Thursday evenings. Combine hands-on learning with in-class theory and technical training and graduate ready to hit the ground running in your career.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
30 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2024 September
Fully Online
2023 September
2023 September
Fully Online
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2025 January
2023 September
2024 January

Your Learning Experience

The GIS program offers a project-based, software intensive format that focuses on building a foundation in GIS, with the flexibility to focus your studies in your selected area of expertise in geographic data. You’ll have access to our cutting-edge technology that will help you develop skills in remote-sensing, object-oriented programming, spatial analysis and modelling, digital photogrammetry, map projections, web map GIS and CAD skills. 


You can also apply your skills in an optional four-month summer co-op work experience with an associated GIS-based employer. GIS placements may include government agencies, GIS software employers, and other private industry companies that use GIS technology. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in the field and connect with industry partners. 


This program prepares graduates for employment in a wide range of land-based industries that utilize spatial and tabular data. The program is project-based, software-intensive, interdisciplinary, and focused on building flexible, current, high-end applied skills. Students will gain mastery of foundational GIS skills and apply leading-edge techniques in GIS Science to create spatial solutions. Remote sensing, object-oriented programming, spatial analysis and modeling, digital photogrammetry, web map/web GIS and CAD skills will all be developed, and students will have the opportunity to apply these technical skills to their own areas of specialization (engineering, social sciences, humanities, community health or other sciences).


Students are required to have a PC laptop computer for all courses and to have internet access whether attending face-to-face classes or online sessions.


Classes are delivered as face-to-face classroom sessions. All classes will be digitally broadcast and recorded. Full-time and part-time students have the option to watch live interactive webcasts or attend classes personally for all courses. All webcasts will be archived so students can review material. 


Applicants applying to the Online version of the program should select Campus Code LCL (LCL - London-Online), and should ensure they have appropriate technological capacity to complete the program, including access to a computer, required software and internet access for each course in the program. A CONNECT lab fee is included in the Additional Program Fees stated in the Fee Schedule for students not studying online. 


Students should not purchase a laptop computer or software until the College publishes the recommended configuration, models, software titles and versions for that academic year.


Laptop requirements

A part-time, online version of this program is available

Co-op Opportunities & Career Information

Co-op Opportunities 

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program offers a cooperative education component, which provides students the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand workplace experience in their chosen field. Here are some co-op jobs that have kick-started the careers of some GIS students before even graduating! 

GIS Mapping Assistant
Using mobile GIS and GPS applications, collect field data of the trees, plants and garden beds across Fanshawe's Botanical Gardens, both at the Oxford Campus and the Cuddy Garden site.

GIS Parks Student
Update information related to parks and property services using GIS software and equipment.

GIS Technologist Student
Collect and curate data in an enterprise geo-database environment to create effective cartographic products supporting web application development and documenting GIS data and applications.

For more information regarding co-op, please check out our co-op site or contact the Co-op Office at to connect with a consultant.


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program will enter a growing field with many career paths supporting public and private industry use of geo-spatial technologies, including:

  • GIS specialists
  • GIS applications programmers or developers
  • spatial database specialists
  • GIS analysts
  • GIS researchers 
  • GIS technicians

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program:

Geospatial Analyst
Collect and analyse geospatial data to create detailed maps and associated metadata. 

GIS Technician
Use GIS applications to identify wildlife habitats, movement corridors, range occupancy and threat locations.

GIS Specialist
Plot spatial data using GIS applications and GPS.


Program Progression
Fall  Winter  Summer 
Academic Level 1  Academic Level 2  Co-op 

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1. Create solutions to spatial problems utilizing database systems;

2. Apply spatial analysis techniques within a variety of disciplines;

3. Solve problems using data that is acquired, interpreted, and integrated from various sources, and with different formats and coordinate systems;

4. Generate elegant and efficient computational algorithms;

5. Configure and customize GIS applications, operations, and databases to support decisionmaking and modelling within a range of disciplines;

6. Design web-based and embedded solutions to distribute GIS data and functionality to a wide range of end users;

7. Integrate GIS component design and development into project life cycle management, systems life cycles, and workflow processes;

8. Assist end users in integrating spatial processes into primarily non-spatial software applications;

9. Communicate complex technical geographic information to a wide variety of clients using texts, maps, and visual display, in order to increase understanding and enable wider use of GIS applications;

10. Practice to a professional standard, throughethical behaviour, continuous learning, and participation in professional organizations.


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Martin Healy

Admission Requirements

A Two- or Three-Year College Diploma, or a Degree
(Note: minimum 'B' average or 3.0 GPA)
Equivalent qualification from another institution with a minimum 'B' average or 3.0 GPA as judged by the College to be equivalent to the above
Professional background and experience judged by the College to be equivalent to the above
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 70 with no score less than 60 in any of the four bands
PTE Academic 59
Cambridge English Overall score of 176 with no language skill less than 169
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 9, 75% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 120, with no score lower than 105


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  • Applicants with less than a 'B' average will be considered only on the recommendation of the Academic Manager.
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

See Post-Admission Requirements


Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
METH-6001Fundamentals of GIS5
This course consists of a theory and computer lab portions. In the theory portion GIScience is studied. In the computer lab portion, a series of exercises will introduce the student to GIS software. The acquisition, processing, storage, display and basic analysis of spatial and tabular data will be mastered.
METH-6002Information Systems5
The structure and theory of relational database management systems are studied. The interrelationship between RDBMS and GIS is explored through the use of case studies. Spreadsheet and database software are used to create, store, manage, and query tabular data. Special emphasis will be placed on the structure and design of spatial geodatabases.
COMP-6034Programming Basics-OOP5
This is an introductory course to the elementary aspects of object oriented programming languages such as C#, C++ and VB.Net. The relationship of programming to GIS software will be examined to show how user-written programs may enhance such pursuits as GIS analysis and GPS data acquisition.
COMP-6035Spatial Data Acquisition5
Geographical features can be mapped electronically using various systems such as GPS, digital aerial photography, digital maps and remotely sensed data. All of this data can be transferred to a CAD or GIS product. The students will use this data using a GPS device as well as create digital data from aerial photography. This data will be corrected and linked to existing digital data.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.