NAU GPR Graduate Programs
FREQUENTLY ASKED APPLICATION QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Graduate Certificate Programs Applications
(GIS & Community Planning)
Also see our General Graduate Application FAQ, which covers questions related to all of our GPR graduate programs.
i) When is the deadline for application to the certificate programs?
- If we receive all of your application material by the first week in August, we can still enroll you for the Fall semester. For Spring semester enrollment, we would need all of your application in hand by the beginning of January.
- For the GIS Certificate, a major concern is whether or not the Intro GIS class (GSP 531) still has seats available at that time that you are admitted. This is the core required class to start the program successful if you wish to finish in a timely manner. Please contact the GPR Graduate Programs Coordinator or the GIS Certificate Advisor if you have questions about this.
ii) What are the requirements for admission to the certificate programs?
- For both certificates, you must have a Bachelors degree by the time you start taking certificate classes.
- For the GIS Certificate, if you do not have any mapping background, then you may be required to take an introduction to mapping class (such as our GSP 130 [formerly GGR 230]). In the application, what we are mostly looking for is evidence that you are able to successfully complete the required curriculum.
- There are no prerequisites for the Community Planning Certificate.
iii) What is the total cost of the certificate?
- There is a $50 course fee for all of our GIS/Computer classes to support the software and equipment necessary to deliver the degree/courses. This is on top of the GIS Certificate program fee ($250) and NAU graduate tuition and fees. Graduate certificate students pay either Mountain Campus (on campus students) or Extended Campuses (online students) and Resident (of Arizona) or Non-Resident Graduate Student tuition rates.
- There is no Community Planning Certificate program fee. Some planning classes have technology fees, while most do not.
iv) Several thousand dollars (graduate tuition and fees) for a certification seems a bit steep.
v) How long it will take to finish the certificate.
- If you start in the Fall, you should be able to finish in one year (12 months) as a Full Time student. (This is excluding that intro mapping class that might be required for the GIS Certificate program, as noted above.)
vi) How difficult is it to change from the certificate program into the Masters once you complete the certificate?
- It is not too difficult. You can apply for the MS at any time and we can use some of your material from the Certificate application. Most students who do both end up graduating with their Certificate and their MS at the same time.
- You may apply all of the Certificate courses that you have taken toward the MS degree. The only issue is that classes will only count toward the degree if they have been completed within 6 years of the date of graduation. Older classes will not count toward the degree, according to NAU policy.
vii) Are the certificate courses based upon another masters degree at NAU? What is it? Could some of the courses be counted toward another masters degree at NAU?
- Yes. The courses are part of the Master of Science in Applied Geospatial Sciences degree (which is offered in our department) and the Master of Administration-Land Use Planning Emphasis (which is an interdisciplinary degree for mid-career professional and is offered through NAU Extended Campuses).
viii) Are the online classes scheduled in a way that you can complete the certificate in 1 year?
- Yes. Except if your start the GIS Certificate in the Spring, then it might take you three semesters. Please see the Degree Progression Plan for guidance.
ix) Do I need to take the GRE for the certificate?
- Our certificates do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
x) What are the admissions requirements to be qualified for the Certificate program?
- A bachelors degree in any discipline, a 3.0 undergrad GPA (you can still be admitted conditionally if it lower), and one letter of reference,
- Students with less than a 3.0 GPA may be admitted "conditionally" and will be required to maintain a 3.0 (B average) in their first 9 units of coursework.
xi) Are all of these classes transferable to your Master's Program in case I decide to go further with my education?
xii) Can I start classes at any time, or just at the start of the semester?
- You can only start classes at the start of the Fall or Spring semester
xiii) Is there a demo or test portal that I can log into to see how your online interface is set up for the classes?
- Sorry, there is no demo site. Classes do vary in the types of skills taught and how they are taught by different professors, so no one site could do that.
xiv) What separates your online GIS program from the competition?
- We believe that our certificate differs from other in the degree of GIS skills that students who successfully complete the certificate achieve. Most other GIS certificates are fairly basic in the content that they cover, and seldom get into advanced programming to the degree that we do. That is why our certificate is 20 semester credit hours, which is more than most others.
xv) Where do I find and send the department application forms and letters?
** Click Here for GIS Certificate Application Information.
** Click Here for Community Planning Certificate Application Information.
The application form is mostly done online through the NAU Graduate College.
- Students from U.S. universities are required to submit an unofficial digital copy of their undergraduate transcripts with their application. They are only required to submit official transcripts after they have been admitted by the GPR Department. Students will not be able to enroll in classes until their official transcripts are received by NAU.
- Applicants with a Bachelors degree from NAU do not need to submit transcripts.
- Students from non-U.S. (international) universities must submit official transcripts before their application will be reviewed by the GPR Department.
- Official transcripts must be sent to the NAU Graduate College.