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 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 are the fees for each course?
- 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 or Extended Campuses (the rates are the same) Resident or Non-Resident graduate student tuition rates.
- There is no Community Planning Certificate program fee. Some planning classes have technology fees, while others do not.
iv) Several thousand dollars (graduate tuition and fees) for a certification seems a bit steep.
- Our costs are comparable, and even cheaper than similar professional or skills-based programs at other universities.
v) How many courses can I take at the same time?
- The GIS courses are all 4 units. All other classes are usually 3 units.
- Nine units is considered the minimum for Full Time for a graduate student.
- The NAU Grad Colleges requires a petition if you want to take more than 15 units in one semester as a graduate student.
vi) 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.)
vii) 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.
viii) 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).
ix) 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.
x) Do I need to take the GRE for the certificate?
- Our certificates do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
xi) 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.
xii) Are all of these classes transferable to your Master's Program in case I decide to go further with my education?
xiii) 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.
Letters should be mailed, faxed or emailed to:
Graduate Programs Coordinator
Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation
Northern Arizona University, Box 15016
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5016, USA
Email: Dr. Alan A. Lew <Alan . Lew (at) NAU . EDU>
** Click Here to Apply **
NAU for Graduate Students