Fully online digital globe

Advance your career with enhanced professional skills in digital geography and geographic information systems (GIS). Geographic information systems are used by a growing number of businesses, industries, and government organizations to help them make better decisions.

Not ready to enrol but want to learn more?

Fill out this form and a representative from The Chang School will contact you.

Fill Out This Form

Find out more about the certificate — join us for an online information session.

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021

Time: 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EST


Learn principles and concepts of digital geography and fundamental GIS skills. Focus on specific specialties and workplace applications, GIS tools, and implementation issues through higher-level courses.

This program is designed for professionals currently working or anticipating careers in:

  • government
  • industry
  • utilities
  • planning
  • municipal services
  • health
  • retailing

As a professional in these fields, you need enhanced computer literacy in the management and analysis of digital spatial data, and the use of that data in decision-making.

Take advantage of the state-of-the-art GIS facilities offered by Ryerson University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies – a leader in GIS education in Canada.

What Will You Learn?

Digital geography concentrates on the electronic capture, storage, manipulation, and analysis of geographic data. Using location as the “look-up” key, disparate data sets can be linked and related to each other for a whole range of workplace applications.

Gain an understanding of:

  • geographic databases
  • visualization
  • digital geography
  • system components

Learn about GIS applications in:

  • business
  • municipalities
  • utilities
  • environmental management
  • community and social services

Expand your knowledge and core skills with specialized courses in:

  • legal and ethical issues
  • innovations in GIS
  • GIS programming
  • map algebra
  • digital image processing
  • web mapping

Who Should Take This Certificate?

This program offers the theoretical education and practical training you need for a successful career as a GIS professional. You may be interested if you are a recent university graduate, are starting out in the GIS industry, or are new to Canada.

The program’s design focuses on professionals who are currently working or anticipating careers in:

  • government
  • industry
  • utilities
  • planning
  • municipal services
  • health
  • retailing

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our courses are taught by industry and academic leaders in an integrated lecture-lab environment. You will learn from experts who combine practical and theoretical knowledge of emerging trends in digital geography and GIS.


Industry and Careers

Many students enrolled in this program are already working in digital geography and GIS or seeking entry into the industry.

Typical Job Titles

  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Specialist
  • GIS Technician
  • Location Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • Spatial Database Technician
  • Crime Analyst
  • Decision Support Specialist/Analyst

The GIS field has experienced substantial growth over the past two decades. GIS are used in government, industry, utilities, planning, municipal services, health, and retailing. GIS are often used as a decision support system to offer spatial analysis or to aid in risk management within location planning.


Jan“Whether it was online or in class, collaborating with students and instructors played a key role in my academic successes.”

Jan, Divisional Crime Analyst
Certificate in Applied Digital Geography and GIS

Certificate Requirements

  • 2 required courses
  • 4 electives*
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

*Electives are divided into 3 groups, allowing you to focus on an area of interest and then dive into more specialized skills. Select 1 or 2 electives from Group A and 2 or 3 electives from Group B; alternatively, as the final course for certificate completion, you may choose to take 1 elective from Group C.


Admission Criteria


An undergraduate degree or college diploma in an acceptable related field.



Advanced Credit:

All applicants to the program are eligible to apply for advanced standing, with credit being granted for course work undertaken, or for professional practice, providing the course work or professional practice meets or exceeds the academic goals and content of the program courses for which credit is being sought. Advanced credit applications will be evaluated by the academic coordinator and the program director, and are subject to normal Ryerson admission policies and procedures. Students may be required to take a challenge examination in order to ascertain eligibility for advanced standing. Students will be eligible for a maximum of three course credits toward the certificate.

Awards and Financial Aid


Contact Us

Questions? Contact Raymond Garrison, Academic Coordinator.

Phone:  416-979-5000, ext. 7149
Email:  certificates@geography.ryerson.ca

Additional Details


These courses are designed to provide you with some understanding of the more complex core skills and issues facing business, municipal, environmental, utilities or community and social services professionals when they employ digital geography in their decision-making.
This category only applies if you select a total of 3 electives from Groups A and B (combined), and wish to take 1 of the following electives as your final course for certificate completion.