Geographic Information Science


Program Overview

Geographic information science (GIS) is a relatively new field that uses computer technology to link maps to digital data. Environmental agencies and resource companies rely on the skills of GIS technicians when they’re making critical decisions about the development and use of forests, fisheries, wildlife and land.

If you have good computer skills, a keen eye for detail and an interest in natural resource management and land use planning, the Geographic Information Science program will interest you. Even better, you can launch your career in less than a year.

Geographic Information Science is a one-year certificate program offered full time at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Prince Albert campus. Some courses are available through distance and/or continuing education. Computer literacy is essential to handling the course load.

The resource management focus is unique. You’ll learn the concepts, practice the applications and build basic skills in using GIS software to address natural resource management issues. In this hands-on approach to using GIS software and technologies you’ll learn about:

  • UAV/Drone data acquisition interpretation and process
  • GIS process automation
  • Database and worksheet design
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Web mapping and web cartography
  • Remote sensing and image analysis

Learn by Doing

Your training will include hands-on learning, field experience and an applied research project, where you’ll have the opportunity to work on a resource management-related project. When you graduate, you’ll have much more than a textbook understanding of GIS theory—you’ll have actual experience using GIS and applying it in different situations.


Geographic information science (GIS) is often confused with global positioning systems (GPS) because of the similar initials. The difference is that GIS uses GPS to help navigate data and display very complex processes that need a geographic component, such as where things are.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has an excellent track record when it comes to getting grads into jobs: 80% of GIS grads are working in their field within six months of graduation. They work as GIS mapping technicians, GIS specialists, mapping cartographers, GPS operators, data analysts or remote sensing analysts. With your specialized training in applying GIS to resource management, you can explore job opportunities with a wide variety of potential employers, including natural resource-based industries, First Nations industries, consulting firms, environmental agencies, government departments and municipal agencies.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
GIS TechnicianTechnical Occupations in Geomatics and Meteorology (2255)$46,300 - $101,900

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 32 weeks

View latest program status info


  • Prince Albert


Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12
  • Minimum 65% average in English Language Arts A30 and English Language Arts B30 (combined)
  • Minimum 60% in Workplace and Apprenticeship Math 30 or 60% in Foundations of Math 30 or 60% in Pre-Calculus 30*
  • English Language Requirement


  • Computer literacy is recommended.

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted:

  • Minimum combined average of 60% in Math A30 and B30

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.


  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 254 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics
  • 253 Reading
  • 247 Writing

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.


2020/21 Academic Year


International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Get Credit for What You Know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.See links below to more information about PLAR and detailed PLAR candidate guides for the Arts and Sciences courses in this program. To discuss PLAR for other courses in this program, contact us at 1-866-467-4278 and ask for the Program Head of this program.

Transfer Credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

The Bachelor of Geographic Information Science (B.GISc) is an innovative program offered by the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of Regina. Students who complete a 1-year certificate or 2-year diploma program in GIS/Geomatics from a recognized college (e.g. Saskatchewan Polytechnic) will be given 30 hours of transfer credits at the University of Regina and may enter directly into the 2nd year of the U of R Geography program. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded the B.GISc degree from the University of Regina. The Bachelor of Geographic Information Science is a unique designation that is not offered anywhere else in North America.

Graduate of the Geographic Information Science (GIS) for Resource Management certificate may be eligible for up to 30 credit units of block transfer credit into the Bachelor of Arts and Science, Four-year and/or Honours degree in Environment and Society.

Agreement Details (pdf)

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships


Saskatchewan Association of Geomatics Technologists; GIS Certification Institution

Additional Information

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