Full-time Advanced Diploma 9100fadvdip

Overview

Note: The September 2014 intake is now closed for new applications. Applications for September 2015 will be accepted starting November 1st, 2014 (or next business day).

Please check our list of programs that may have space available or access our program database for a complete list of BCIT programs.

a career in GIS can take you where you want to go.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to manage and utilize geographic data, and is widely recognized as an essential tool in such diverse fields as forest management, urban planning, engineering, municipal management, business, and environmental studies. The potential uses of GIS technology are almost too numerous to list, and are found everywhere - from local government to the United Nations, from volunteer organizations to global corporations, in the public and private sectors.

The Advanced Diploma program in Geographic Information Systems is designed for university or college graduates with a background in a related discipline or technology.

The curriculum combines theory and practice and covers GIS principles, training in GIS software, technical issues, remote sensing, digital mapping and management issues. Students must also successfully complete a supervised work experience before graduation. This may be either an industry project or an industry practicum.

Whether you are a recent university or college graduate getting started in a career, or an experienced professional seeking new employment opportunities or career advancement, we invite you to study our web pages to learn more about  the GIS program at BCIT. With over 20 years of experience in delivering advanced GIS technology programs and courses, the GIS program has established an excellent reputation for producing highly skilled and sought-after graduates.

NOTE: The GIS Department has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you decide which BCIT GIS option is best for you.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

GIS is a multidisciplinary field and has applications in a wide variety of professions and industries, and the GIS Department welcomes applicants from most academic areas.

This program is open to applications beginning November 1st*. Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

*or next business day

  • Two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
    • English 12 (67%) or
    • Three credits of post-secondary English, Humanities or Social Sciences (67%) from a recognized institution

    What if I don’t meet these English requirements?

  • Post-secondary: one of the following:
    • BCIT Diploma or equivalent or
    • University degree or
    • Associate degree from a recognized BC institution OR the equivalent through two or more years of university study. See the BCCAT website for information on Associate Degrees.

  • Completion of the following form for submission with your online application:

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Applicants currently enrolled in the last term of their degree/diploma must be on track to complete by May. To apply submit both of the following documents from your post-secondary institution:

  • Transcript of completed courses
  • Confirmation of enrolment letter verifying your current course enrolment and registration in the final term of your degree/diploma

Recommended for success

Interested in the program? Great, but do your research carefully to ensure that GIS is the right program for you.

Attend a GIS INFO session, talk to faculty and students, research the career opportunities and job market, and do an honest self-assessment that you are ready to enrol and capable of succeeding.

Ready to apply? Excellent choice, but it's important to be prepared for this challenging program.

You'll significantly improve your chances of admission and success if you come well-prepared. Read the following and spend some time in assessment and preparation.

  • Strongly recommended fundamental computer literacy and computer programming skills.

  • Computer programming is emphasized strongly in the BCIT GIS program. Students who arrive unprepared usually find the programming and GIS customization courses a great deal of work, which affects other studies.

  • Regardless of your abilities and experience, you should develop your skills as much as possible before you start the program. The GIS program covers many programming languages. Programming languages taught currently in GIS courses include Java, Python, JavaScript, PHP and others. You should know programming concepts and program design before starting GIS studies at BCIT, but you do not need to know any particular programming language.

  • You will be using the Web a great deal in the program. For example, you will be developing your own pages in September to present your resume and project/practicum. You should also learn how to create basic web pages using HTML, and how to use an HTML editor before you arrive in September.

  • Refresh your skills in basic algebra, trigonometry, and analytical geometry (e.g. polar and rectangular coordinates, equation of a straight line, distance between two points). You will find this helpful in a number of courses.

  • It is recommended that students possess good communication, teamwork and technical problem-solving skills.

Admissions/Registration

Students accepted into the full-time program are registered into all the required courses in the program matrix as a block. Many students are able to receive exemptions for some courses completed previously in part-time studies at BCIT or from other institutes. These students can apply for credit/exemption once they have started the full-time program in September.

Apply to program

The September 2014 intake is now closed for new applications. Applications for September 2015 will be accepted starting November 1, 2014 (or next business day).

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September each year.

myCommunication

Within 3 weeks of applying to a program, you will be sent a letter in the mail confirming receipt of your application. The letter will identify your student number, BCIT e-mail address and instructions on how to login to your myBCIT account.

All official BCIT correspondence will be sent to your myBCIT account. Check myCommunication often during the application process and throughout your studies at BCIT.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within 4 weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for more information on full-time tuition fees.

BCIT tuitions are based on a per credit calculation to a maximum or cap tuition amount. Students registered in a full-time program who are not taking a full course load or who have received course exemption(s) may not receive a refund as a result of the per credit calculation amount exceeding the maximum tuition.

Books and supplies

Level 5: $600; Level 6: $300
(general estimated cost, and subject to change)

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.

Courses

Learning about GIS technology means learning a lot more than just GIS software.

Our program is built upon years of experience in delivering GIS education and training, and is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge to work in the diverse and challenging GIS industry.

Our technology courses cover CAD, Remote Sensing, databases, computer programming, GIS algorithms, spatial analysis, and mapping. And of course, advanced courses in GIS software use and customization. You'll see first hand how primary data capture is done, how data is processed, and gain skills in editing and managing GIS data.

In software courses, you'll delve deeper, and gain extensive hands-on experience using industry standard software. Through the database courses, you'll see the critical importance of data modelling and management.

Through computer and programming courses, you'll learn about different ways to program and customize software for data handling and specialty applications, Web-mapping, web applications, and how these tie into current developments in GIS.

Management courses will introduce you to the IT (hardware, software, and networks), management and organization issues associated with GIS.

You'll put all these pieces together as you pursue your GIS project or practicum. Through the project/practicum courses you'll develop skills in planning and executing GIS applied research or gain real world work experience with a GIS employer.

You'll hear guest speakers from industry, be involved in GIS conferences or the BCIT Open House, and be encouraged to get involved in BCIT activities and the local GIS community.

By the time you graduate, you'll have all the necessary skills to pursue a career in GIS.

Through it all we'll be encouraging you to develop the workplace skills essential for success - critical thinking, teamwork, problem solving, initiative, self-reliance and communications.

Program matrix

Level 5 - Fall Term (15 weeks) Credits
  GIST 7010 GIS Programming 1 3.0
  GIST 7100 Fundamentals of GIS 3.0
  GIST 7108 Fundamentals of Mapping 3.0
  GIST 7111 CAD for GIS 3.0
  GIST 7120 GIS Project Planning 3.0
  GIST 7128 ArcGIS 1: Introduction 3.0
  GIST 7130 GIS Computing and the Internet 3.0
  GIST 7132 GIS Database Systems 1 3.0
  GIST 8118 GIS Remote Sensing 3.0
  GIST 8128 ArcGIS 2: Data Management and Analysis 3.0
 
Level 6 - Winter Term (10 weeks) Credits
  GIST 8010 GIS Programming 2 3.0
  GIST 8100 Technical Issues in GIS 3.0
  GIST 8106 Spatial Analysis 3.0
  GIST 8107 GIS Digital Mapping and Cartography 3.0
  GIST 8109 Geospatial Systems Management 2.0
  GIST 8132 GIS Database Systems 2 3.0
  GIST 8138 ArcGIS 3: Customization and Modelling 3.0
 
Level 6 - Spring Term (10 weeks) Credits
  GIST 8110 Management Issues in GIS 3.0
and
  GIST 8125 GIS Project 9.0
  or
  GIST 8126 GIS Industry Practicum 9.0
 
Total Credits: 62.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

As a full-time student, you'll be immersed in a highly structured and demanding environment for the duration of the program.

You'll learn GIS in a number of ways - through lectures and hands-on labs, with integrated e-learning, independently and in teams, through demonstrations and research.

You'll be one of 45 students accepted into the program. Like yourself, everyone has a university or college background, and many have work experience. Many disciplines and fields of study arerepresented, leading to a rich, dynamic and varied learning environment.

Your schedule will be busy, with 24-31 in-class hours per week, plus homework. Most classes consists of a lecture and a lab, with the entire class of 45 students attending the lecture. You'll break out into smaller groups of 15 for the labs. In the computer labs, you'll have your own computer workstation and access to industry standard software to complete the labs and assignments. You'll have regular (usually weekly) applied assignments to complete for most courses, so it's important to manage your time well and perform consistently throughoutthe school year.

Classes start in September and end in mid-April. From April on, you will spend all your time applying your newly gained GIS skills to your industry research project or workplace practicum. You'll finish by the end of May or June, depending on the scheduling of your practicum.

Program length

9 months, full-time

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Program structure

    Credits
GIS Technology Courses   45.0
Management Courses   5.0
Projects Courses   12.0
Total   62.0

Graduating & Jobs

When you graduate from the program, you will have completed one of the best educations in GIS technology available anywhere and be ready for the workforce.

A career in GIS can open a lot of doors. Opportunities exist in all parts of the private and public sectors, and in all sorts of application areas.

Job Opportunities

The majority of GIS graduates are working for either private industry (forestry, GIS vendors, natural resource exploration, computer systems) consulting companies (environmental, engineering, forestry, mapping, scanning, and software) or government agencies (municipal, provincial, federal). The graduates are developing GIS databases, using GIS to analyze data and predict the result of planned changes, managing GIS projects, planning the acquisition of GIS technology, developing GIS custom systems and training GIS users.

Graduate employment outcomes

The following link takes you to graduate outcome survey results containing mostly labour market results from the 2011-2013 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2010-2012 Graduates.
Note: The survey results will be displayed in a separate browser window. To view these results, you need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

GIS Faculty are dedicated, energetic and knowledgeable, and have both GIS industry experience and formal schooling. The Department also utilizes instructors from the BCIT Geomatics Department, as well as sessional instructors from industry.

The Geographic Information Systems program benefits from the combined expertise of educational and industry professionals who form our program Advisory Committee. Their valued input and liaison with BCIT have helped ensure the relevance and currency of the program. We would like to acknowledge their continuous support for the success of the program.

GIS Faculty

Karl Kliparchuk, Program Head/Faculty
BSc, MSc (Geog), GISP
Tel. 604-451-6897
Loc. SW3-2079

Sheila Churchill, Faculty
BSc(Geology), DiplT(GIS), PGeo,  MSc(GIS)
Tel. 604-432-8737
Loc. SW3-2090

Carmen Heaver, Part-time Studies Coordinator/Faculty
BSc, DiplT(GIS),  MSc(GISc)
Tel. 604-432-8378
Loc. SW3-2091

Rob Hewlett, Faculty
BSc, DiplT(GIS), MSc(CIS)
Tel. 604-432-8746
Loc. SW3-2079

Mike Hill, Faculty
BSc,  MSc(GIS)
Tel. 604-412-7421
Loc. SW3-2079

GIS Staff

Hao Wang, Program Assistant
Tel. 604-451-7001
Loc. SW2-214

Jack Read, Systems Analyst
DiplT

Advisory committee

  • P. Bates, District of West Vancouver
  • J. Clarke, Hatfield Consultants
  • M. Doherty, ESRI Canada Ltd.
  • K. Hayne, EComm 911
  • W. Johnstone, Spatial Vision Group Inc.
  • B. Klinkenberg, UBC, Department of Geography
  • R. Lilley, GE Energy
  • C. Lim, Acuere Consulting Inc.
  • P. Lippe, Weyerhaeuser
  • S. Mak, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
  • D. Murray, TransLink
  • J. Paillard, Stornoway Diamond Corp.
  • R. Shultz, RCMP
  • M. Simon, Tetrad
  • S. Simpson, City of Surrey
  • M. Stoakes, Safe Software
  • R. Taylor, Kerr Wood Leidal

Contact Us

Hao Wang, Program Assistant
hao_wang@bcit.ca     |     604-451-7001

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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Testimonial

"The very technical nature of the program combined with programming language exposure, challenging labs requiring considerable personal problem solving, usage of web applications for specific labs and assignments, industry project design, implementation and management experience and the other comprehensive skills obtained have helped to put us a step ahead....the BCIT GIS Program has provided me with solid skills and experience"
Mike Fowler, Class of 2004
gis
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