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GIS in a digital world

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become pervasive across all industries and institutions. If you have used Google Maps to find the route from your home to a restaurant, for example, you have used a very simple form of GIS.

Program delivery mode: online

  • This program will be delivered online for the coming semester.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

A GIS is a combination of mapping software, digital maps, and databases and the processes of combining maps with databases to produce models, maps, and tables for decision-making.

The target student audience for the proposed Advanced Certificate in GIS is:

  • Professionals in other fields (e.g. forestry, emergency planning, engineering, or marketing), both public and private sector, who can make use of GIS skills in their current jobs or to advance their careers.
  • Traditional students and international students who wish to acquire specialized training to meet current or future job requirements in GIS.
  • Educators, local government officials, etc., with an undergraduate degree in any area who wish to acquire basic technical expertise in GIS.

The program

This program consists of seven courses: two foundation courses, four application level courses, and a capstone course. In the foundation courses, you will learn the theory, concepts, and related disciplines of GIS together with introductory hands-on experience using ArcGIS software. In the application level courses, you will get further experience using ArcGIS software, developing spatial databases, working with big data, and analyzing satellite and other aerial imagery.  In the capstone course, you will undertake a project using your background (e.g. engineering) to guide the topic.

Please visit our Courses page for more information on this program’s courses.

Missed an info session?

If you’ve missed a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information session, the full video is now available. Note: This information session was held May 21, 2020 and topics discussed in this session are subject to change without notice.

Fraser River Plumes and the Vancouver Area, Sentinel 2 False colour composite banner image from BCIT GIS Alumni working at Planetary Remote Sensing.

Entrance Requirements

Costs & Supplies


Program Details

Graduating & Jobs

GIS Online

The BCIT GIS Bachelor of Technology degree (B.Tech) or Advanced Diploma Program (ADP) can be completed entirely via online learning. The BCIT GIS Advanced Certificate is only offered via online learning.

Apply to the BCIT GIS AdvCertGIS ADP or GIS B.Tech program as a part-time student. You can apply anytime. You are a part-time student as you will not att/end BCIT campus, and you will take at least two years to complete all the online AdvCert or ADP courses, or the online technical courses component of the B.Tech. Note: you can only complete these courses in one year if you are a full-time BCIT campus student.

Contact Carmen Heaver to set up your online course schedule after you have submitted your application.

Register for each of your required courses following your course schedule. You may register for introductory-level courses before your application is approved. You will be permitted to register into advanced courses with approval from our program assistant, who will check that you are accepted into the program and have completed any prerequisite courses.

Tuition fees are per course. You may be able to reduce the cost by applying for transfer credit if you have already completed a course at another post-secondary institution that has equivalent learning outcomes to a BCIT GIS program course and if that course was not used as part of your GIS AdvCert, ADP or GIS B.Tech. application credit requirements. You might also have an income from a part-time job while studying and may also receive some tuition support from an employer. Note that tuition fees usually increase each year by approximately 2%.

Access Online Learning through the Learning Hub log-in page (formally D2L). Each online course is organized in a similar manner: you can use your computer to listen to lectures, connect to the BCIT computer servers, use GIS software, complete GIS software assignments just as you would in a BCIT campus computer lab, discuss questions with other class members, connect with your instructor in virtual office hours when the instructor can help with problems and demonstrate software or access your computer to help you. You do not install GIS software on your home computer, so can use a MAC, Windows or UNIX operating system machine. You complete computer lab assignments by connecting to AppsAnywhere and using BCIT GIS or other BCIT software.

You probably want to study online because you do not live near the BCIT Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada campus and do not want to relocate, or you have a job and want to study part-time. You like to have flexible study hours.

Please check our Frequently Asked Questions [PDF] for more information.

Any additional questions about completing the GIS program online, please contact Carmen Heaver or call 604-432-8378.

Contact Us

Please contact Program Advising if you have questions about:

  • Application process
  • Entrance requirements
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Program costs
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes  |  604-434-1610

Dee Morita
Program Assistant
Tel: 604-451-7001


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