Overview »

Admissions requirements »

How to apply »

Program codes »

Conditions for
non-degree students »

Current UIC students »

International students »

Application deadlines »

Academic policies »

Academic coursework »


Campus certificates are designed to provide student with a baccalaureate degree (BA or equivalent) the opportunity to improve their skills and gain a credential to advance in their chosen career path. Certificate programs are open to both graduate students who are currently enrolled in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy and to graduate non-degree students admitted to a certificate program. The Department of Urban Planning and Policy offers two campus certificate programs, detailed below.

Geospatial Analysis and Visualization (GSAV)

The campus certificate program in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization (GSAV) will develop students’ skills in the spatial analysis and visualization of data, including analyzing the relationships, interactions, and the development of maps and models that communicate complex information to their audiences. Students in the GSAV Campus Certificate will learn visualization theory and the effective use of various visualization tools. They will also recognize when, how, and with which audience each of these tools will be most appropriately used. GSAV students will also develop basic skills in computer visualization and GIS, including knowledge of data management and manipulation, composition, spatial analysis, and cartography and map design.

All students will develop a working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems, and each student will develop more advanced skills in a particular aspect of geospatial analysis and visualization (advanced visualization techniques, Geographic Information Systems, or complexity-based modeling for planning and policy). Students will be able to develop skills in specific computer technologies and software packages currently used in professional settings (including image processing, agent-based modeling, and web authoring tools) and will also be able to effectively address both the conceptual and technical issues of how to make complex information clear and effective for diverse audiences.

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Public Transit Planning and Management (PTPM)

A 12-credit, three course campus certificate focused on the design, funding, and operations of public transit systems, including paratransit. The Public Transit Planning & Management (PTPM) Certificate is designed for persons interested in a public transit career, public transit professionals who wish to receive state-of-the-art instruction in transit finance and funding, management, planning and methods and advance along a chosen career path within public transit agencies and non-profit organizations. The PTPM certificate curriculum focuses on how each function operates within a transit system, the dynamic interrelationship between the functions in the management of public transit systems, the complicated context of a transit agency, and how to effectively communicate within that context.

Knowledge and skills developed include: funding and finance of transportation projects; federal legislation and state, regional and municipal planning and government bodies in development; transportation and land use; bus, rail, and paratransit scheduling, demand management, commuter benefits and marketing strategies; data collection and management issues; performance evaluation methodologies; safety and security issues; and human resources and labor relations.

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Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration
in Survey Research Methodology

The Department offers students the opportunity to participate in CUPPA's Survey Research Laboratory's Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology. This provides UIC graduate students state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in scientifically grounded survey research methodology. Using a multidisciplinary strategy that draws upon survey research resources across the UIC campus, the GCSRM provides a unique opportunity for systematic, integrated study of the conduct of professional survey research.

For more information about this program, visit the Survey Research Laboratory's website.

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Admissions requirements

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university with a grade point average of at least 3.00 (A=4.00) for the final 60 semester hours of undergraduate study is the minimum requirement for admission to both the GSAV and PTPM certificates. Students who wish to enroll only in the certificate program are admitted as non-degree students. Degree-seeking students wishing to complete the certificate program while earning their graduate degree should indicate in the personal statement required for admission their intentions to enroll in and complete the post-baccalaureate campus certificate concurrently.

International students may not want to apply to this program because it is
considered non-degree study; non-degree study on a student visa is not allowed.

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How to apply

Non-degree applicants to certificate programs should follow the process on this page. Click on the third pink box at the bottom of the page to apply to non-degree and non-degree certificate programs.

An application is considered to have met the deadline if the online application form is submitted by the deadline for the semester for which the application is made. Note that once the online application is submitted, you will be unable to upload any documents for 3-5 days, until the campus Office of Admissions and Records sends you a link for document uploads. Documents should be uploaded as soon as possible after submitting the online application.

Non-degree applicants for certificate programs in UPP are required to submit the following documents:

An official copy of the baccalaureate transcript indicating the earned degree(s). International academic documents that are evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service that holds membership in the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) are also acceptable. A grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) in the last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree is required.

A personal statement: a concise typed statement of the student’s reason for seeking the certificate, particularly how the campus certificate relates to their career and possible educational goals.

Current resume or curriculum vitae.

GRE or GMAT scores may be submitted but are not required.

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Program codes

Geospatial Analysis and Visualization Campus Certificate
Program code: 20FS5209NDEG

Public Transit Planning and Management Campus Certificate
Program code: 20FS5455NDEG

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Conditions for Non-Degree Students

The core courses and core concentration courses in the MUPP and/or Ph.D programs are not available to non-degree students.

Non-degree students later admitted as degree candidates may, by petition, transfer graduate level courses taken as non-degree students in which grades of A or B were earned. The number of transferable hours taken as a non-degree student is up to 12 semester hours for MUPP degree students and 8 hours for Ph.D. degree students.

Matriculation into our graduate program as a non-degree student does not mean you will be admitted into our degree programs. You must apply for regular admission to the MUPP or Ph.D. degree programs. Our admissions committee will review your application and make a recommendation regarding admittance based on your statement of interest, research agenda (if a PhD applicant) or career goals (if a MUPP applicant), writing sample, letters of reference, and academic qualifications.

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Current UIC Students

If you are currently enrolled as a student in UPP, please complete the Intent to Complete GSAV Certificate form. If you are currently enrolled as a UIC student in another department or college, please contact Hazel Brown for information about enrolling in the GSAV Certificate program.

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Important Information for International Students

International students not pursuing a graduate degree at UIC may not apply to this program because it is considered non-degree study. Non-degree study on a student visa is not allowed.

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Application deadlines

The number of students admitted is limited. Admissions are selective and competitive. Submit your application early in order to receive fullest consideration.

Deadline for applications for fall semester is August 1; for spring semester it is November 15. There is no admission to the summer semester.

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Academic policies

Receipt of the Campus Certificate in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization (GSAV) or Public Transit Planning and Management (PTPM) requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all courses taken toward the certificate, with a minimum grade of C in all courses.

Admission as a certificate student does not guarantee admission to any UIC degree program. Students seeking admission to a graduate program in UPP must meet all admission requirements for the program they wish to enroll in. Students previously or concurrently admitted to the MUPP or PhD program can apply up to 12 credits earned for the Certificate toward their degree program, as permitted by UPP’s policies laid out in the Student Handbooks, provided that all other program requirements are fulfilled.

To be successfully enrolled in a certificate program and receive the certificate and notation on their UIC transcript, MUPP students must complete both the Intent to Complete Certificate Program form and the Certificate Request for Change of Graduate Program form. Students admitted as non-degree certificate students who are later admitted to a graduate degree program in UPP can apply up to 12 credits with a grade of B or better toward a degree in UPP, provided they meet all admission requirements to the academic program and are admitted within three years of completion of the certificate program.

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Academic coursework

For more detailed descriptions of courses for the certificate programs, please refer to the UIC Graduate Catalog.

For information about course scheduling, please refer to the Two Year Plan for Course Availability. You can also review course syllabi from previous semesters.

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Certificate in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization

The GSAV Certificate is based on five course offerings, with two required courses and one elective course. A total of 12 hours is required for the campus certificate.
The two courses (8 hours) required of all students are:

UPP 460, 4 hours—Introduction to Geospatial Analysis and Visualization (offered fall & spring)

UPP 461, 4 hours—Geographic Information Systems for Planning (formerly UPP 508; offered fall & spring)

Each student will develop more advanced skills in a particular aspect of geospatial analysis and visualization through elective coursework (4 hours) from among an additional four courses:

UPP 462, 4 hours—Intermediate GIS for Planning (offered fall & spring).

UPP 463, 4 hours—Complexity-based Models for Planning and Policy (variable offerings, fall or spring).

UPP 464, 4 hours—Advanced Visualization Techniques (variable offerings, fall or spring).

UPP 465, 1-4 hours—Special Topics in GSAV (variable offerings, fall, spring or summer).

These courses allow students to focus on the geospatial analysis or visualization methods that are most applicable to their particular educational and career goals. The GSAV Campus Certificate will take 9-15 months to complete, based on a student’s time of admission, course load, and schedule of course offerings.

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Certificate in Public Transit Planning and Management

The PTPM Certificate is based on three course offerings. A total of 12 hours is required for the campus certificate.

The three courses (12 hours) required of all students are:

UPP 564, 4 hours—Public Transit Managemen

UPP 566, 4 hours—Transportation Project Funding and Financ

UPP 565, 4 hours—Transportation: Special Topics (only when offered as Public Transit Planning and Methods)

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