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Graduate Certificate in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)


Graduate Certificate in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are increasingly being used for applications that range from package delivery to transportation planning to global change science. Our 11-credit online graduate certificate in UAS teaches you about drone platforms and sensors, mission planning, how to safely fly drones, and importantly, how to rigorously manage and analyze the large datasets that drone-based sensors collect. Students explore other areas of remote sensing or geospatial science by choosing a related elective course from the GIST program or other departments on campus (with approval). Adding a UAS certificate to your graduate program gives you expertise in this fast-growing field, and students who decide later to earn our professional master’s degree in GIS&T can apply these courses to their program.


Unmanned Aerial Systems Graduate Certificate

In this certificate program, you will learn to safely use Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) and to collect and process geospatial data acquired by them. Demand for professionals trained to operate drones and process drone imagery is growing rapidly in agriculture, natural resource management, construction, energy, transportation, business, and many other fields. A significant aspect of this 11-credit online graduate certificate (with a 2-credit, field-based flight school) is to prepare you to become an FAA certified pilot and to use industry-standard image processing techniques.

Required Courses (8 Credits)

GIST5410 - UAS Sensors and Platforms Credits: 1

GIST5420 - UAS Mission Planning Credits: 1

GIST5430 - UAS Regulations and Safety Credits: 1

GIST5440 - UAS Ground School and Operations Credits: 2 *

GIST5450 - UAS Photogrammetry and Imagery Process Credits: 3 *

Electives (3 Credits)

Choose from remote sensing courses or interdisciplinary UAS applications courses

Total: 8-11 Credits

Graduate UAS Certificate Catalog page 


In the last 10+ years, UAS (drones) have evolved from aerial vehicles used primarily by the military, to important tools in science, business, and civil government. Trained drone pilots and data analysts can apply their skills to graduate studies across disciplines or in careers in construction, journalism, energy development, agriculture, business, and many other fields that comprise this $100 billion industry.

Have questions or want
to find out more?

Contact our program advisor:
Beth McMillan

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