Geographic Information Systems - Applications Specialist (Online)

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Take a virtual tour of the GIS wing. The tour was created as a GIS Collaborative Project by a team of three GIS students.

September 2021

Availability: Accepting Applications
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 07, 2021
Offered at:
Program code:
Sem 1 Delivery:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$2,238.04 per semester*
$8,066.72 per semester*
Complete tuition detail below

Fleming College is now offering its renowned GIS - Applications Specialist on-line. To be eligible, you must reside in Canada in order to access technical support.

Program Highlights

The Geographic Information Systems Application Specialist is the "wizard" who provides technical expertise to produce effective and useful plans and project reports through the applied use of technology.

GIS Application Specialists help public and private sector agencies and organizations do effective planning to manage all aspects of the environment and community life. For example, you might work on natural resources, agriculture, or community health projects. You'll be collecting information, and then distilling it to be put into a form that specialists and technicians can use. It's a fast-growing field, with more industries relying on GIS tools and expertise than ever before.

In this ten-month, post-graduate, intensive GIS program you will learn how to use current, high-end technology tools to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, interpret, and communicate geographic information within a variety of disciplines.

As a student taking the program remotely, you will use leading-edge web conferencing technology, enabling you to:

  • Share in the same experience as your fellow students who are participating in the program at Fleming College's Frost Campus (in Lindsay)
  • Be in the same "class" and take the same courses at the same time, since the program is delivered synchronously
  • Have the same access to faculty teaching the program as students who are physically in the class in Lindsay
  • Collaborate with your peers
  • Earn the same credential upon program completion - an Ontario College Graduate Certificate from Fleming College - recognizing the comprehensive and advanced level of study achieved.

Best of all, you will be able to stay in your home community, saving on costs, and making it feasible to pursue this 10-month post-graduate opportunity.

Why Choose Fleming College GIS?

Our quality faculty and curriculum, geomatics resources and our track record of success are compelling reasons to choose this program. Fleming College's leadership in this field has been recognized by industry, government and business partners through their support in establishing the Geomatics Institute at Fleming. As a result, students have access to the latest computer hardware, software, data resources and field technology used in the industry today, as well as unprecedented learning and employment opportunities.

Fleming was the first college to offer GIS training in Ontario, and has been doing so for over 20 years - and we're constantly upgrading and revising our program to suit the current and future demands of the field.

In addition to acquiring a hands-on, firm foundation using GIS technology tools, you will have many opportunities to build on your teamwork, team building, project management, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Since employers are seeking these broad-based transferrable skills, this experience working in technology teams will give you an edge in the workplace.

Program Duration

This three-semester program starts in September with a 15-week semester ending in December, continues in January with another 15-week semester ending in April, and concludes with a seven-week semester starting in May and ending in June.

Collaborative Applied Project

You'll spend a significant part of your time in the program doing experiential work - putting theory into practice. A collaborative GIS project in the final semester involves cross-disciplinary teams from the GIS Applications Specialist and Cartographic Specialist programs working together on a project for a business, government, or industry client.

You will work on the collaborative project during the final four months of the program. During the last two months, you will work on it almost exclusively. This is similar to a co-op position, but for marks (not paid). The course is focused on giving you real-world experience with an outside organization and frequently leads to employment opportunities. You will be asked to attend the Open House, where team projects are on display, on the last day of the program, in person, at Frost Campus in Lindsay, Ontario. So please include the travel costs associated with this in your budget for taking the online program.

Is this You?

Knowing your way around a computer, hardware and software, is definitely high on the list of skills you need to succeed in this field. You should also possess the following:

  • interest in ongoing education and upgrading
  • creativity
  • perseverance (there are many challenges)
  • willingness to work hard (a 40 - 60 hour work week in the program)
  • energy and persistence
  • analytical skills
  • problem solving ability

Career Opportunities

Canadian Business recently published an article on "Canada’s Best Jobs." The article states:

"The explosion of big data and the growing need for location-aware hardware and software has led to a boom in the field of mapping," concluding that this field is "…poised for growth, with the highest projected demand among the top 20 jobs."

Read the article

Upon graduation, when combined with your previous education/work experience, you could work in positions as diverse as GIS programmer/analyst, applications specialist/consultant, ecosystem IT manager, utilities manager, database manager, GIS systems operator, and land information manager. The options for career change are strong. You can go back to your previous profession and apply your GIS studies there, or make a move into a new career.

How to Apply:

Apply online to Fleming College through Ontario Colleges Application Service ( Select Fleming College, GIS Applications Specialist - (Online).


You will require a computer, internet access and a headset with microphone, earpieces, and USB connectivity. Plan on spending $1000 for books and supplies. You may also be required to pay examination proctoring fees.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Students applying to Geographic Information Systems - Applications Specialist (Online) must meet the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree or Ontario College diploma in a related field or equivalent

Applicants who do not meet the requirements listed above who possess a combination of education and relevant experience may be considered on an individual basis.

Recommended (but not required for admission)

  • Since GIS is a field of study that makes extensive use of computer hardware and software technology, students entering the GIS-Applications Specialist program must be familiar with computers. While not required, advantageous skills include: introductory level statistics, or finite mathematics, database and computer programming experience.

Technology Requirements

Latest version of windows running on hardware that meets or exceeds the recommended specifications by ESRI for ArcGIS Pro. The latest recommended and optimal configuration can be found on the ArcGIS Pro system requirements page.

Tuition and Fees Detail

Tuition and ancillary fees are subject to change without notice. The fees presented below reflect Fall start programs only for the current academic year. For details about the fee differences for other program start dates please refer to the below.

Transfer Agreements

You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized below.

Vancouver Island University

  • Minimum B cumulative program average.
  • Bachelor's degree in any discipline.
  • Review the articulation agreement for further details.
  • The program is offered as a blended face-to-face or entirely online.
Transfer Credit
  • Entry into 2nd-year studies of a 2-year program.
  • Refer to the articulation agreement for further details.

To apply please see the EducationPlannerBC website.

For more information
Visit the Vancouver Island University website for further articulation and program information.

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