This certificate program focuses on the skills needed to take advantage of the enormous increase in the availability and use of remotely sensed data related to the Earth. The program requires students to complete 15 credits of GGS graduate courses. Ideal candidates for this certificate are those who have a background in Earth and environmental sciences and are working in or planning to enter into the field of remote sensing, Earth observing, or image processing.

The Remote Sensing and Image Processing Graduate Certificate may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.


University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Applicants to this certificate program must submit a current résumé. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants who do not hold at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution within the US (some exceptions apply).

Applicants should hold a BA or BS degree in a discipline related to the science and applications of remote sensing from a regionally accredited university, with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Applicants should have some prior education or training in remote sensing or image processing. Students with a background in one of the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, atmospheric science, hydrology, or geology), geography, or environmental science will be particularly well-suited to undertake this program. Applicants should have an undergraduate background that includes courses in differential and integral calculus, and they should possess working knowledge of a computer programming language.


For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Premium Tuition Rate

This professional certificate program charges students at a differential (premium) tuition rate. This rate applies to all students who enroll in this certificate program, regardless of in-state or out-of-state status. The differential tuition will be used to fund continuing improvements in the departmental computational facilities used to support the certificate program.

Banner Code: SC-CERG-RSIP

Certificate Requirements

Total credits: 15

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Core Courses

GGS 579Remote Sensing3
GGS 680Earth Image Processing3
GGS 740Hyperspectral Imaging Systems3
Total Credits9


Select two electives from the following:6
Earth Science Data and Advanced Data Analysis
Physical Principles of Remote Sensing
Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing
Hyperspectral Imaging Applications
Total Credits6