link to Santosh email

Virginia Tech students are now eligible to receive the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Geospatial Intelligence Certificate. This will be a valuable credential to graduates entering the competitive job markets for national security and intelligence using geospatial data analysis. Virginia Tech is one of only 21 colleges and universities that are accredited to offer the geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) certificate from the USGIF. 

The Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program (GCP) requires 18 credit hours and a minimum grade requirement. There are three core courses and two electives chosen from a list of nine courses. The capstone, which can be undergraduate research, independent study, field experience, or approved internship, will synthesize the coursework through experiential learning. All courses and the capstone are three credit hours.

Assistant Professor Santosh Rijal is coordinating the program within the Department of Geography.

What are the advantages of the GEOINT certificate?

·      The GEOINT certificate will enhance the educational credentials of graduates looking to enter the field of geospatial intelligence applications, whether in government or the private sector.

·      Students who aspire to work in areas related to national security will benefit from the certificate as an endorsement from the USGIF in competency and breadth of knowledge.

·      Completion of the GCP demonstrates foundational, workplace, and academic competencies, as well as an understanding of remote sensing, GIS, cartography, and analytic processes. It also indicates a mastery of techniques for discovering and creating spatial data and identifying appropriate methods for effective communication of spatial information.


Students work in the GIS lab in Wallace Hall

Students work in the GIS lab in Wallace Hall
Students work in the GIS lab in Wallace Hall

Who may pursue the GEOINT certificate?

Any undergraduate student enrolled at Virginia Tech is eligible to enroll in the coursework and earn the certificate. Students who are working toward a minor in geographic information systems will be close to completing coursework for the GEOINT certificate because the requirements are nearly congruent.

By providing the GEOINT certificate, the USGIF is meeting its primary purpose of promoting education as the essential ingredient for the advancement of geospatial intelligence best practices and technological advancement.

The USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation that works to promote geospatial intelligence tradecraft and foster strong ties between government, educational, professional, and corporate organizations that use geospatial intelligence as part of national security concerns. 

The USGIF’s accreditation process was rigorous and thorough. By selecting Virginia Tech, the USGIF acknowledged that the university is on the cutting edge of research and application of geospatial technology and its integration into the areas of national security and intelligence. 


Choose between GEOG 2034 Geography of Global Conflict – or – GEOG 2104 Introduction to Environmental Security

GEOG 2084 Principles of Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 4354 Introduction to Remote Sensing


Choose two:

GEOG 3314 Cartography

GEOG 4084 Modeling With Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 4254 R Programming for Geospatial Applications

GEOG 4314 Spatial Analysis in Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 4324 Algorithms in Geographic Information Systems

GEOG 4334 Geospatial Information Technology for Land Change Modeling

GEOG 4374 Remote Sensing and Phenology

GEOG 4394 Introduction to Web Mapping

GEOG 4404 Geovisualization

Choose one:

GEOG 4964 Field Study

GEOG 4974 Independent Study

GEOG 4994 Undergraduate Research