FAQs | Geographic Information Systems (GIS) | Assiniboine Community College
  • School of Business, Agriculture & Environment - Ag & Enviro


    800.862.6307 ex.6685 (toll free)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply to the GIS Advanced Diploma?

    You can apply for the GIS Advanced Diploma online by going to the application instruction page.

    Apply Now

  • Do I need a related diploma or degree?

    No, any diploma or degree is acceptable.

  • Can I apply to the program with a 12-month certificate?

    No, this program requires that you have a minimum two-year diploma or university degree.

  • How can I transfer credits I have taken at another school ?

    Students would need to submit an official original transcript with a completed 'Application for Credit' in order to have your previous courses evaluated.

    The decision is based on content and duration of instruction. Previous coursework must carry a minimum grade of 'C+' and have been completed within the last five years. You may be required to provide a course outline for the previously completed course.

    Please note that any transfer credits can only come from a credential that is not used as the pre-requisite for admission to the program.


  • Will ACC tell me what courses I need to take?

    Yes, the courses are preset and are delivered in a specific order.

    There is a tracking sheet to help you keep track of course completions:

    Geographic Information Systems - Advanced

  • Do I need prior experience in agriculture or using GIS or GPS technology?

    No, prior experience isn’t required. It’s helpful if you have it, but not required. This advanced diploma program is ideal for people who want to expand their marketable skills. This program will build on your existing skillset and education. This program is well-suited for those who

    • Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
    • Have an aptitude for computer technology.
    • Have a strong sense for big picture thinking with attention to detail.
    • Are able to analyze, evaluate and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
    • Effectively work in a teamwork environment.
  • What are the courses that I will need to complete?

    There are 10 courses in the program which were selected and designed based on ongoing input from[DP1]  Program Advisors and the GIS industry. The objective is provide students with current relevant skills and knowledge needed in the GIS industry. Courses include:

    • Cartography
    • GIS Analysis
    • GIS Project Management
    • GPS Applications
    • GIS Database Management
    • Advanced Spatial Analysis
    • Remote Sensing & Image Analysis
    • Programming for GIS
    • GIS Server
    • Geomatics Applications


  • Approximately how much time should I plan to spend per week per class?

    Students are expected to devote approximately eight to twelve hours of effort per week per class.

  • Do I have to complete a course within a certain amount of time?

    Yes, GIS courses have specific start and end dates. Assignments must be completed at certain times. See your course syllabus for specific dates.

  • What are the Program Learning Outcomes for the GIS Advanced Diploma?

    Each course has specific Learning Outcomes and Elements of Performance, which will be found in the course outlines. However as a program all graduates are expected to meet the following Program Learning Outcomes.

    1. Planning - Graduates should be able to demonstrate various planning strategies when commencing a GIS project.

    2. Data - Graduates should be able to create and manage spatial and non-spatial data.

    3. Analysis - Graduates should be able to use geospatial software tools to perform spatial analysis.

    4. Products - Graduates should be able to produce diverse geospatial information products that can be presented and shared using various media.

    For a more detailed version, including Program Elements of Performance please refer to the Program Learning Outcomes – GIS Advanced Diploma

    GIS Advanced Diploma Information

  • Where will I find employment?

    GIS software is being used widely in almost all fields. GIS software are used by almost every sector including research institutions, environmental agencies, health organizations, land use planners, businesses, and government agencies at all levels. As GIS has such flexibility, graduates can find employment in many different fields.

    The majority of GIS graduates are working for either private industry (agriculture, emergency services, environmental, forestry, GIS vendors, business, retail and real estate), consulting companies (environmental, engineering, forestry, and mapping) or government agencies (municipal, provincial, federal).

  • What kind of work do GIS employees do?

    GIS staff use GIS software and hardware, customize GIS software, develop and design GIS databases, analyze GIS data, write programs to convert data, use image analysis software and integrate a variety of information. Your skills will allow you to discuss and use GIS theory to make decisions concerning GIS implementation, manage a GIS, train GIS users, implement and complete a GIS project. A significant field component may be involved in your job like collecting data, completing assessments or surveying or engineering type tasks.

  • How do I register for courses?

    Full-time students will be block registered for all the courses when they have been accepted into the program. Distance students will register for each course individually by completing a registration form and mailing it in with your payment or call us 204.725.8701 to register with a credit card.

  • What are the Program Costs?

    Costs to enroll in the GIS Advanced Diploma include charges for tuition and an information technology fee payable each semester.

    Please see Courses And Costs

  • Where do I get my books?

    You can order or pick up your books from the Assiniboine Bookstore at the Victoria Avenue East Campus, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the college bookstore’s to learn more: ACC Bookstore

  • How long will it take to complete my GIS Advanced Diploma?

    There are 2 options to complete the Advanced Diploma, on-campus or on-line. The on-campus can be completed in 1 year in a face to face setting with scheduled class times. The on-line delivery has a 1-year, 2-year or 3-year completion time frame.

    On-line delivery is a wise choice for those students who are working full or part time or who may not want to relocate to Brandon. Depending on your work schedule the 2- or 3-year options might be ideal.

    Students are expected to devote approximately eight to twelve hours of effort per week per class. It is important to choose the best delivery option for those who are working.

    Delivery options:

    One-year on-campus or distance (full-time)

    Two-year on-campus or distance (part-time)

    Three-year distance (part-time)



  • Do I need to purchase my own GPS unit?

    No, recreational and advanced GPS devices will be available for use in our on campus program. For distance learners a variety of software and smart phone apps can be used as a substitute. However, many who work in the industry have their own recreational grade GPS device.

  • Do I need to purchase my own computer? What are the technology requirements?

    On campus students will have access to ACC’s computer labs which will be running all the required software. Distance students will need to have access to their own computer and high speed Internet access to view and retrieve course content, activities, assignments, and communication tools. ACC does provide access through its Remote Desktop Services to students to access some required software.

    Many GIS students do purchase their own computers to complete school work outside of the class environment. In terms of technology requirements we recommend a computer that meets the following:

    • 64-bit version of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 is required to run most GIS software,
    • Hyperthreaded dual core or Quad core processor,
    • Minimum 8 GB or higher RAM (16 GB is optimal),
    • Hard drive with at least 60 GB free disk space,
    • SVGA or better resolution display (1024 X 768, 24-bit graphics), an Open GL-compatible video card is recommended,
    • 1 terrabyte portable drive (for on-campus students).
  • How do I obtain the software that is required for many of the courses?

    As a registered student you have access to the ArcGIS Student Edition (1 year) of the current version. It will include all necessary Extensions. It is important to note that ArcGIS is a commercial software package that is restricted to personal use by the student. It is unlawful for anyone to use this software package to generate personal or corporate profit or revenue.

    All other software will either be trial versions or Open Source and can be downloaded and installed as required.

    Students will need access to some office type software (Microsoft Office, Office 365 or another Open Source office suite). Students can obtain a Microsoft license at a reduced price through the ACC IT Services.

    Specific instructions on software will be provided in the courses.

  • How will this be different from taking courses on campus?

    Distance education courses will take place in a different kind of environment than a typical face-to-face course, in many ways your courses will be similar to on-campus instruction, with an instructor, other students, and course materials. But the courses themselves allow more flexibility than face-to-face classes. For example, you choose the time to view the lecture, complete the readings, work on the assignments or even complete quizzes, however the due dates for the assignments will be the same for both delivery options.

  • How will I interact with my instructor and other students?

    You will be part of a group (or cohort) of students in these courses, all starting and ending the course at the same time. We use a variety of means to bring students and instructors together, including:

    • online discussion forums and chat space
    • e-mail
    • telephone (one-on-one and conference calls)
    • web conferencing system that enables instructors to interact with students in real-time using voice, text, and video.
  • How quickly should I expect responses from my instructor?

    When you take a course in a traditional face-to-face classroom, you can ask a question of your professor and receive an instant response. In online courses, you can still ask questions of your instructors with ease through telephone, e-mail, online discussion forums, or other means--but unless the communication takes place in real time, the response probably won't be immediate!

    However, they are available on a regular basis and will respond to their students in a timely manner. You can expect your instructor to describe their work schedule and availability at the start of your class so that you can know when to expect responses to your questions and feedback on your work.

  • Are there final exams and how will I complete them?

    Much of our course work is project based. In general, final exams and tests are limited. Many courses have in-course quizzes which are completed online. Where tests and exams do exist Distance Learners may require a special exam arrangement. All GIS exams are online exams and may need to be written at an approved examination centre. Depending on the instructor the exam may written without invigilation but under a time constraint. If required, it is your responsibility to arrange for exam invigilation. You are also responsible for any associated costs. This will be fully explained in those courses which require an invigilated exam.

Fast Facts

Duration/Start Variable

Credential Advanced Diploma

Credits 60

Optional Exit No

Co-op Work Placement No

Distance Delivery Yes

International Students Yes

Study Options
On Campus
Distance Education
Open to International Students

Alumna receives GIS award

Kooshoom Gutlea, a recent ACC GIS graduate, was presented with the Manitoba GIS Users Group's 2014 Excellence in GIS Education Research Award.

Read More