USGIF Offers First Entry-Level Geospatial Intelligence Certification of its Kind

“The Essentials” exam provides recent graduates and young professionals the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge across foundational GEOINT competencies

Herndon, Virginia (October 24, 2019)—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is pleased to announce the addition of an entry-level geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) certification to its suite of professional designations. “The Essentials” exam is intended for recent graduates and young professionals in the GEOINT field to demonstrate their knowledge across the foundational competencies outlined in USGIF’s GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK).

USGIF piloted The Essentials exam in partnership with 10 of its accredited college and university programs. Of the 90 students who participated in the pilot exam, 57 passed, yielding a promising success rate of 63%.

“This is a first but strong iteration of an entry-level exam that did not exist for the community,” said Dr. Camelia Kantor, USGIF’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. “In time, with more recent graduates and young professionals taking the test, we will be able to adjust the exam to even better reflect a broader GEOINT base. USGIF is committed to updating the exam to ensure it is a good representation of foundational knowledge and an accurate measure of individual knowledge attainment.”

The pilot exam was a success thanks largely in part to the engagement of USGIF-accredited universities.

“I was delighted to coordinate this effort on the UNCW campus and to see the excitement with which students took advantage of the opportunity, knowing they would thus have an independent assessment of their GEOINT skills,” said Dr. Narcisa Pricope, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Participating students are already benefiting as well.

“The Essentials certification helps me convey the depth of my foundational knowledge in remote sensing and geographic information systems as well as my ability to think critically and analytically about problems in both a spatial and practical context,” said UNCW student Kerry Mapes. “Having this certification has broadened the range of jobs that are available to me and is a distinguishing feature I can list on my resume and business card.”

USGIF is offering two opportunities to take The Essentials exam at its Trajectory Event Center in Herndon, Va., at a 25% discount. Testing will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 14 and 21. To sign up, contact by Nov. 6.

Additionally, interested colleges and universities will benefit from discounts if hosting The Essentials exam on their campus or referring students to designated testing centers.

USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community among government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who develop and apply GEOINT to address global security challenges. USGIF achieves its mission via its strategic pillars: Build the Community | Advance the Tradecraft | Accelerate Innovation. For more information, please visit and follow USGIF on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.