Membership FAQ

  1. Who can Become a Member of UCGIS?

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science offers different membership categories: Basic, Full, and Affiliate. Colleges and universities, national laboratories, and professional societies from the United States are eligible to become Basic or Full Members.
Affiliates are organizations that are not suitable for regular membership, but are actively involved in education, research, or service related to geographic information science.

  • International Affiliates are any colleges, universities, nonprofit research organizations, or government-funded research centers that are based outside of the United States. 
  • Non-Profit Affiliates come from for-profit organizations.
  • Corporate Affiliates represent commercial entities. 
  • Government Affiliates have a separate line item in the Federal Budget.


  1. How do Basic, Full, and Affiliates Memberships differ?
  • The traditional, flagship UCGIS membership is a Full one, designed for an academic institution, organization, or society as a whole. Any individuals affiliated with the entity, from any school, department, or program, are all eligible to participate in UCGIS activities and partake of UCGIS representation. Institutions holding Full memberships typically have GIS&T education and research taking place within multiple Schools, Departments, and Programs across their campus. Full members have unlimited access to UCGIS resources, and are entitled to two (2) votes by their designated Delegates on matters of UCGIS interest and concern. Dues for Full Members are $2000/year. 
  • A Basic membership, designed for a single Department, Program, or School within an institution, is an option when a Full membership is not possible.  This category accommodates institutions with GIS&T education and research limited to one School, Department, or Program, and may be suitable for a smaller institution overall. Basic members have full access to some UCGIS resources while others are limited, and entitled to designate one (1) voting Delegate.  Dues for Basic Members are $750/year.
  • Affiliate members may participate fully in UCGIS activities, and are entitled to many UCGIS resources and benefits. However, their Delegates may not vote or hold office. Dues for Affiliate Members vary and are set by the Board of Directors.


  1. We are familiar with UCGIS and definitely wish to apply for membership.  How do we begin?

a.  ​Read through the Application Process to gather and organize the information required. Since this will involve communicating and coordinating with one or more people from your institution or organization, plan accordingly.  
b. Contact the Membership Committee Chair and the Executive Director to advise them of your intentions and clarify any questions you may still have about UCGIS membership.
c. Obtain a Letter of Support from your a senior administrator at your institution, indicating that they recognize and accept the responsibility for regular financial support of UCGIS membership. If you are applying for a Full Membership, the individual must be a President or Provost.  For a Basic Membership, a Dean is also eligible. For Affiliate Memberships, please discuss this matter with the Executive Director as you prepare your application.
d. Note that there is a $500 initiation fee to join UCGIS. This one-time fee is the same regardless of membership category, and is collected only after an institution's application for membership is approved by the Council.  
4. We have a full institutional membership and have arranged to have three different departments contribute to the annual dues. They are all willing to do this because the faculty and students from these departments all enjoy the benefits. But these departments are in different colleges within our university, and coordinating the internal transfer of the funds each year is an administrative hassle. What can you do to help us?
No problem! UCGIS can provide separate invoices for each department, and can even send the individual invoices at different times of the year, if that makes it easier. Just let us know how you would like it coordinated and we'll keep track of it all for you. 
5. Our university used to be a member of UCGIS years ago, but we aren't any more. What would we have to do to become members again?
Re-initiating a membership is simple and requires only a letter of intent.  To begin, please contact Diana Sinton to discuss your interest.  There is a $250 re-initiation fee, regardless of whether the membership category will change. 
6. I think that our institution would benefit from being a member of UCGIS, but I am not certain.  How can I learn more?
Please contact the current Membership Committee Chair, anyone from our Board of Directors, or our Executive Director, to ask any questions you have and learn more about this organization.