Harper College

Drone Technology and Applications Certificate

Launch your career in a fast growing field as drone pilot or imagery analyst

Program facts Social Sciences icon


  • Credit hours: 16
  • Stackable to degree: No
  • Potential job outcomes: Drone pilot, drone image specialist, data technician, remote sensing technician

This certificate provides you with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS or drones) in variety of business and public sector domains working as pilots, drone image specialists, data technicians, or remote sensing technicians.

Drone technology is used in fields as diverse as agriculture, utilities inspection, public safety, search and rescue, mapping and surveying, insurance, mining, real estate, and cinematography.

UAS-CTI Logo

Proud participant in the FAA’s UAS Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI)

Upon completing this program you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of multi-rotor and fixed-wing sUAS
  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of photography and camera systems
  • Apply sUAS operational best practices to mission planning and execution
  • Demonstrate flight proficiency and the use of pre and post flight checklists
  • Utilize software tools to create basic drone imagery products
  • Have the requisite knowledge to take the Part 107 FAA Exam

Harper's program is a proud participant in the FAA's UAS Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) and offers you:

  • Part 107 certified and experienced faculty
  • Professional and enterprise multirotor and fixed wing drones
  • Drone flight zones for classroom training
  • Flight training for beginner to experienced pilots
  • Computer labs with industry GIS and UAS data processing software

This certificate is closely tied to Harper’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate program which provides students with hands on experience with the latest GIS technology and techniques.

Read more about Harper's drone program.

For more information contact Mukila Maitha, Associate Professor, Chair, Geography Department, at mmaitha@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6521.

Certificate program requirements

This 16 credit-hour certificate program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively use drones (Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems, sUAS) in variety of business and public sector domains working as pilots, drone image specialists, or remote sensing technicians. Drone technology is used in diverse fields including agriculture, ecological monitoring, cinematography, environmental management, insurance, mapping and surveying, military operations, mining, photography, public safety, real estate, search and rescue, and structural inspections.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

Required:

Number Course Title Credits
ART 250 3

Description:  Employs digital technology as a medium for producing works of photographic art. Basic techniques and processes for using a digital still camera, image editing software and archival print technology are used to investigate straight photography as well as highly manipulated images. May be repeated for up to six hours of credit. Limited free camera loans available for duration of the course; contact the instructor for more information.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

ART 251 or

Description:  Moving beyond basic tools and techniques for generating digital photographic artworks, students explore varied digital image workflow strategies, studio photography and lighting, and emerging photographic technologies, such as drone aerial photography, video, and camera phones. Artwork output and presentation tactics are stressed. May be repeated for up to six hours of credit. Limited free camera loans and misc. photo equipment available for duration of the course; contact the instructor for more information. Although not a requirement, students interested in an introduction to photography are recommended to begin with ART 250 Introduction to Photographic Art.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

GEG 150 3

Description:  Provides an introduction to geospatial technologies, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing through hands-on computer based exercises. The essential principles of map use and design, and spatial analysis are also included in this course. Fundamental desktop computer skills assumed. IAI S4 905

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

GEG 160 1

Description:  Provides knowledge about the regulations and procedures governing the legal operation of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) in the United States of America. Course content aligns with knowledge areas in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Part 107 airman knowledge test for a Remote Pilot Certificate with a sUAS rating.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

GEG 161 3

Description:  Introduces the fundamentals of flying drones (or Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems, sUAS) with a focus on flight proficiency skills, safety procedures, mission planning best practices, and image acquisition procedures.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

GEG 162   F   3

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term. Introduces students to the methods used to capture, process, analyze, and present drone (or Small Uncrewed Aerial Systems, sUAS) data. Includes drone data applications, image and sensor characteristics, mission planning, data acquisition, post processing, and data analysis fundamentals.

Prerequisite: GEG 161 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

Electives: Select three credit hours from the following courses

Number Course Title Credits
GEG 250   F   3

DescriptionThis course is only offered in the fall term.

Provides an introduction to remote sensing of the Earth. Topics include the physical principles upon which remote sensing is based; history and future directions; sensors and their characteristics; image data sources; image classification, interpretation and analysis techniques; and the integration of workflow outputs into GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

Prerequisite: GEG 150 with a grade of C or better.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

MCM 210 3

Description:  Focuses on using non-linear editing software to combine visuals and sound for a variety of genres and media types including cinematic storytelling, documentaries, news, and web series. Includes editing theory and techniques; film history; and post-production workflow including ingesting media, editing, sound mixing, color correction, and final delivery.

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

MCM 212 3

Description:  Introduces students to the application of fundamental multi-camera production techniques. Includes terminology, conceptualization, basic script writing, audio board operations, editing, shooting and lighting in multi-camera settings including live events, social media streaming and video conferencing. IAI MC 916-A

Class Schedule:  Summer 2024 | Fall 2024

 

Related programs

Next steps

To learn more on potential careers or coursework, contact the Geography Department.

For more information about Drone Technology and Applications courses, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.

Last Updated: 4/10/24