Drone Technology and Applications Certificate

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

Program facts  Social Sciences icon

  • Credit hours: 12
  • Stackable to degree: No
  • Potential job outcomes: Drone pilot, drone image specialist, data technician, remote sensing technician

Our certificate provides students 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.

Upon completing this program students 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

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

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.

Introduces Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) safety procedures, mission planning best practices, maintenance protocols, flight proficiency, and the fundamentals of sUAS image processing. Prerequisite: GEG 160 or valid Federal Aviation Administration Remote Airman Certificate (Part 107)

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. Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101

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.

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.

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.