Should I take courses concurrently? Will they be offered again?

Each course runs every month and the courses in this specialization are designed to be taken in order, not together. The courses directly build on each other, so if you have little to no experience, you will not be able to follow along unless you take the courses in order. The order is listed below, and on the specialization page.

  1. Fundamentals of GIS
  2. GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality
  3. Geospatial and Environmental Analysis
  4. Imagery, Automation, and Applications
  5. Capstone: Geospatial Analysis (can only be taken last by those who purchased the whole specialization)

While it’s not strictly required that you take each course, you should if you have no prior experience. If you do have prior experience, it’s recommended you at least audit each course in order to double check that you have experience with all of the covered topics. Additionally, licenses are only provided in the first week of Fundamentals of GIS.

Again, each course is offered monthly (as of this writing, courses 4 and 5 have yet to launch, but they will be on the same schedule) – you will not miss out on the courses by waiting and taking the prior courses.


What happens if I fall behind in a course? Will I be penalized?

The good news is that it’s OK to fall behind – nothing bad happens. Coursera is trying to help you finish the course, not punish you for falling behind. First, each course, except the capstone, only has one hard deadline, and that’s the one for the final project. Still if you miss that, or many quizzes, Coursera may offer to adjust your deadlines, which is to say that it might move you to the next session of the course. You can also do this manually at the bottom of the course info page while logged in (as of this writing), or by going to your course dashboard (follow these instructions). Since these courses currently run monthly, it really just moves you to being on track again with your deadlines.

If you paid for the course, you have a full year to complete it with Coursera – so make sure to complete it within that window, but otherwise there is no penalty in your grades or otherwise for falling behind, for any reason.