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ESRI Virtual Campus Courses

Learning how to handle and use spatial information is one of the most important technologies of the 21st century, recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as being a "High Growth Industry." [Link]

ESRI provides a large selection of general and industry-specific online training courses. These course allow a person to learn, develop, and enhance job skills. Courses exist for beginners, people new to geospatial technologies to course for experts, looking to enhance job skills. Database management, programming in Python, and cartographic principles are but a few topics available.

Depending on the course, time spent learning a new topic ranges from a couple hours to as many as 36 hours of class time. Each course consists of necessary data, software instruction, plus background on techniques and methods.

ESRI provides a sophisticated course management system. Course quizzes are given. Course progress is dependent upon quiz grades. Course exams exist for many courses. Grades and course progress are managed in the ESRI course management system. Transcripts are available to students to show faculty or employers courses taken and grades achieved. Upon satisfactory course completion, the student will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

ESRI also provides an ESRI Technical Certification Program for interested users. The TCP is to recognize people who are proficient in the use of some ESRI software products and system design strategies.

Computer Requirements

Faculty, staff, and students will need ArcGIS for Desktop to use for Virtual Campus courses. The computer requirements for ArcGIS for Desktop Student Edition are the same as those for the non-student edition.

For specific system requirement details, visit ArcGIS Resources - System Requirements.

For most users, the following requirements will be sufficient.

  • Operating System: XP, Vista, 7 (32- or 64-bit). Windows 8 is supported only at ArcGIS 10.1 Service Pack 1
  • CPU Speed: 2.2GHz minimum.
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4, Core Duo,  or Xeon. AMD processors will work but are not noted on the support page.
  • RAM: 2GB minimum. MARC recommends a minimum of 4GB.
  • Graphics Card: Any NVIDIA or ATI card w/more than 256MB RAM will work. Card must support OpenGL v2.0 or higher.
  • Display: A 24-bit color display with a resolution equal to or greater than 1024x768.

Murray State / MARC / ESRI Virtual Campus Availability

Courtesy of the MSU/MARC Higher Education Site License Agreement, over 70 different ESRI Virtual Campus Courses are available - for free - to Murray State Faculty and Staff, and currently enrolled students.

For a current list of ESRI Virtual Campus courses, visit

Enrollment Information

Due to the complexity and time commitment required for ESRI Virtual Campus courses, course enrollment will be limited to 2 courses at a time. 

The MSU/ESRI Virtual Campus Administrator will use the information provided below for acquiring ESRI Virtual Campus enrollment authorization codes.

  1. Request your Virtual Campus codes
  2. ESRI generates the authorization codes and returns those codes to the Virtual Campus Administrator.
  3. The MSU/ESRI Virtual Campus Administrator will forward the codes to the person requesting via email.
  4. The authorization email will contain information on how to activate the Virtual Campus course.
  5. If codes are requested for a course, the instructor will receive all codes and then distribute to students.

Sample Email:

Sample virtual campus email 

Individual Enrollment (Faculty/Staff/Students)

Faculty, staff, and students wanting to learn, improve, or enhance their personal GIS skills can submit an enrollment request using the form below.

ESRI Virtual Campus provides a dashboard for course management, including tracking progress, recording grades, and building a transcript. Transcripts can be valuable later when proof of MSU course or project completion is required. Many employers use ESRI Virtual Campus course transcripts as evidence of GIS competency.

This form is for faculty, staff, or currently enrolled students to request two Virtual Campus courses for their own personal learning needs. You are welcome to request additional courses after completing the first two, and to continue requesting courses upon completion of the previous VC courses.

Faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students must provide a valid Murray State email address to enroll.

If codes for students enrolled in a particular course are needed, please use the "ESRI Virtual Campus: Course" form.

Course Enrollment

Faculty and staff needing to enroll an entire class in a specific ESRI Virtual Campus course can submit an enrollment request using the form below.

  1. Course codes will be generated by ESRI and emailed to the campus Virtual Campus administrator
  2. The campus VC administrator will forward an email containing all codes and instructions to the faculty person requesting codes.
  3. The faculty person will then distribute the codes to the students along with instructions contained in the email.
Faculty who would like to enroll an entire class in a specific ESRI Virtual Campus course may use this form to submit a request for course authorization codes.

The requesting instructor will be receive a single email containing all course authorization codes and a set of instructions. The instructor will then provide each student an authorization code and a copy of the instructions detailing the code use. 

The students will be required to create an ESRI Global Account as part of the enrollment process. As part of the Virtual Campus product, students will be able to measure and track progress while also maintaining a transcript of courses taken and certificates achieved. Certificates are full-color. Transcripts are valuable assets to provide evidence of GIS competency.

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