Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate certificates may be awarded to recognize academic accomplishment in a cluster of related graduate courses on a topic, theme or area as defined by the appropriate faculty. These certificates serve as the student's record of coherent academic accomplishment and, thus, will also be noted on the student's official academic transcript. They are neither academic degree programs nor professional credentialing programs.
Graduate certificate programs typically consist of 3 to 6 graduate courses (9 to 18 credit hours). Specific requirements and sequences leading to these certificates are described in sections of this Catalog for the respective College or School, as are the specific curricula, courses and requirements of the divisions and departments offering them.
Types of Certificates
There are three general types of graduate-level certificates:
- Free-standing certificates recognize the successful completion of a focused set of course work independent of a graduate degree program.
- Certificates awarded concurrently with an associated master's or doctoral degree which indicate that a specific and elective sequence of course work has been followed.
Certificates that recognize the successful completion of additional course work and which reflect academic accomplishment beyond the normal requirements for a degree.
Students seeking graduate certificates must apply to and be accepted for admission into either the specific certificate program or an associated degree program. Students who are admitted into a degree program and who wish to concurrently pursue a graduate certificate should notify the certificate program director in writing before half of the required hours for the certificate are completed.
Transfer hours are not acceptable for free-standing certificate programs except in those instances where the certificate program is cross-institutional and the transfer policy is clearly articulated between the governing institutions. Transfer credit may be accepted toward certificates associated with concurrent degree programs in accordance with the transfer policies that govern those degree programs.
Subsequent Degree Programs
Students enrolled in free-standing certificate programs may usually apply their certificate course work toward an eventual degree. Exceptions should be noted in the certificate program proposal and communicated clearly to students upon admission into the certificate program. Students desiring to apply their certificate credits toward an eventual degree must also apply to and be accepted for admission into that degree program when the decision is made to pursue the degree program.