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Graduate Certificates

Section 8.3 of the Graduate School Handbook

Certificate programs provide students an opportunity to demonstrate competence in a coherent curriculum or area of specialization. Certificates often supplement previous advanced degrees or further professional preparation. Certificates may also serve as an entry point to additional advanced graduate study. Graduate certificates can be free-standing programs; students are directly admitted into these certificate programs. Students may also be simultaneously enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program. 

Program of Study. Graduate certificates are administered by a Graduate Studies Committee. Students must select a program of study and are encouraged to contact the certificate program prior to application. Information regarding specific requirements for each certificate is available from the Graduate Studies Committee responsible for the certificate program. A complete list of current certificate programs is available on the Graduate School website. Students must meet the minimum admissions standards of the Graduate School. Please note that students pursuing a professional (i.e., category 5b) certificate while also enrolled in a graduate degree or graduate certificate program (i.e., categories 3a or 3b) must maintain the Graduate School’s minimum GPA requirement and make adequate progress toward degree/certificate completion. 

Credit Hours. Graduate certificate programs must consist of at least 12 credit hours. Students must achieve a cumulative graduate GPA of at least a 3.0 to be considered for the awarding of a certificate. Only grades of “A” through “C-,” as well as “S,” may be counted toward the completion of the certificate program. Up to 100 percent of relevant credit hours required for the certificate may count towards a degree, upon approval by the degree program. Students may transfer graduate credits earned at another institution to a graduate certificate program. Twenty percent, or a base value of three graduate credits (rounded to the nearest whole number), may be transferred, while eighty percent must be new credits and must be completed at this university over a period of at least two semesters. 

Application for Certificate Completion. A student pursuing a graduate certificate program must submit the Application for Certificate Completion to the Graduate School no later than the third Friday of the autumn or spring semester (or third Friday of summer term) in which completion from the student’s certificate program is expected.