Graduate Certificate Guidelines

Certificates are intended to encourage students to use the elective requirements in their degree program to form a coherent concentration of coursework in a specified area.

  1. Certificates will be granted only to students who, in addition to the certificate program requirements, have satisfied requirements for a graduate degree. The offering unit is responsible for verifying satisfaction of all certificate requirements, as well as completion of a graduate degree. Certificates are not recorded on the student's transcript or diploma. Arrangements must be made for awarding certificates within colleges or offering units. Certificates will not be awarded at the Institute level.
  2. All graduate certificate programs must be approved by the Graduate Curriculum Committee and by the Academic Senate.
  3. Departments, schools, and colleges are eligible to offer graduate certificate programs in well-defined and coherent subject areas. Certificate programs sponsored jointly by more than one academic unit may be designated as multi-disciplinary certificates, subject to the special requirements listed below.
  4. A certificate program generally will be available to all graduate students, subject to the restrictions below. Exceptions must be clearly justified in the certificate proposal.
  5. All proposals for a certificate must originate from the faculty of the academic unit offering the certificate or, in the case of a multi-disciplinary certificate, from the faculty of each participating academic unit. Proposals must be endorsed by the appropriate College Dean(s) and by the Provost.
  6. In addition to the academic requirements for the certificate, the proposal must define the procedures for management of the program and for awarding certificates. The offering unit must record and maintain enrollment and completion for certificates. The design and working of certificates must be approved by the Provost and a draft must be submitted with the proposal.
  7. The certificate program must comprise at least 12 semester hours in a coherent program of which at least three semester hours are foundational to provide a broad overview of that discipline. A multi-disciplinary certificate program will additionally require that courses be taken from more than one academic unit and that at least three semester hours be taken outside the student's major field. Cross-listed courses may be counted as being outside the student's major field.
  8. No more than a total of 4 semester hours of Special Problems courses may be included in a certificate program.
  9. Courses used in a certificate also may be used to fulfill elective requirements in the student's major degree program.
  10. A course may not be counted toward more than one certificate.
  11. All courses counting toward the certificate must be taken on a letter-grade basis, and be completed with a grade of B or higher.
  12. The availability of a certificate should be noted in the catalog, at least by title, under the appropriate academic unit(s). The academic unit(s) offering the certificate shall publish and make available to students the requirements for the certificate – the courses and total number of hours required, along with the enumeration of any particular courses that are mandated or excluded, and any grade requirements that differ from the general grade requirements of this policy.
  13. All certificate programs are to be reviewed during the scheduled academic program review in the sponsoring unit(s).