Undergraduate Certificate Guidelines

Certificates are intended to encourage students to use the elective course requirements in their degree program to form a coherent package 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 an undergraduate degree. The offering unit is responsible for verifying satisfaction of all certificate requirements, as well as completion of an undergraduate 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 undergraduate certificate programs must be approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and by the Academic Senate.
  3. Departments, schools, and colleges are eligible to offer undergraduate 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 undergraduate 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 design and wording of certificates must be approved by the Provost and a draft must be submitted with the proposal.
  7. A certificate program must comprise at least twelve semester hours in a coherent program, of which at least nine semester hours are upper-division coursework (numbered 3000 or above). 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 6 semester hours of Special Topics courses may be included in a certificate program. No more than a total of 4 semester hours of Special Problems or Undergraduate Research courses may be included in a certificate program.
  9. Courses required by name and number in a student's major degree program may not be used in satisfying the course requirements for a certificate. However, courses used in a certificate also may be used to fulfill elective requirements (free electives, technical electives, humanities electives, social sciences electives, etc.) in the student's major degree program.
  10. A course may not be counted toward more than one certificate and/or minor.
  11. All courses counting toward the certificate must be taken on a letter-grade basis, and be completed with a grade of C or better.
  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).