5.5 Certificate Requirements

General Credit Requirements
Certificate Program of Study
Special Courses


Graduate level certificates are offered as coursework-based programs for students seeking further knowledge in a discipline.  Currently, certificate options are offered by several departments.  See Graduate Areas of Study.

All graduate certificates shall require a minimum of 12 credits. The Graduate School may permit an academic unit exception for a certificate program requiring 9-11 credits if such an amount is sufficient to obtain licensure or continuing education credits necessary to secure or maintain employment credentials. (Updated 11/5/2020)


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  • Credit requirements are specific to each graduate certificate program. 
  • Only those courses listed on an approved Graduate Certificate Program of Study are applicable. 
  • Students in graduate certificate programs may pursue a master’s or doctoral degree concurrently. 
  • Graduate certificate students are subject to the same probation and suspension policies as graduate degree candidates.  See Grades and Academic Standing/Probation and Suspension.


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  • A maximum of one-third (1/3) of the coursework may be 4xx-level.
  • Only three (3) credits of coursework on the program of study can be transfer work. See Degree Requirements/General/Other Credits.
  • Seminar (594/500), Independent Study (592/570), Internship (598/576) and departmental practicum courses may not comprise more than one-third (1/3) of the minimum required credits for a graduate certificate. 
  • Special Topics (591/580) course(s) may be included.
  • 3xx (or lower numbered) courses are not applicable.
  • Pass/Fail credits are not applicable.
  • Undergraduate Independent Study (492/470), Professional Development (588), or Undergraduate Seminars (494/400) are not counted toward requirements for the graduate certificate.
  • Registration in Graduate Consultation (589) is permitted only for graduate certificate students who need additional faculty or staff time to complete the requirements for the certificate.  Credits in 589 are not counted toward requirements for the graduate certificate. 

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM OF STUDYThe program of study acts as a contract between the student, the Department, the College, The Graduate School, and the University.  The program of study defines the minimum requirements for the certificate.  Other requirements, as determined by the student's major department, also may be listed.  The Graduate Certificate Program of Study is developed jointly by the graduate certificate program lead, a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, and the student.

PROGRAM APPROVAL — The head of the student’s department must approve the program of study.  Final approval rests with The Graduate School. 

Note: A fee is associated with the approval of this form.   See Fees & Holds.

CHANGES TO PROGRAM OF STUDY — The program of study may be amended through the course of the student’s graduate study. Changes to a student’s program of study must be made through the Graduate Program Change form and approved by The Graduate School.  A course listed on an approved program of study, if graded, cannot be removed.

FILING DEADLINE — The program of study must be submitted on a Graduate Certificate Program of Study form to The Graduate School by the end of the first (1st) semester of graduate study.   See Fees & Holds.

See Degree Requirements/General/Age of Courses
See Commencement & Degree/Certificate Completion
See Special Courses.

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