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Graduate School

Post-Baccalaureate and Post-Master's Certificate Policy - 1L14

Post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates are organized programs of study requiring at least 18 semester hours of graduate credit that lead to a specific set of skills or knowledge. A certificate confirms that a student has mastery of the content of a clearly defined sub-field of an academic major field of study. A post-baccalaureate certificate provides in-depth training, but not to the breadth of a graduate degree. The completion of a certificate is noted on a student's transcript and is part of the University's official graduate offerings.

  1. Proposals to create post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates must originate with the graduate faculty. Proposals must be submitted through the regular academic approval channels. Certificates that are part of an existing graduate program must submit a Form 91A, Request for Change in Academic Program, as a Reasonable and Moderate Extension (RME). Certificate programs that are independent of existing graduate programs must submit a Form 92A, Request for a New Academic Program and will require IBHE approval.

  2. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs require a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate credit. Post-master's certificate programs, which target doctoral-level students, require a minimum of 24 hours beyond the master's degree. At least half of the hours in a certificate program must be obtained from 500-level courses. No more than 3 hours can be in independent readings, directed research, practicum, or other similar courses. The certificate program must be based on a list of required courses or a limited menu of courses. No substitution or waiver of courses and of completion requirements is permissible for a certificate program.

  3. Two or more certificate programs may include no more than one-third of the required hours in common. When two or more certificate programs share common courses, a student may count those hours toward completion for each of those programs.

  4. All University policies, including those related to admission, retention, eligibility for fellowships and assistantships, contact hours, course formats, transfer credit, and eligibility of faculty to teach courses, apply to certificate programs.

  5. In order to begin a certificate program, a student must be admitted to the Graduate School as a classified graduate student. The program faculty may add additional admission requirements, such as course prerequisites. The program faculty must approve the admission of all students into the certificate program.

  6. Each certificate program will determine the amount of time a student has to complete the program. However, time limits may not extend beyond 6 years.

  7. To earn a certificate, a student must meet Graduate School graduation requirements in Policy 1F1. Faculty may add additional requirements.

  8. Courses taken in a certificate program may also be counted toward the completion of a graduate degree.

  9. The administration of a certificate program rests with the faculty of the program. When a certificate program is interdisciplinary, the faculty must designate a graduate program and school/college as its responsible administrative unit.

  10. Certificate programs are reviewed as part of the regular program process. At the time of the program review, the certificate program may be reauthorized.

  11. The University will be responsible for preparing the actual certificate.

Approved by Provost effective 2/13/17
This policy was issued on March 2, 2017, replacing the June 15, 2016 version.
Document Reference: 1L14
Origin: PVC 12/2/99; GR 15/16-03; GR 16/17-01

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