Graduate Certificate Policies & Procedures

  1. A certificate is a specialized set of courses and/or curriculum consisting of a minimum of 9 credits. The sponsoring department may require more credits.
  2. Applicants for certificates must meet Graduate College admission requirements and must have no less than a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The department offering the certificate may set additional or more stringent admission criteria.
  3. Maximum duplicate units from a previously awarded degree program applicable to a certificate shall be no more than 6.
  4. There is no University maximum on the number of units from a certificate program that may also apply toward a UA degree program, subject to time limitations for degree programs. Students should check with the sponsoring department on the maximum number of duplicate units allowed.
  5. For two or more related certificate programs with units in common, contact the Graduate College for requirements.
  6. If transfer work is allowed by the offering department, course work taken more than two years prior to admission to the certificate program may not be applied. The clock begins with the date of the earliest course work used for the certificate, including transfer work.
  7. A maximum of six (6) units of course work completed in the graduate non-degree status may be applied to a certificate.
  8. All University and Graduate College policies apply, including academic, grading, admission, retention, eligibility for fellowships/assistantships, contact hours, and faculty eligibility to teach.
  9. Time to complete the certificate shall not exceed four (4) years. The clock begins with the date of the earliest course work used for the certificate.
  10. The certificate should enhance existing programs, not take the place of them. Sufficient resources must exist to support the certificate without penalizing existing academic programs including options and minors.
  11. Only officially approved UA certificates shall be posted to transcripts. The certificate document awarded for completion shall not resemble a UA diploma in any way and shall be awarded on the transcript through the Graduate College. The sponsoring department may provide a paper certificate document if they choose.
  12. Certificates may have the same name as a degree program but shall have a full name that makes it distinct from the degree program and includes the level of the certificate (e.g., Graduate Certificate in Medical Ethics or Business Project Management Certificate).
  13. Certificates can be free standing or linked to an existing degree program.
  14. Options (official Emphases/Subplans) may not be offered under an approved University of Arizona Graduate Certificate.
  15. Any certificate program offered by a department/college which is not officially UA approved must state this when advertising the certificate.
  16. An oversight committee with an academic director shall be responsible for:
    • Qualifications of participating faculty
    • Coordination of admission recommendations with the Graduate College
    • Oversight of curricular changes
    • Completion of the approved program of study and notification of the Graduate College
  17. Academic units applying for certificates must consult with related programs and departments to avoid unnecessary duplication.
  18. Any change in the originally approved certificate shall be approved by the Graduate College prior to implementation. If there is a 10% change to the curriculum, a copy must be submitted to the Graduate College. If curriculum changes by 25% or more, a memo must be submitted describing the curricular changes and the necessity for doing same.
  19. Certificate programs may be terminated at any time by the offering academic department and approval of the Graduate College. Students currently enrolled should be accommodated until completion of their certificate program.
  20. Certificates should be included in the academic program review (APR) process.


Approved Graduate Certificates List