Graduate Certificate Policies

A graduate-level certificate program is a coherent sequence of related graduate courses. These programs are designed to provide graduate education past the baccalaureate level and/or to enhance the education of students who have already completed a master’s degree. Students will complete a linked series of courses, which may include a capstone experience or project that focuses their intellectual experience. Upon completion of a certificate, students will have acquired an area of specialization or an interdisciplinary perspective. Success in graduate-level certificate programs prepares students to better accomplish the goals of their discipline.

Academic Appeals

Students have the right to appeal academic actions related to graduate certificates. See the Academic Dispute Resolution Procedure for more information.

Academic Standing

A graduate certificate-seeking student who maintains a 3.00 (B) cumulative GPA in courses on their official graduate studies plan (GSP) is considered in good standing.

Additional Graduate Certificates

Students who have received a graduate certificate or master’s degree from UAA or another regionally accredited college or university may earn a UAA graduate certificate by completing at least one-third of the certificate credit requirements (e.g., 4 credits for a 12-credit certificate program or 9 credits for a 27-credit certificate program) in residence at UAA and after admission to the certificate program. Credits previously used for any undergraduate certificate or degree may not be used to satisfy graduate certificate program requirements. Multiple graduate certificates may be awarded only if they differ by at least one-third of their credit requirements.

Catalog Year for Graduate Certificate Programs

Each student’s year of acceptance is established when the student is formally admitted into a certificate or degree program. A student’s year of acceptance is adjusted if the student formally postpones admission, executes a change of major or reapplies after formal admission expires (see below).

Students may elect to graduate under the requirements of any catalog in effect during the seven years after formal acceptance to the certificate program.

If the requirements for the certificate are not met within seven years of formal acceptance into the program, admission expires and the student must reapply for admission.

All credits counted toward the certificate, including transfer credit, must be earned within the consecutive seven-year period prior to graduation.

Students must meet the enrollment requirements in effect for courses at the time they enroll in each course. These requirements would include all catalog pre- or co-requisites for the course, as well as other registration restrictions at the time the course is taken.

Change of Graduate Certificates

Graduate students who wish to change certificate programs within a college or program must complete a Change of Graduate Degree or Emphasis Area Form and pay the appropriate fee. This applies both to changes between schools or colleges and to different certificates within the same school or college. Students will be expected to meet all admission and program requirements of their new major or emphasis area.

Concurrent Graduate Certificates

Students may pursue concurrent graduate certificates as long as they have formally applied and been accepted to each program through the Office of Admissions.

Formal Acceptance to Graduate Certificate Programs

Once all required admission documents have been received by the Office of Admissions, the student’s admission packet is forwarded to the chair or designee of the specific program. The acceptance decision is made by the chair or designee, subject to review by the Graduate School. The Graduate School then informs the Office of Admissions of the decision. The Office of Admissions sends a letter of acceptance directly to the applicant, accompanied by an official Certificate of Admission from the Graduate School. Acceptance to a graduate certificate program does not guarantee later admission to other graduate certificates or degrees.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status for Graduate Certificate-Seeking Students

A student who has been admitted to a UAA graduate certificate program and is enrolled at UAA for 9 or more 600-level credits is classified as full-time. A graduate certificate student enrolled at UAA for 5-8 credits is classified as half-time. Courses at the 400 level will count toward full-time status only if they are applicable to the graduate certificate program, i.e., listed on the graduate studies plan (GSP).  For financial aid purposes, a graduate certificate student enrolled at UAA for fewer than 5 credits is classified as part-time. Audited courses, continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development courses (500 level) are not included in the computation of the student’s full-time, half-time or part-time status.

Graduate Certificate Advisor

The chair or designee of the department offering the graduate program, with the approval of the Graduate School, appoints a graduate advisor for each student accepted to the program. Assigned advisors must be certified annually in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and must be registered with the UAA Office of the Registrar.

Responsibilities of the Graduate Certificate Advisor/Committee

The division of responsibility between the advisor and/or committee is determined at the program level. Committee members must be  annually certified in FERPA. The graduate certificate advisor and/or committee will do the following:

  1. Review and approve the student’s GSP, ensuring that it includes the General University Requirements for Graduate Certificates; all courses required for the certificate; any special program requirements; and a capstone experience or project, if required.
  2. Arrange to remove any deficiencies in the student’s admission or academic background.
  3. Monitor the student’s progress and timely completion of all requirements.
  4. Monitor the timely submission of the official GSP and other documents to the Graduate School.
  5. Review and approve any changes to the official GSP. The Graduate School will forward the original and final documents to the Office of the Registrar.
  6. Review and approve the capstone experience or project according to procedures established by the individual program.
  7. Administer and assess a comprehensive examination, if required.

Graduate Certificate Transfer Credits

Up to one-third of the semester credits (e.g., 4 credits for a 12-credit certificate program or 9 credits for a 27-credit certificate program) or the equivalent earned at a regionally accredited institution and not previously used to obtain any undergraduate degree or certificate may be transferred to UAA and accepted toward a graduate certificate. Acceptance of transfer credits toward program requirements is at the discretion of individual programs.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Non-degree-seeking students who wish to register for graduate courses must have the department chair’s or faculty member’s signature for each course taken. Registration as a non-degree-seeking student implies no commitment by the university to the student’s later admission to a graduate certificate program. Up to one-third of the credits of graduate certificate coursework may be completed in the student’s graduate certificate program before program admission. Non-degree-seeking students do not qualify for federal or state financial aid benefits, nor do they qualify to receive a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status.

Reinstatement to Graduate Certificate-Seeking Status

Students who have been removed from graduate certificate-seeking status for failure to make satisfactory progress must re-apply for a graduate certificate program and pay the appropriate fee after one calendar year from the semester in which they were removed. When re-applying for a graduate certificate program, it is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate ability to succeed in that program. Readmission may be conditional on maintaining minimum academic standards within the first semester of study.

Removal from Graduate Certificate-Seeking Status

A graduate certificate student’s academic status may be changed to non-certificate-seeking if the requirements to remove provisional admission are not satisfied or if minimum academic standards are not met.

A graduate certificate student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 (B) in courses applicable to his/her graduate certificate program, or a graduate certificate student who, for reasons specified in writing, is not making satisfactory progress toward completing the program requirements, may be removed from graduate certificate-seeking status. Each school or college has developed procedures to deal with appeals arising from removal from graduate certificate-seeking status.