Graduate Certificate Programs

Update your professional profile and advance your career by developing new skills and expertise in a specialized area. We offer a mix of certificates both online and on campus with more in development each term.  For available certificate programs and information including program contact information, please visit our Graduate Programs Page. Certificate-seeking students require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Check with your departmental program contact for additional requirements.

Graduate Certificate FAQs

Do students need to apply to be in a graduate certificate program?

Yes, students must apply for the certificate even if they are currently in a degree seeking program. This is necessary for tracking purposes. A student will not be awarded a certificate unless they have been admitted. Official transcripts are required. 

How much is the admission and readmission fee?

$60 – both for domestic and international students.

What are the admission requirements?

Students must have proof of an official undergraduate baccalaureate or equivalent degree to enroll in a Graduate Certificate program. Only one transcript that proves this is required. Departments may have more stringent requirements.

Are recommendation letters required?

No, but some departments may require them.

What are the GPA and grade requirements for certificates?

  • A student’s GPA for the cumulative Graduate Certificate coursework must be a minimum of 3.0.
  • A student must earn a minimum of “C” in courses included within the Certificate while meeting the 3.0 GPA minimum.
  • A student may not take a course more than twice during the certificate process in order to enhance their grade for the course or GPA for the overall certificate. The original grade and grades earned in repeated courses are used in calculating grade point averages.

What is the length and curriculum requirements of a certificate?

9 graduate credit minimum, 15 graduate credit maximum in credit-bearing, traditionally graded courses at the 500-level or above. 9 credits must be regular (X00 to X81) courses. Credits above 9 may be non-regular (X82 to X99) courses. New certificates must be approved through the curricular process.

Are international students required to prove English proficiency?

Yes, they must complete the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE or be waived. The same English proficiency requirements for a degree program apply to a certificate program.

Can an international student participate in a resident instruction (not online) certificate if they are seeking only a certificate?

No, the requirements for a visa are very restrictive. However, students should contact the Office of International Programs if they have questions. If the certificate is an online program, this is not a problem.

Can students register for Continuous Registration?

Yes, nothing is preventing a certificate-only student from registering for Continuous Registration (CR); however, it is likely a reduced expense to reapply. The department may have limits on enrollment or their own requirements.

Can transfer courses from another institution be used for the certificate program?

No. Certificate programs include a coherent academic experience that has a stand-alone professional or marketable value based on the approved curriculum.

Are course substitutions allowed for the certificate programs?

No. Certificate programs include a coherent academic experience that has a stand-alone professional or marketable value based on the approved curriculum.

How long do students have to complete their certificate?

10 years. They must be enrolled in the term their certificate is conferred.

Can graduate courses completed as an undergraduate be applied toward a graduate certificate?

Per CDHE’s ruling, no; however, courses that are formally excluded from an undergraduate degree can be used.

Can credits from one certificate be used towards another certificate?

No, credits in the subsequent certificate must be earned with credits beyond those required in the first certificate.

Can courses from the certificate be used towards a graduate degree?

Yes, but all the same rules apply for prior admission coursework. A grade of “B” or better is required, only 9 total credits can be applied, the credits must meet the curricular requirements of the degree, and the department must approve, etc. If a Graduate Certificate exceeds 9 credits, the department head must petition the Dean of the Graduate School to apply those credits toward the degree.

Can a certificate-only student be offered an assistantship?

No; per the Graduate and Professional Bulletin financial support section, “Appointment as a Graduate Assistant is expressly conditioned upon: Student securing admission to a graduate degree program and the Graduate School, and registering for and completing at least one (1) on-campus credit during each fall and spring semester, and such credits as the appointing department may require each summer term during which the appointment is in effect.”

When is the certificate conferred?

Certificates will be conferred during the same dates that degrees are conferred.

What will be awarded to the student once the certificate is complete?

All certificates will be titled and recorded as “Graduate Certificate in (name of certificate program)” on the transcript upon completion of the Graduate Certificate requirements. Additionally, an official certificate will be printed by the Registrar’s office and made available to the student in the same manner that degrees are distributed.

Are certificate-only students eligible for federal financial aid?

Students may be eligible for financial aid. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for questions about specific certificates. 

If students are dismissed from their graduate degree programs, can they continue in graduate certificate programs?

When students are concurrently enrolled in a Graduate Degree program and a Graduate Certificate program and are subsequently dismissed from the Graduate Degree programs, the students may continue to pursue their Graduate Certificates.

When students are dismissed from their Graduate Degree programs, a hold preventing registration is placed on their student records. If students intend to continue with their Certificate programs, they must request that the hold be removed. To do this, they must sign a form letter provided by the Graduate School that indicates they acknowledge they have been dismissed from their Graduate Degree programs and that their Certificate coursework work will not apply toward their Degree programs’ GPAs due to their dismissed status. A copy of the letter will be provided to the students’ department.

When students are dismissed, their class code will be changed from either 52 (Masters) or 61 (PhD) to 51 (Graduate – Non Degree).
Coursework taken at the 51 level does not apply to the students’ Graduate Regular or Graduate Overall GPAs that are recorded only for students in Graduate Degree programs. Certificate coursework cannot be used to improve the students’ GPAs for readmission into the Graduate Degree program.

Can an earned certificate be used to confer a professional title or designation?

The Graduate Certificate does not confer a professional title or designation and the Certificate recipient should not use a professional title or designation for completing the Certificate.