Graduate Certificates

Introduction

Why Develop a Certificate Program?

Graduate certificates are a widely accepted means of enhancing the credentials of graduate students. They thus appeal to a wide range of students and professionals: former undergraduate students seek to add to the value of their undergraduate degrees; working professionals who want to enrich their personal knowledge; educators who aim to enhance their teaching credentials, as well as students considering the possibility of a graduate degree. Consequently, certificate programs are an effective means of attracting new graduate students.

Graduate certificates also provide Auburn University with the flexibility to meet emerging needs for educational programs. They provide the opportunity to market an existing integrated curriculum, whether part of a single academic program or one that integrates course offerings from more than one program. Certificate programs, if they are successful, may also lead to the development of new degree programs, beginning with an integrated set of existing courses. Certificate programs may also be coordinated, leading students to the successful completion of a degree program.

Guidelines for Developing a Graduate Certificate Proposal

When new graduate certificates are proposed, they undergo the usual process of curriculum review. To develop a proposal, follow these simple steps:

1. Complete the Request to Add a Graduate Certificate Form.

Identification Information: Complete the identification information at the top of the form including the a) name of the certificate; b) the date of the request; c) the name of the department making the request; d) the anticipated implementation date; e) the name of the department responsible for certificate coordination (if different than the originating unit); f) the name of the designated certificate coordinator and his/her e-mail address.

Number of Hours: Identify the number of hours in the certificate program. Graduate certificate programs consist of a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 21 hours of graduate-level course work. The proposal must include enough approved courses to meet the minimum required number of credit hours for the certificate.

Required Courses: Identify the required courses for the certificate (indicating the course prefix, number, credit hours, title, and course prerequisites if applicable). All courses (including Distance Education courses) required for the certificate must be previously-approved courses; otherwise a new Course Proposal Form must accompany the certificate proposal.

Elective Courses: Identify any elective courses for the certificate (indicating the course prefix, number, credit hours, title, and course prerequisites if applicable). The certificate proposal may list elective courses to be developed, but the proposal must include enough approved courses to meet the minimum requirements of the certificate. Before new courses can be counted toward the certificate, they must be approved through the curriculum approval process.

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