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Graduate Certificates may be awarded for graduate work to students who have received the bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona or an institution of similar standing. A graduate certificate comprises a linked series of credit-bearing graduate courses that constitute a coherent body of study. Graduate certificates are designed to enhance the education of graduate and professional students or to provide continuing education to professionals.

This section outlines general completion requirements for the different graduate certificates awarded by the University of Arizona. Refer to the Graduate Program Descriptions for admission requirements and detailed information on requirements for each major. Requirements vary by program.

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Credit Requirements

The total number of units required for graduate certificates vary by academic discipline, but all require a minimum of 9 units of graduate credit. Except for a limited number of units that can be transferred from other approved institutions, the remaining unit requirements must be met by graduate level University of Arizona courses. A maximum of 6 units of graduate credit earned as an undergraduate senior, in graduate non-degree status, and/or transferred from an accredited institution may be applied for credit toward a graduate certificate. Many programs, however, recognize only units taken within the program. Up to 6 units from a University of Arizona master's degree may count toward the Graduate Certificate, depending on the program. 

All units of coursework for the graduate certificate must be in 500-level courses or above, and one half of the required units must be in courses in which regular grades (A, B, C) have been earned. Students must earn a C or better in the courses used to complete the certificate. For specific certificate requirements, refer to the appropriate department.

All grades for Incompletes and current semester coursework must be received before the certificate is considered completed. A student must have a cumulative GPA in all graduate coursework of at least 3.000 in order to graduate. 

If a student is working toward more than one certificate, double-counting of credits is limited to 20% of the number of credits of the certificate with the lower credit requirement or one course, whichever is greater. No credits may count toward more than two certificates.

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Time Limitation

All requirements for a graduate certificate must be completed within 4 years. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest coursework to be applied toward the degree including any credits transferred from other institutions. Work more than 4 years old is not accepted toward meeting certificate requirements.

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Continuous Enrollment for Certificate Students

A student admitted to a graduate certificate program must register each fall and spring semester for a minimum of 1 graduate unit, from original matriculation until all course requirements are met.

Audit courses (non credit-bearing) do not count toward full-time status, nor do audited courses count toward the determination of Continuous Enrollment.

If the certificate program requirements are to be completed in the summer or Winter, the student must register for a minimum of 1 unit of graduate credit during that term. Certificate students do not have to register for graduate units during Summer or Winter sessions unless they plan to make use of University facilities or faculty time.

Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment or file for leave of absence are subject to automatic discontinuation from their program for lack of registration. 

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Transfer Credit

Course work taken more than two years prior to admission to a certificate program cannot be transferred. Not more than 6 credits from a degree program may transfer to a certificate program; many programs allow fewer transfer credits. Transfer of credit toward a graduate certificate will not be made unless graduate credit was earned and grade was A or B. Grades for transfer work will not be used in computing the student's grade-point average unless the credit was earned at The University of Arizona. Credit for correspondence courses or extension work from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit.

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Plan of Study

Each student is responsible for developing a Plan of Study as early as possible during the first few months in residence, to be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the second semester in residence. The Plan of Study identifies

  1. Courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions;
  2. Courses already completed at The University of Arizona which the student intends to apply toward the graduate certificate; and
  3. Additional course work to be completed to fulfill certificate requirements.

The Plan of Study must have the approval of the student's department head (or chair of the Graduate Committee) before it is submitted to the Graduate College.

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Candidacy Fees

There are candidacy Fees associated with the posting of your certificate.

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Establishing a New Certificate Program

Departments wanting to establish a new graduate certificates should follow the procedures for curricular approval process and use the implementation form provided on the Curricular Affairs website provided by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. 

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Last updated 25 Oct 2018