3.14 Graduate Certificate Programs
[Recommended by the Administrative Board and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School on 3/14/02.]
A Graduate Certificate Program (GCP) is a prescribed set of regular graduate-level academic courses, designed by an academic department or program and taken for credit while enrolled in an approved certificate program and/or current degree program students. Upon completion, the GCP will be designated on the student's transcript and the student shall receive a certificate from Registration and Records. Certain teaching certificate programs may be eligible for Federal financial aid. Students in teaching certificate programs should contact Financial Aid to determine eligibility. All other students in certificate programs are not eligible for Federal financial aid.
B. Establishing a Graduate Certificate Program
In order to be considered a GCP by the University and to have completion of a required course of study designated on the official university transcript, certificate programs must be:
- developed following the rules and procedures outlined below;
- recommended at the department/program, college, and Administrative Board of the Graduate School (ABGS) level; and
- approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Each Graduate Certificate Program (GCP) will identify a program coordinator who will be responsible for administration of the certificate program. The coordinator must be a member of the graduate faculty.
- An application for acceptance into a certificate program is required. The application process must be clearly outlined in the proposal and all promotional materials. At a minimum, the application should require the necessary information for tracking (name, student ID number, etc.), and proof of completion of a bachelor's degree (final transcript). The application will be handled at the department/program level.
- Application fees set by and returned to the department will require approval by NC State University, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors. Fees collected will be classified as receipt income and subject to the same rules as state appropriated funds.
- The proposing department/program establishes admission requirements, which must be clearly outlined in the proposal and all application materials.
- The program coordinator will monitor admission requirements.
- Unless otherwise requested, the standard University tuition rate will apply for course work in certificate programs. Tuition other than the standard rate will require approval by NC State University, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors, and will be classified as receipt income and subject to the same rules as state appropriated funds.
- A new classification code (GR Code) for each GCP should be established for tracking purposes. Student credit hours (SCH) will be assigned for certificate program students based on the instructor assigned to teach the courses that certificate students take.
- For tracking purposes, the coordinator should be given access to students in this classification code.
- All promotional literature for GCPs should include a statement to the effect that "Academic success might have a strong bearing on admission to a degree program BUT completion of a certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program which is done through a separate application process."
- If the GCP uses a unique group of faculty participants a list of such faculty program participants and a method for identification of future faculty should be included with the proposal. The list of current faculty will be approved at the College and Graduate School level.
- As with all graduate programs, curriculum changes should be handled through the appropriate college graduate committee and the ABGS.
- The GCP coordinator will notify the Dean of the Graduate School of the student's completion of certificate requirements.
- The Graduate School will perform an audit of the student's record of work in the GCP, and once the record is approved, will notify Registration and Records to prepare a certificate and include notification of completion on the student's official University transcript.
- For existing programs to be considered a GCP, they must complete a proposal following these "Rules and Procedures" and submit it to the College and ABGS for approval.
- In accordance with the UNC Office of Academic Planning, notification of a GCP, approved via this process, will be sent to Senior-Vice President for Academic Affairs, UNC-OP.
- All GCPs will be subject to review as part of the regular graduate program review cycle. If at that time (or at any time the offering department/program determines appropriate), it is deemed the GCP should be terminated, an official request, including phase-out plans, should be submitted to the ABGS.
- Certificates will be titled "Graduate Certificate in…."
- All students enrolled in a certificate program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
- Courses required in the GCP must be regular graduate level academic courses (approved by the ABGS). Up to one course (for a maximum of 4 credit hours) may be at the 400 level.
- The minimum number of credits required for a GCP is 12.
- To receive a Graduate Certificate, a student must have a minimum 3.000 grade point average (GPA) on all certificate course work. All grades on courses taken towards the certificate program in courses numbered 400 and above are included in the GPA. Courses at the 300 level and below are not eligible for certificate credit and subsequently do not affect the graduate GPA.
- The minimum grade to receive certificate credit should be established by the department/program but can be no lower than a grade of C-.
- GCP students who take 400-, 500- and 700-level courses which are letter graded do not have the option of taking the courses for "credit only" if they intend for the course to be part of their GCP.
- Transfer credit from other institutions is not allowed for GCP. All course work must be registered for through NC State University.
- All GCP requirements must be completed within four (4) calendar years, beginning with the date the student commences courses applicable to the GCP, unless a more restrictive time limit has been established by the program or academic college/school.
- An individual can obtain multiple certificates from NC State University. Each certificate must have at least nine (9) credit hours that are unique to it.
D. Graduate Certificate Courses and Degrees
The transfer of graduate certificate courses taken prior to enrollment in a degree program is limited to 12 hours (note: transfer totals from all sources shall not exceed 12 hours). Graduate certificate courses taken while enrolled in a degree program may be double-counted with the degree courses to the extent that the courses unique to the degree remains 18 hours for each Master’s or 36 hours for a Ph.D.