The Design of Academic Programs
Design of Academic Programs
Section IX: Certificates
A. Definition of an Upper-Division Certificate
The following guidelines, prepared by the College Park Senate Committee on Programs, Curricula and Courses, provide procedures for approval, revision, and documentation of upper-division certificates.
The award of a certificate validates the attainment of a minimal level of competence in an academic discipline. Issuing certificates fulfills two distinct educational needs. First, a certificate may verify specialized training, either vocational or professional, in a specific subject area. Second, a certificate may recognize qualification in a specific area of professional competence through the fulfillment of additional requirements within a degree program. Certification, therefore, documents specific achievement not otherwise covered by the award of a diploma or the choice of an area of concentration.
Eligibility: Eligibility is usually limited to students enrolled in good standing at the College Park campus. Applicants already possessing the Bachelor's degree may be admitted as special students in order to fulfill certificate requirements. Except under unusual circumstances, courses taken for credit toward a Bachelor's degree more than five years before enrollment in a certificate program will not be accepted.
When all requirements for the certification have been completed with a minimum grade of "C-" in each course, and after the chief administrative officer of the program has so recommended, the Registrar will issue a certificate. In no case, however, will the certificate be issued before the granting of the Bachelor's degree.
B. Definition of a Graduate or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
The following guidelines prepared by the College Park Graduate Council Committee on Programs and Courses provide information on approval and documentation of graduate or post-baccalaureate certificates. Changes from previous versions were approved by the Graduate Council on February 25, 1999.
The issuance of a graduate or post-baccalaureate certificate verifies and recognizes specialized interdisciplinary professional training not otherwise encompassed by a regular degree program. Like the granting of a diploma, the issuance of a certificate is a statement by the institution verifying attainment of a minimum level of competence.
Eligibility: Enrollment in graduate certificate programs will be limited to students admitted to the Graduate School at the University of Maryland College Park. Persons accepted into graduate certificate programs need not be simultaneously registered in a degree-granting program on campus. Students designated as Advanced Special Students may apply earned credits to a certificate-granting program according to the rules established by and with the advice and consent of the certificate program coordinator and the Program Advisory Committee.
Upon satisfactory completion of the certificate requirements and upon recommendation of the Graduate School, a certificate shall be issued by the Registrar.
Limitation on Enrollment: In certain cases, constraints on resources may require the limitation of enrollment in graduate certificate programs. Such limitations shall be considered on a program-by-program basis. If enrollment is limited, the catalog description of the program shall state those limitations, and describe the criteria for acceptance into the program.
Administration of the Program: The Dean for Graduate Studies and Research shall appoint a graduate certificate program coordinator on the recommendation of the program's Advisory Committee. The coordinator shall be assisted by a Committee designated by the Department, degree-granting Program, College or School, and shall be charged with examining individual cases to determine (1) the eligibility of applicants; (2) the applicability of credits of non-degree seeking students (e.g., Advanced Special Students); and (3) the structure of the student's program to ensure compliance with institution and Program requirements.