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Graduate Certificate Programs, Policies and Procedures for


To outline the procedures used in administering graduate certificate programs

Applies to: 

All graduate faculty, graduate program administrators, and graduate certificate students on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses

Policy Statement: 

Policies and Procedures for Graduate Certificate Programs

The graduate certificate is a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student some record of coherent academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. Students may be awarded these certificates upon completion of a well-defined program of coursework. The didactic material comprised within a graduate certificate program may represent a more practice-oriented subset of an existing graduate discipline.

A graduate certificate program will comprise of no less than nine (9) and generally no more than eighteen (18) credit hours of course work in a particular discipline or related disciplines of study.

All proposals for graduate certificate programs will be adopted for a seven-year time period. The certificate program will expire at the end of that period. The program may request renewal of the certificate program by sending an updated program proposal, endorsed by the department and school/College to the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty. The proposal will be evaluated for an additional seven-year period. The Office of Graduate Studies will remind the graduate certificate program about its renewal one year before the graduate certificate program is scheduled to expire. If a program expires or is discontinued, no new students may be enrolled in the program and those students currently in the program will continue until completion.

Student Records Criteria

  • It is the responsibility of the degree program that houses the graduate certificate program to maintain all student records of the graduate certificate program. These records should include, but are not limited to, the number of students that apply to the program, the number accepted and denied into the program, the number of students enrolled in the program by semester, the number of students who complete the program by semester.
  • The courses taken in the graduate certificate program will be listed on the student’s transcript and recognition of the earned certificate will also be posted on the transcript.
  • The awarding of graduate certificates will coincide with the August, December and May graduations at the University of Kansas. The certificate-awarding department will forward its list of certificate recipients to the graduate division of the school/College that holds the certificate program. The graduate division will forward names of the students completing graduate certificates in a given semester to the Graduate Studies office. The same degree-granting deadline dates will apply to the awarding of graduate certificates.
  • Graduate Studies will be responsible for providing the University Registrar’s office with the names of certificate recipients along with the corresponding names of the completed certificate programs.
  • Each semester, Graduate Studies will provide departments with authorized Graduate Certificates for students who successfully complete all certificate program requirements. The department will be responsible for completing the certificates and presenting them to the students.
  • Graduate certificates will not be recognized by any Graduate Studies official graduation ceremony.

Office of Graduate Studies

Approved by: 
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Approved on: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Effective on: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Graduate Certificate, Certificate Renewal, Certificate Printing
Change History: 

03/09/2018: Updated missing required information

6/18/2014: Updated references to 'Office of Graduate Studies' throughout the text to ensure accuracy; selected Lawrence for Campus field (required); added placeholders for Purpose and Approved by; added keywords; minor formatting updates.

Academic Categories: 
Academic Programs

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