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Graduate Certificate Programs


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: 

A 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 of a graduate certificate program may represent a more practice-oriented subset of an existing graduate discipline. In accordance with the Registrar’s regulations on Academic Transcripts, the University officially records and recognizes completion of a graduate certificate by noting the achievement on the transcript. Ceremonial certificate documents may be available upon request.

A graduate certificate program will be comprised of no less than nine (9) and generally no more than 18 credit hours of coursework in a particular discipline or related disciplines of study. All graduate certificate programs must be comprised of at least 50% coursework designed for graduate credit and offered at the 700-level or above.


All proposals for graduate certificate programs will be adopted for a seven-year (7-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 the appropriate school or College to the Academic Program Coordinating Committee (APCC). The proposal will be evaluated for an additional seven-year (7-year) period. The Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (or designee) will remind the graduate certificate program about its renewal one (1) semester before the graduate certificate program is scheduled to expire. If a program expires or is not renewed, no new students may be enrolled in the program and those students currently in the program may continue until completion.


It is the responsibility of the degree program that houses the graduate certificate program to maintain all student records of the graduate certificate program.


Office of Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall 
1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence KS 

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
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: 

04/11/2024: Technical edit to clarify language.
07/18/2023: Updated policy formatting and links.
10/17/2022: Technical edit update. Added statement regarding 50% of content designed for graduate credit to clarify accreditor expectations.
01/20/2022: Updated policy to align with current practices.
03/09/2018: Updated missing required information.
06/18/2014: 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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