Guidelines for Undergraduate Certificates

Both Dean’s certificates and not-for-credit certificates offered through MU Extension are not transcripted. The former do not require approval beyond the division curriculum committee and Dean; the Dean’s office is responsible for maintaining all related historical records. The latter do not require approval beyond the Vice Provost for Extension.

Transcripted undergraduate certificate programs provide students with the opportunity to pursue educational objectives beyond those normally associated with an academic major or minor. The defining curriculum may, for example, enable students to pursue a more applied approach to the subject matter than is available through a major or minor. Undergraduate certificate programs are not limited to degree-seeking students, though the participation of students who are not degree-seeking will be limited by whatever restrictions apply to the conditions of their enrollment. The degree and certificate must be awarded at the same time. Undergraduate certificates programs may include course prerequisites and a GPA requirement in addition to a curricular core of at least 12 hours. At least 12 hours of the curricular core is to be completed through MU coursework. Certificate programs may be developed within a single department, a college or school, or a combination of academic unites in a manner similar to minors. Establishing an undergraduate certificate program requires the approval of the curriculum committees of the participating departments and divisions, their deans, the campus undergraduate curriculum committee and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, before final approval of the Provost. Approval is not required at the system level, though the Vice President for Academic affairs, who is responsible for informing the CBHE of our certificate programs, is notified of each new certificate program established.

The unit offering a certificate is responsible for providing participating students with advising and other support services; it is also responsible for maintaining students’ files, assessing their progress and notifying the University Registrar of students’ successful completion. Completion of a certificate program will be noted on a student’s transcript at the end of the term in which all of the degree requirements and certificate requirements have been completed. The degree and certificate must be awarded simultaneously.

Proposals for undergraduate certificate programs should include (1) the justification for both establishing the program and doing so as a certificate program rather than a minor, (2) the list of courses that define the program and a sample program of study, (3) a demonstration that the courses will be offered regularly enough to allow students to complete the minor in a timely fashion, (4) a list of and rationale for any additional course prerequisites or admissions requirements, (5) an account of the advising and support services that will be provided to students pursuing the minor and the program director responsible for these services, and (6) the endorsement of any academic units likely to be affected by the creation of the minor.