Certificates

Transcript-recognized graduate certificate programs offer a non-degree credential for completing a structured sequence of courses designed to meet identified workforce needs and to provide students with skills and knowledge that shall be useful for their lives and careers.

Each graduate certificate program is sponsored and administered by an associated Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) that is responsible for determining the program curriculum, publishing a program description in the Graduate Catalog, processing applications for admission, tracking and evaluating student progress, and reporting program completion to the Graduate School.

The general requirements for graduate certificates are given in this chapter. Specific requirements for each certificate program are given in Fields of Study.

Application and Admission

Degree-seeking graduate students may pursue a graduate certificate within or outside of their primary field of study. Students who are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at The University of Texas at Austin may apply for admission to a graduate certificate program through the academic unit administering the program.

Non-degree-seeking students: Some graduate certificates are available to non-degree-seeking students. Individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher may apply for admission to these programs by submitting materials required for admission as a nondegree student to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC). Individual certificate programs may impose additional admissions requirements.

Coursework Requirements

Stackable graduate certificates require completion of 9-15 hours of graduate-level coursework that has been approved by the program’s GSC.1 Upper-division courses may not be used to satisfy graduate certificate requirements. All coursework must be completed within a six-year period. A graduate course may be used to satisfy requirements of a graduate certificate and graduate degree program; however, a graduate course may not be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one graduate certificate program.

Grade Requirements

All coursework must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher. In addition, students must earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 in the courses used to satisfy graduate certificate requirements. Individual certificate programs may set higher grade point average requirements for all or a portion of their students’ coursework.

Limits on Transfer Coursework

Degree-seeking graduate students must complete a minimum of nine of the hours required for a stackable graduate certificate in residence at the University. With approval of the GSC administering a graduate certificate program, and except where otherwise limited by the nine-hour residency requirement, a maximum of 20% of the total hours required for a stackable graduate certificate, rounded up to the next nearest integer, may be satisfied through the application of approved graduate transfer coursework. Transfer credit must meet the standards outlined in the Graduate Catalog at https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academics/policies/transfer-credit.

Non-degree-seeking students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program must complete all coursework for the certificate in residence at the University.

Application of Stackable Certificate Coursework Taken in Non-degree Status Toward a Graduate Degree

Admission to and enrollment in a stackable graduate certificate program does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree program. 

A graduate non-degree-seeking student who later wishes to seek a graduate degree must meet the requirements for admission, submit all required materials and items by the program’s deadline, and pay the standard application fee.

Under normal circumstances, no more than six hours of coursework completed in non-degree status may be applied towards a graduate degree. Upon request, however, this limit may be extended for students who complete a stackable graduate certificate while in non-degree status.  Specifically, with approval of a program GSC and the Graduate Dean, the greater of 18 credit hours or 50% of the total hours required for a degree may be satisfied with coursework completed for a stackable graduate certificate while the student was enrolled in the non-degree status, inclusive of:

  1. transfer credits
  2. undergraduate courses reserved for graduate credit
  3. credit hours accrued as a non-degree seeking student.

Transcript Notation

In most certificate programs, students receive recognition on the University transcript at the end of the semester when requirements of a graduate certificate program are completed; however, some programs may require simultaneous awarding of the certificate and degree.

Each of the following transcript-recognized graduate certificate programs is described in the catalog section for the college that sponsors it. Certificate programs that do not lead to transcript recognition are also described in the following sections of this catalog.

The following graduate certificates are designed for degree-seeking graduate students enrolled at the University and must be awarded simultaneously with a graduate degree:

The following graduate certificates are designed for non-degree-seeking graduate students and may be awarded following completion of program requirements:

Stackable graduate certificates are available to degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking graduate students. Some stackable certificates may be awarded following completion of program requirements, while others require simultaneous awarding of the graduate certificate and a graduate degree.  For more information, see the catalog section for the school or college sponsoring the program in question.