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9. Certificate of Graduate Studies Programs

A Rackham certificate of graduate studies is a non-degree credential for study and participation in a scholarly community around a focused topic of special academic interest. A certificate requires a specified set of courses and activities that supplement and enrich a student’s primary program of study. Some certificate programs, however, are free-standing, and persons who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher may apply directly through standard admissions procedures.

A student must apply to the Graduate School for a certificate program. Students already enrolled in a Rackham or non-Rackham graduate degree program must complete at least one term before applying. To earn a certificate, a student must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of coursework plus an experience related to the goals of the certificate that is defined and approved by the certificate faculty. This additional work may take the form of non-credit experiential activity equivalent to at least a three-credit hour course (such as an internship, practicum, research, professional project or similar experience) or, alternatively, additional coursework of at least three credit hours to a maximum of 19 credits.

The following general rules apply:

  • Only graduate level courses may be used to meet certificate requirements; no transfer credit or undergraduate courses may be applied. All credits must be completed on the home campus, i.e., the campus on which the degree program is administered.
  • Not more than one-sixth of the credits required for a master’s degree may be double-counted with a certificate.
  • Not more than half of the credits necessary for a certificate that requires 10 or more credits of coursework may be double-counted with a master’s. If a certificate requires 9 credits of coursework, only 3 credits can be double-counted. Double-counted credits may not be used to fulfill requirements of other degrees or certificates (section 7.2). No double-counting is permitted for free-standing certificate programs.
  • The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in courses for the certificate program. Only courses eligible for Rackham credit may be used to meet certificate requirements.
  • A person who is not a student in another Rackham program and who has been admitted to a free-standing certificate program must complete requirements within four years from the date of first enrollment in the program.

Information about specific certificates and requirements is available in the Programs of Study section of the Rackham website.