Graduate Certificate Policy

A graduate certificate is a non-degree credential, less extensive than a Master’s program, which is designed to provide students with a specialized set of courses that supplement a primary field of study, area of expertise, or provide an interdisciplinary experience within a defined body of knowledge. Certificates are encouraged in areas not currently addressed by a graduate degree program and where they might provide added benefits to students beyond existing degree programs. This policy pertains to nonRackham University of Michigan Dearborn programs. Rackham graduate degree programs must follow Rackham rules, found on their website

Certificates can be created within specific disciplines or departments, college-wide programs, or across departmental/college boundaries with the issuing college having the responsibility for administering/monitoring the certificate program. 

  • University of Michigan-Dearborn graduate certificates contain a required minimum of nine (9) credit hours. Individual graduate programs may opt for a higher credit hour requirement depending on the particular set of skills on which their certificates focus.
  • Only graduate level courses may be used to meet certificate requirements.
  • Students admitted to certificate programs must complete requirements within three (3) years from the date of first enrollment in the program, with only one possible one-year extension allowed for unusual individual circumstances.
  • Upon completion of the graduate certificate requirements, the student will receive a certificate issued by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Graduate certificate recipients will not participate in commencement ceremonies. 

There are two (2) types of graduate certificate programs offered at the University of Michigan-Dearborn:

1) Linked certificates are connected to specific graduate degree programs and offered to students enrolled in a degree program. Students pursuing such a certificate must be formally admitted to the certificate program and must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at UM-Dearborn.

2) Stand-alone certificates comprise a distinct set of courses not wholly aligned with an existing degree program and are offered to non-degree students. Students interested in these certificates should apply directly through standard graduate non-degree seeking admissions procedures. 

All graduate certificate applicants are required to meet the following minimum requirements for admission:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association, or completion of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education or Commission responsible for higher education in the country where the degree is earned.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency according to the admission requirements of the relevant graduate program. 

All University of Michigan-Dearborn certificate programs should follow the below criteria:

  • Students may transfer from another accredited institution into a University of Michigan-Dearborn certificate program up to half of the credit hours required by the certificate, but no more than six (6) credit hours of graduate credit. If a certificate requires 9 credits of coursework, only 3 credits can be double-counted. Applicable credit hours from other institutions can be transferred only if they have not been applied to another degree or certificate and if they were earned with a grade of B or better within five (5) years prior to enrollment.
  • There is no limit to the number of credit hours earned at the University of Michigan-Dearborn that can be applied to a graduate certificate program.
  • Students who have taken the requisite courses for a given certificate, but have not applied for admission into the certificate program, can petition to obtain the certificate as long as they are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Michigan Dearborn.
  • To obtain a certificate, the student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) with a minimum of C (2.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in any course in the certificate program coursework.
  • All graduate credits earned in a certificate program at the University of Michigan Dearborn can be applied toward a University of Michigan-Dearborn graduate degree program, however, a more restrictive policy is at the discretion of each graduate program. For Dual degree programs, if either program prohibits double counting, the prohibition applies to the other program as well.