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 non-Rackham 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.