Graduate Certificates

How to Earn a Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificate programs are designed to provide education past the baccalaureate level and/or to meet clearly defined educational needs of students who have already completed a master’s degree. Completion of a graduate certificate should prepare students to better accomplish their goals or meet employment criteria.

These programs provide the student with formal recognition of mastery of a clearly defined academic topic.

Concurrent Certificates

Students may pursue concurrent postbaccalaureate certificates as long as they have formally applied and been accepted to each program through the Office of Admissions.

General university and specific degree requirements for UAF graduate programs are described in this section of the catalog, along with requirements for each graduate program. Instructions for applying for admission can be found in the Applying for Admission: Graduate Degree Programs section.

Academics, Policies and Regulations

Many academic policies and regulations apply to both graduate and undergraduate students. These guidelines are relevant to the student's academic experience at UAF and are important for them to read and understand. Topics include definitions and requirements for official university communications, full- and part-time student status, academic progress, academic dismissal, grading system and policies, FERPA and the student code of conduct. See UAF academics, policies and regulations.

General University Requirements for Graduate Certificates

  1. A student must be admitted to the graduate certificate program. Students must fulfill all GURs and graduate certificate program requirements.
  2. A minimum of 12 credits is required for any Graduate Certificate. Courses used to meet requirements for Graduate Certificates may be applied to other graduate programs where applicable.
  3. A student may elect to graduate under the graduate certificate requirements in effect and published in the UAF catalog in any one of the previous seven years in which they are enrolled as a graduate certificate student.
    All non-academic policies and regulations listed in the current catalog apply, regardless of the catalog the student is using for their graduate certificate requirements. A student must satisfactorily complete all coursework and all other graduate certificate requirements within seven years for a graduate certificate.
    Students may earn more than one graduate certificate by completing all requirements for each additional program.
  4. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (B) must be earned in courses identified on the GSP.
  5. In 400-level courses, a minimum grade of B is required for the course to count toward the graduate certificate program requirements. In 600-level courses, a grade of C is minimally acceptable, provided the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) in all courses applicable to the graduate certificate program. At least two-thirds of the credits required for the graduate certificate must be taken at the graduate level (600-).
  6. Credit by examination, audited courses, F100-, F200-, F300-, and F500-level courses, or courses taken under the credit/no credit option, may not be used to fulfill the basic course requirements of any degree program.
  7. No more than one-quarter of approved program credits may be transferred from other accredited institutions, including those inside the UA system unless the graduate certificate is a joint program with another UA university. Transferred credits may not be used from previously earned undergraduate degrees. A minimum B grade (3.0) is required in all graduate courses presented for transfer. A P grade (pass) is not acceptable for transfer credit.
  8. If the requirements for a graduate certificate are not met within seven years of formal acceptance into the program, admission expires and the student must reapply for admission.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate students receive graduate assistantship stipends on a semester or academic year basis. Graduate assistantships may include tuition, stipend, graduate student health insurance, and fees. Graduate assistants can be paid for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students with assistantships must be registered for at least 6 credits during both the fall and spring semesters (with the exception of foreign nationals on temporary student visas who must be registered full-time). (Audited credits do not apply.) Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA to receive a graduate assistantship and may lose the assistantship if they do not maintain their GPA.

Any request by an assistant to work more than 20 hours per week must be approved by the student’s committee chair, department head and unit dean. Complete a Graduate Student Employee Workload Exception Request to request approval of more than 20 hours per week. Foreign nationals on temporary student visas are not permitted to work more than 20 hours a week while classes are in session and are not eligible for an overload waiver.

Teaching assistantships include a tuition payment by the university for no more than 10 to 20 hours per week. If the workload is 10 to 14 hours per week, no more than 5-credits will be included. No tuition will be included if the workload is less than 10 hours per week.

Research assistantships include a tuition payment by grants/contracts for no more than 10-credits each semester if the workload is 15 to 20 hours per week. If the workload is 10 to 14 hours per week, no more than 5-credits will be included. No tuition will be included if the workload is less than 10 hours per week.

Tuition payments should be used for courses directly related to the student’s degree program. All fees are the responsibility of the student unless the department or institute makes other arrangements with the UAF Graduate School prior to registration.

A graduate student with a GPA of less than 3.0 for one semester will need to apply for an appeal with Financial Aid to continue with the assistantship. Please see the Financial Aid forms page for more information.