Certificate Policies, Undergraduate and Professional

Undergraduate and Professional Certificates

A certificate may be used to recognize that a student has completed a defined program of specialized cohesive study consisting of for‐credit UF courses and any other valid additional experiences, such as internships and international exchanges.  Students may earn a certificate in a particular field of study in the discipline of their academic major or enhance their major by pursuing a program outside of a discipline of their academic major but complementary to their major or career interests. Certificates may also be used by non‐degree seeking students to pursue personal and academic interests and to enhance opportunities for employment and admission to graduate and professional schools. Completion of university‐approved certificate programs will be noted on student transcripts.

Approval Process

  1. Officially recognized UF certificates will be noted on a student’s transcript and will bear the official UF seal upon the student’s successful completion of the certificate requirements. To be officially recognized by UF, any organized, for‐credit undergraduate or professional curriculum (including those taken by non‐degree‐seeking students and those offered by self‐funded programs) must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee, using the appropriate path in the approval system at “approval.ufl.edu.”
  2. Changes (including terminations) to undergraduate and professional certificate programs must be approved by the UCC. 

  3. Each certificate application must indicate the CIP Code associated with the program. Departments can only be approved to offer certificate programs that have the same CIP code as their approved undergraduate or professional degree programs.  For example, to offer an undergraduate certificate, the unit must have approval for an undergraduate major with the same CIP code as the certificate. 

  4. A program of study that has not been approved by the university may not be referred to as a certificate program or a specialization.  Documentation for students who complete such a program shall not be referred to as a certificate and shall not bear the official UF seal.  For example, such programs may be referred to as “Studies in ...,” “Certificate of Completion in,” or “Certificate of Specialization in….”

Requirements for Undergraduate and Professional Certificate Programs

  1. Proposals for certificates must include Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) and appropriate assessment methods. 

  2. After a certificate has been approved by the UCC, an Academic Assessment Plan must be submitted through the approval site (approval.ufl.edu) to the Academic Assessment Committee for approval. 

  3. Certificate programs which include only for‐credit courses shall require the successful completion of at least nine (9) credits of UF courses with a minimum grade of C or S in each course. An undergraduate certificate may not require the completion of graduate courses.
  4. Professional certificate programs may be based in part on other educational or training experiences that are not regarded as normal UF coursework. Valid experiences include internships, externships, clinical rotations, or similar training that has been approved by the college’s national professional accreditation agency, the U.S. Department of Education, or similar agency. 

  5. Each certificate awarded to a student must have at least nine credits that are distinct from every other certificate or minor for that student. That is, certificates must contain at least nine credits of coursework that are unique to that program out of all other certificates and minors awarded to the student. 

  6. Courses included in a certificate program may also be used for an undergraduate or professional major. A student may not earn a certificate if all courses required for successful completion of the certificate program are also required by the student’s major for successful completion of the degree.  In this case, the student may earn a specialization within the major if the specialization is approved by the University Curriculum Committee. 
  7. Certificates approved after Spring 2013 shall not have the same name as a major, minor, or specialization; however, the names may include shared words. For example, since there is a major and a minor with the name “Mathematics,” no certificate may be named simply “Mathematics” but a new certificate could have the name ʺEnvironmental Mathematics,” “Mathematics in Action,” or some other name that contains “Mathematics” and other terms*.  
  8. Students currently enrolled in, or previously awarded a major or minor, may not enroll in a certificate program that has the same name as the major or minor. 

  9. Colleges shall require an application for all students (degree‐seeking, non‐degree‐ seeking, or professional) to enroll in a certificate program. The application must be approved by the academic unit offering the certificate and the college dean or the dean’s representative. 

  10. Certificates awarded after successful completion of an approved program will be posted to the academic transcript. Comments posted to the transcript will be titled “Undergraduate (or Professional) Certificate in....”
  11. For an undergraduate certificate to appear on a student’s transcript, the certificate must appear in the catalog for the academic year in which the certificate is awarded, and the student must have passed at least one course in the certificate program after it appeared in the catalog. 

  12. Effective Summer B 2014, students must be admitted to a certificate program in order to be awarded the certificate. 

  13. Students must complete at least 6 credits required for the program after admission to the certificate program. 

  14. Descriptions of approved certificates will be included in the appropriate university publications and websites. 

  15. Additional information on policies regarding certificates is available at http://www.aa.ufl.edu/policies. 


*The following certificates have the same names as a major or minor but are exempt from this requirement as they were approved before this policy was created:  Geomatics, Teaching English as a Second Language.