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Certificates

Certificate programs are defined as independent (stand alone), self-contained, structured, and systematic groups of courses that focus on a specific area of knowledge and are generally shorter in duration than degree programs. They allow the university to provide flexible, efficient methods of meeting the needs of individuals for career advancement, career change, continuing education requirements, or personal educational enhancement, as well as to respond to requests from external constituencies to offer certificate programs for their employees.

To be officially recognized on student transcripts, a certificate must consist of a minimum of 9 (graduate) or 15 (undergraduate) semester hours. There is no maximum number of hours required for a certificate program. However, a certificate should not replicate the requirements for a standard degree program.  Non-credit certificates are not considered a part of these guidelines, as they are not recognized on student transcripts. Please contact Dana Wright, for additional information on non-credit certificates.

Below you will find the following information about the:

  • Types of certificates and existing programs.
  • Procedures to establish, revise, suspend admission to, or eliminate certificates. Please note that revisions include changes to certificate requirements, as well as requests to reorganize certificates (e.g., rename, consolidate, transfer).
  • Process of changing how a certificate is delivered (e.g., face-to-face to online) and making programs available at off-campus sites.

Types of Certificates Heading link

UIC awards two types of credit-bearing certificates briefly described below. For additional information, please review the Guidelines and Definitions for Certificate Programs.

Campus Certificates

  • Generally requires fewer hours than an IBHE-approved certificate.
  • Students are considered non-degree, although some campus certificates can be earned concurrently with a UIC degree.
  • Recognized on the transcript via a transcript comment.
  • Browse a list of graduate campus certificates.
  • Undergraduate campus certificates are noted in the Undergraduate Catalog under their sponsoring department. Currently, there are four offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

IBHE-Approved Certificates

  • Generally require more credit hours than a campus certificate.
  • Students are considered degree-seeking.
  • Recognized as a formal award on the transcript, and a diploma is issued.
  • Browse a list of IBHE-approved certificates.

Establish, Revise, Reorganize, or Eliminate a Certificate Heading link

Use the following forms to prepare the appropriate proposal.

Proposals must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs.

  1. College. Proposals are approved according to procedures established by the college. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email it to Dana Wright.
  3. Budget and Financial Analysis (BFA). Approve the pro forma submitted when new certificates are proposed.
  4. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students are impacted.
  5. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
  6. UIC Senate
  7. University Senates Conference
  8. Board of Trustees (BOT). New, reorganized, and eliminated campus certificates are reported to the BOT as informational items. New and eliminated IBHE-approved certificates are submitted to the BOT as action items, and reorganizations are generally reported to the BOT as informational items. Revisions to campus and IBHE-approved certificate requirements are generally not reported to the BOT.
  9. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The IBHE does not approve, nor are they notified of, activities related to campus certificates. Activities related to IBHE-approved certificates are shared with the IBHE as follows:
  • New and eliminated certificates in a field in which there is a previously approved degree program are included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.
  • New and eliminated certificates in a field field or at a level in which there is not a previously approved degree program at that level or a higher level are reviewed by IBHE staff, who determine if the certificate is a reasonable and moderate extension (RME) of UIC’s existing program authority.
  • Reorganized certificates are included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.
  • Revisions to program requirements are generally not reported to the IBHE, unless there is significant impact to program learning outcomes.

Suspend Admission to a Certificate Heading link

Admission to a program may be suspended if an instructional unit does not have the capacity to offer it temporarily, needs time to make significant revisions to program curriculum, or if the unit plans to formally initiate the process of permanent elimination.

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring unit to: ensure that continuing, enrolled students can complete the program; inform prospective students who are in the process of applying for admission and provide them with assistance in finding alternative programs; and notify any other affected organizations, units, or individuals (e.g., accreditation agencies,  support programs, advisors).

The suspension of admission to a certificate must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs. Once approved, the program is removed from applications for admission and a note is made in the UIC Academic Catalog.

  1. College. Proposals are approved according to procedures established by the college. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Format for Academic Program Changes form to prepare the proposal.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email it to Dana Wright.
  3. Graduate College. Reviewed as an informational item by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students may be impacted.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). Reviewed as an informational item.
  5. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Notified by AP if  an IBHE-approved certificate has suspended enrollment.