Office of Graduate Certificates
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., LIB 608
Tampa, FL 33620-8470
Web address: http://www.usf.edu/innovative-education/programs/graduate-certificates/
Graduate Certificate Policies
The areas of study for the Graduate Certificates are created within the mission of graduate education. Students will be awarded certificates upon completion of specific course work, which has been approved by the Graduate Council. The Graduate Certificate is not defined as a degree by the Office of Graduate Studies; rather, it is a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student some record of distinct academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. Moreover, the Graduate Certificate is not viewed as a guaranteed means of entry into a graduate major. While the courses comprising a graduate certificate may be used as evidence in support of a student’s application for admission to a graduate major, the certificate itself is not considered to be a prerequisite.
Student Eligibility and Admission Criteria
Students must apply and be accepted into the Graduate Certificate to be eligible to receive a certificate. The prerequisites and general criteria of eligibility for admission to any graduate certificate area of study include:
- An earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university or enrollment in a USF Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway is required. Students in Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathways may be admitted upon completion of 120 semester hours.
- Each Graduate Certificate specifies the requirements for admission, including minimum grade point average, standardized test scores, and other similar criteria as part of the application. However, prospective non‐degree seeking graduate certificate students must meet University Graduate Admissions grade point average requirements.
- Graduate Certificate students will be held to the academic standards for all graduate students as specified in the Graduate Catalog, except for any additional requirements as noted in the section in the Graduate Catalog regarding Graduate Certificates.
Students who wish to pursue a Graduate Certificate must apply to the Graduate Certificate Office (http://www.usf.edu/innovative-education/programs/graduate-certificates/) and be admitted to the Graduate Certificate. Students are encouraged to contact the coordinator prior to applying.
- Non-Degree Seeking Students
All non-degree seeking students who wish to pursue approved graduate certificates should apply for admission to the Graduate Certificate program through the Graduate Certificate Office as soon as possible for maximum benefit, but must apply to the Certificate and complete required coursework within five years of taking the first course applicable to the certificate.
Students must submit a Completion Form to the department for approval and submission to the Office of Graduate Certificates for the Graduate Certificate to be awarded. Certificate-seeking-students will be classified as “Graduate Certificate Students.” As such, they are not eligible for financial aid and will receive a later registration date than degree-seeking students.
- Degree Seeking Students
- Admission - All degree seeking students who wish to pursue approved graduate certificates must apply for admission to the Graduate Certificate program through the Graduate Certificate Office. Students must apply for admission to the certificate prior to the deadline to apply for graduation by the fourth week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate.
For Graduate Certificates within the Major, students must submit the Completion Form by the fourth week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. For Graduate Certificates in a discipline outside the Major, students must submit the Completion Form no later than ten years after starting the first course applied to the Certificate.
- Students pursuing a graduate certificate are required to meet the same academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students to remain in “good standing”.
- All graduate certificate students may apply one graduate course to a maximum of two graduate certificates.
- All graduate certificate students must meet all prerequisites for courses in which they wish to enroll.
- Should a graduate certificate student subsequently apply and be accepted to a graduate major, the University’s Application of Internal Credit Policy applies. Any application of such credit must be approved by the degree-granting college and must be appropriate to the major. No courses taken outside of USF may be transferred into a Graduate Certificate at USF.
- Students must have been awarded a bachelor’s or higher degree to be eligible.