Oct 03, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Certificates

Click here to view Graduate Majors (A-Z)  

Office of Graduate Certificates

University of South Florida
140 Seventh Avenue South, PNM 102
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Web address: https://www.usf.edu/graduate-studies/graduate-certificates/
Phone: 727-873-4657
Email: gradstudies@usf.edu

Individual Graduate Certificate Contacts

Graduate Certificate Policies

The Graduate Certificate is a focused collection of typically 9-12 graduate credit hours, but no more than 15 graduate credit hours.  These courses comprise a credential that, when completed, affords the student some record of distinct academic accomplishment in a given discipline. See University Definition of Graduate Certificate.

Applicants often pursue a Graduate Certificate to support continuing education or career enhancement, as well as to prepare for potential admission into a graduate degree at USF.

Graduate Certificates are developed by the faculty within a Department/School and approved through the standard curriculum process by the Department/School, College, Graduate Council, and Office of Graduate Studies.

Student Eligibility and Admission Criteria

Students must apply and be admitted into the Graduate Certificate to be eligible to receive a Graduate Certificate. All requirements must be successfully completed for the Graduate Certificate to be awarded.  Students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Certificate Director prior to applying. The Graduate Certificate is not a guaranteed means of entry into a graduate major. However, the courses comprising the Graduate Certificate may be used as evidence in support of a student’s application for admission into a graduate major and these courses may be transferred into the Major with Departmental/School approval.

University Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificates 

Applicants must meet University Admission Requirements , including minimums for English Proficiency.  For programs that lead to licensure, the associated Graduate Certificates may have additional requirements (e.g., standardized tests, letters of recommendation, pre-requisites, etc.)   Questions about the admission requirements may be directed to the Department offering the Graduate Certificate, or the Office of Graduate Studies.

Applicants who wish to pursue a Graduate Certificate should apply for admission to the Graduate Certificate through the Office of Graduate Studies as soon as possible for maximum benefit, but must apply to the Graduate Certificate and complete required coursework within five years of taking the first course applicable to the Certificate.  

NOTE: Degree-seeking students MUST apply for admission to the Graduate Certificate no later than the deadline to apply for graduation, which is typically the fourth week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate with the graduate degree.  Once the degree is conferred, it is no longer possible to be admitted to a Graduate Certificate using graduate courses from the major. 

Admission Deadlines

Applications received by the University Deadline will receive maximum consideration.  Rolling admissions is available. Applications received after the University deadline are considered on a space available and time permitting basis.  Check with the Graduate Certificate Office or the Graduate Certificate Director for availability or to discuss options for admission.

  • Fall Semester:  August 1
  • Spring Semester: December 1
  • Summer Semester: April 15

Student Classification

Non-degree seeking students admitted to a Graduate Certificate 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 who simultaneously pursue a Graduate Certificate will retain the degree-seeking classification, but will also have the Graduate Certificate classification added to the student record. Degree-seeking students may be eligible for financial aid for certificate coursework that also applies to their graduate degree. Students should consult with the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Academic Policies and Requirements

For academic policies and procedures refer to the Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog.  In addition to those policies, Graduate Certificate students also must comply with the following policies specific to Graduate Certificates:

  1. Good Standing - Students pursuing a graduate certificate and a graduate degree program are required to meet the same academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students to remain in “good standing” to avoid being academically dismissed from the Graduate Certificate.  Students enrolled in only a graduate certificate (non-degree seeking) are required to maintain a 3.00 GPA in the Graduate Certificate coursework to be eligible for completion and to avoid being academically dismissed from the Graduate Certificate.
  2. Courses - All graduate certificate students may apply one graduate course to a maximum of two graduate certificates.
  3. ​Application of Credit - 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.


Graduate Certificates are comprised of a focused collection of typically 9-12 graduate credit hours, but no more than 15 graduate credit hours.  At least one structured graduate course is required in common for all students in the Graduate Certificate.  Requirements may not include directed research, thesis, internship (unless the internship is for a Certificate designed to pursue State Certification or licensure), etc.


Graduate Certificate student are held to the same policies that apply to all graduate students.  See the appropriate section in Academic Policies  for information.


Graduate Certificate students should submit their Completion Form by the end of the tenth week of the semester in which they will complete the final course(s) for their Graduate Certificate. 

  • For Graduate Certificate students concurrently enrolled in a Graduate Degree, the student must be admitted into the Graduate Certificate prior to conferring their concurrent Graduate Degree. 
  • For Graduate Certificate students not concurrently enrolled in a Graduate Degree, a Completion Form must be submitted no later than five years after starting the first course applied to the Graduate Certificate. 

All students must be currently active at the time the Completion Form is submitted.   

The Department/School offering the Graduate Certificate will certify the student for the Graduate Certificate once the requirements are successfully completed. The Completion Form is approved by the Department/School, College, and Office of Graduate Studies. Courses may not be applied to a Graduate Certificate once the degree is conferred, unless an approved application for the Graduate Certificate is on file before the last day of classes in the semester when the graduate degree is conferred.