Academic Programs

Academic Affairs Division

Certificate Guidelines

University System of Georgia institutions offer a variety of certificate programs. Many of these certificates are not associated with degrees, but are a prescribed program of study at the postsecondary educational level. The following guidelines are provided to assist institutions with the development of certificate programs.

  • Certificates proposed and offered by an institution should be consistent with the mission of the institution.
  • Certificates shall be consistent with degree programs offered by the institution.
  • The institution offering the certificate will maintain enrollment and completion data as part of the students’ record.
  • Certificates should be 9 or more semester-credit hours, but no more than 59 semester-credit hours.
  • Certificates require that students meet the admission requirements of the institution and that the courses offered will not exceed the level of courses offered by the institution (e.g., a two-year institution may not award a graduate certificate).

The definitions listed below describe types of certificate programs in the USG. These definitions are the same as those used in reporting data to the federal government. In the definitions, pre-baccalaureate (undergraduate), post-baccalaureate (graduate), post-master’s, and post-first professional, refer to the level of courses in the curriculum, not the qualifications or background of the student.

  • Pre-Baccalaureate (Undergraduate) Certificates
    • Fewer than 30 semester credit hours (less than one year). The degree acronym is CER0.
    • From 30 to 59 semester credit hours (at least one year, but less than two). The degree acronym is CER1.
  • Post-Baccalaureate (Graduate) Certificates
    • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate – a certificate beyond the bachelor’s degree that does not meet the requirements for a master’s degree. The degree acronym is CERG.
    • Post-Master’s Certificate – a certificate beyond the master’s degree that does not meet the requirements for a doctoral degree. The degree acronym is CERM.
    • Post-First Professional Certificate – a certificate beyond the first professional degree. The degree acronym is CERP.

For additional information please see Section 2.3.8 in the Academic Affairs Handbook.