A Graduate Certificate is an integrated group of courses that is designed to have a very clear and focused academic topic or competency as its subject area. Often, a Graduate Certificate may meet a clearly defined educational need of a constituency group, such as continuing education or accreditation for a particular profession; respond to a specific state mandate; or provide a basic competency in an emerging, usually interdisciplinary, area. A Certificate is not a graduate degree program (it is typically between 9 and 15 credits), but it does provide the student formal recognition of the mastery of a clearly defined academic topic. NOTE: Transfer of external credit cannot be applied to a graduate certificate unless it is specified and justified in the initial request to establish the certificate or at the time of renewal (GS Bulletin, Transfer of Credit Section).
Graduate Certificates are becoming an increasingly important component of the total range of graduate educational opportunities offered by a modern, comprehensive research university. Often, Certificates are pursued by students who are also pursuing a graduate degree in a traditional discipline, or who may already have earned one or more graduate degrees. Programs or groups of faculty who wish to establish a new Graduate Certificate at the University of Kentucky should consult the Guidelines for Graduate Certificates.
Although formal admission to a specific Graduate Certificate is handled by the Director of the Certificate, a student seeking to pursue a Graduate Certificate must also apply to and be enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. Some Certificates may require concurrent enrollment in a degree-seeking program of study, however, many students will be enrolled only in the Graduate Certificate program of study. More information on admission requirements and specific plans of study for a particular Graduate Certificate can be obtained via the contacts below. Note that admission to or completion of a Graduate Certificate does not guarantee subsequent admission to a graduate degree program; that is a separate process, and different criteria prevail.
The University of Kentucky currently offers Graduate Certificates in the following areas: