Appendix J. Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate Programs
Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificates offer students the ability to obtain a graduate credential in a specialized topic. Graduate Certificate Programs are designed to use existing courses to respond to professional and workforce needs, and to provide opportunities for the exploration of new curricular areas. They are distinctly different from certification programs and are not intended to meet licensure or professional practice requirements. In the absence of specific policies provided in Appendix J for Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate Programs, policies published in the remainder of the Graduate School Manual apply.
J. 1.0 Application and Admission. Students applying for admission into a Graduate Certificate Program must do so through the URI Graduate School admission system. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited University or College. International students must be enrolled in a graduate degree program. Certificate programs establish their own admission requirements pending approval from the Graduate Council. Students in one or more certificate programs may also be enrolled simultaneously in a master’s or doctoral degree program.
J. 1.1 Credit Requirements. Graduate Certificate Programs are course-based and require 12 credits minimum, and 16 credits maximum. The only exception to this requirement is for Post-master’s Graduate Certificates (i.e., certificate programs for students who have already earned a master’s degree in an area closely related to the certificate program); these require 12 credits minimum, and 18 credits maximum. Students who successfully complete a specific Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate before applying to, and being accepted into a graduate degree program in the same department/program may apply the credits taken in the certificate program to the graduate degree program. Additionally, all credits taken in a Graduate Certificate Program may be used to satisfy requirements of a closely related graduate degree program in which a student is concurrently matriculated.
J. 1.2 Credits Taken Outside of the Certificate Program. Applicants may not transfer courses into a Graduate Certificate Program that were taken at institutions other than URI. Students who are already matriculated in a URI graduate program when admitted into a Graduate Certificate Program may apply any of the courses taken in the degree program to the certificate program, if they meet the requirements of the certificate program. Students who have already completed a graduate degree at URI before matriculating into a Graduate Certificate Program may bring some of those credits into the Graduate Certificate Program. Credits brought into the Graduate Certificate Program must have been taken within seven years of matriculating into the Graduate Certificate Program and cannot total more than two-fifths of the total number of credits required for the Graduate Certificate Program.
J. 1.3 Time-to-degree Limit. Students must complete all of the requirements for a Graduate Certificate Program within 5 years of their date of matriculation in that Program.
J. 1.4 Program of Study. Students in a Graduate Certificate Program must complete a Program of Study and submit it to the Graduate School in their first semester. The Program of Study lists the courses to be taken to fulfill the requirement of the Certificate. If any changes in the original Program of Study are made, a new Program of Study must be submitted as soon as possible. All Graduate Certificate Programs will have an established list of core courses and suitable electives that can be used to satisfy the requirements for the Graduate Certificate.
J. 1.5 Nomination for Graduation. A Nomination for Graduation form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the Graduate Certificate Program Coordinator in a student’s final semester. Deadlines for submission are published in the Deadline Calendar on the Graduate School website.
J. 1.6 Grades and Grade Point Averages. Students must meet the acceptable grade requirements as described in Section 10 of the Graduate School Manual.
J.1.7 Continuous Enrollment. Continuous enrollment (see Section 4.40 of the Graduate School Manual) is not required for students who are enrolled solely in one or more Graduate Certificate Programs and are not concurrently enrolled in a graduate degree program.
J. 2.0 Graduate Certificate Program Coordinators. Every Graduate Certificate Program shall have at least one Coordinator. The Coordinator must assure that students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program are advised by the Coordinator or designated participating faculty. Coordinators recommend approval or denial of applicant admissions to the Graduate School, approve Programs of Study, and submit Nominations for Graduation. Coordinators and participating faculty also respond to programmatic questions from potential applicants, maintain files on active students, and keep records of the number of students who have participated in the Graduate Certificate Program from its inception. These statistics should be reported to the Dean of the College sponsoring the Certificate Program, the URI Office of Institutional Research, and the Graduate School.
J. 3.0 Proposals for New Certificate Programs; the Process and an Example. Proposals for new Post-baccalaureate Graduate Certificate Programs should be submitted to the Graduate School after securing approval from the College in which the Certificate will be housed. The New Program Committee of the Graduate Council will review the proposal and make a recommendation on its merits to the full Graduate Council. If approved by vote of the Graduate Council, it will be submitted to the Faculty Senate for review and approval. An example of a successful proposal developed by the Department of Natural Resources Science and approved by the Graduate Council and Faculty Senate can be found at (https://web.uri.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/321/GIS_RS_Certificate.pdf).