Graduate certificates

There are limits on the use of courses in graduate certificate programs that have not been fully approved through the curricular review process (i.e., courses numbered 501/601 through 510/610). A few graduate certificates require an omnibus course (e.g., 506 Project) as a culminating activity for the program. Apart from these required credits, courses numbered 501/601 through 509/609 are typically not allowed in graduate certificate programs. Experimental courses (i.e., courses numbered 510/610) can substitute for electives at the program's discretion, but all core courses must be fully approved.

Graduate certificate students must have a minimum 3.00 GPA on all courses applied to the program of study, as well as a minimum 3.00 GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at PSU, in order to graduate. Departments may establish a more rigorous standard. Although grades of C+, C, and C- are below the graduate standard, they may be counted as credit toward a graduate certificate with the specific written approval of the program. Grades of D or F indicate clearly unacceptable work and cannot be applied to graduate certificate requirements. Audited courses cannot be used to meet any requirement for graduate certificates.

Courses completed up to seven years prior to the certificate award date may be used to satisfy graduate certificate requirements (e.g., a course started in the fall term of 2013 will be beyond the seven-year limitation at the close of fall term 2020).

For graduate certificates, transfer credit is defined as any eligible letter-graded (B- or higher) graduate course taken at another regionally accredited institution. Two-thirds of the credits required for a graduate certificate, or 15 credits minimum, whichever is larger, must be taken at PSU. Individual programs may set higher minimums. See the section on Course overlap between degrees and certificates for use of coursework in certificate programs.

Students must apply for graduation by the first Friday of the anticipated term of graduation; see the Graduate Candidate Deadlines for specific due dates. There is a required $30 fee per application as well as a $2 service charge. As a one-time courtesy, students who do not complete certificate requirements can have their application for graduation carried forward to a future term (typically the next term, but it could be at maximum up to one year in advance). To request that an application for graduation be carried, students must contact the Graduate School in writing and provide an explanation for the graduation delay. If students do not graduate a second time, the application for graduation will be dropped; they will then need to reapply for graduation by the appropriate deadline (and will be assessed a new application fee).