Program Definitions

C & I committee, June 2008. Revised October 2008.

Undergraduate Certificates.

  • Contain a focused group of courses (minimum of nine credits).
  • Are justified in accordance with an outside entity, such as an accrediting or professional body. May also be evaluated with reference to Outreach Programs.
  • Specify the student audience and the standards by which a student is eligible to earn a certificate.
  • Must specify that students can't "double count" courses toward their major/minor degree program and a certificate program.
  • Are approved by the department curriculum committee sponsoring the certificate, the college C & I chair and the dean of the college where the certificate is housed.
  • The certificate coordinator is responsible for verifying that the certificate program has been completed.
  • If the certificate proposal crosses college boundaries or requires new resources it must be approved through the process administered by the AVP for Cross Disciplinary Studies and Planning.
  • May be awarded if the student does not graduate.
  • Do not appear in the catalog, but may be advertised through program materials (e.g. brochures, website, flyers).
  • Must go through the pre-proposal process if a certificate requires resources; otherwise do not require C & I approval.
  • Do not appear on the transcript, although the academic unit may issue a certificate to be used as part of a resume or portfolio.


  • Are 18-24 credits. Some prerequisites may be included, but the minor must remain smaller than the minimum major (30 hrs).
  • Should not duplicate existing programs.
  • Identifies a set of thematically related courses that help students identify areas of study that otherwise would not be visible to them.
  • Students may select a minor that complements a major, or is completely different from the major.
  • Students cannot major and minor in the same discipline (ie, one does not major in History and also minor in History).
  • Require C & I approval and appear in the catalog.
  • Appear on the transcript.

Pre-Professional licensure and degree programs.

  • Must be related to a student's major in as part of a planned progress toward professional credentialing
  • Example: Pre-Professional Teacher Education programs.
  • Should create a distinct set of knowledge or skills that qualifies one to practice in a particular area or work in a specific field
  • The amount of credits is variable, depending upon the professional linkage.
  • Require C & I approval and appear in the catalog.
  • Appear on the transcript.

Pre-Professional advisory programs.

  • Are sets of recommended courses for students who wish to shape their undergraduate experience toward a related professional goal beyond the undergraduate degree.
  • Examples: Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Health.
  • Do not require C & I approval but may appear in the catalog at the request of the sponsoring unit.
  • Appear on the transcript through the undergraduate career, but do not appear on the transcript after graduation.