Graduate Certificate Policies

A post-baccalaureate certificate is awarded for the successful completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate-level work in a defined subject area under the following conditions:

  1. The program must include a minimum core requirement of nine credit hours chosen from a limited list as designated by the graduate program.
  2. Non-core courses must be chosen from a specific list of acceptable options.
  3. No fewer than nine credit hours must be earned at the 600 level and above.
  4. In a twelve credit certificate program three credits may be earned at the 400 level; for certificate programs requiring more than 12 credits, a maximum of six credit hours may be at the 400 level.
  5. All credits for a certificate must be completed at the University of Maryland.
  6. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for the award of a graduate certificate.
  7. All requirements for the graduate certificate must be completed within a five-year period.

Courses completed in a post-baccalaureate certificate may count towards a master’s degree at the University of Maryland if the following conditions are met:

  1. Without prior PCC approval, the certificate courses are not used towards any other post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree.
  2. If the certificate was completed at an institution other than the University of Maryland, no more than 6 transfer credits may be used towards the master’s degree.
  3. The certificate courses must satisfy existing requirements in the master’s degree program. All students in the master’s degree program must be eligible to take the certificate degree courses. The learning outcomes for all courses must be the same if different sections of the same courses are offered for a certificate program and a master’s program.
  4. The master’s degree has not yet been conferred. 

Additional certificates may apply towards the master’s degree if approved by the Graduate Programs, Curricula, and Courses (PCC) Committee. This approval process ensures that the master’s degree is cohesive for all students regardless of whether they are admitted directly into the master’s program or earn the master’s degree through stacking multiple certificates. Please review the Master's Degrees Policies section of this catalog for more information on master's degree credit requirements.

Current UMD post-baccalaureate certificate students interested in pursuing a UMD master's degree should consult with their prospective master's program department to understand the program's curriculum requirements and admissions timeline. A new admissions application is required to pursue a higher-level degree objective. More information on changing programs can be found in the Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

Information on active Graduate Certificates can be found on our program listing page.