A graduate certificate is not a graduate degree. Rather, it is a document verifying the successful completion of a specified group of graduate courses. Certificates are intended to help students acquire (or enhance) discipline-related knowledge and skills. Upon completion of a designated set of courses and other requirements, the name of the graduate certificate will appear on the student’s official University of Missouri Transcript.
To accommodate a variety of learners’ needs, MU offers two types of graduate certificate programs:
- Stand-alone graduate certificates allow individuals to earn graduate credit hours without having to enroll in a specific degree program. Prospective students have an option to apply for graduate studyl as a Certificate-Seeking Student only. Degree seeking students may also pursue this type of certificate as complementary to (or independent of) their graduate degree program.
- Degree-dependent graduate certificates are designed for degree-seeking students only. Further, the students must be enrolled in the particular degree program offering the certificate. In other words, this type of certificate is intended for degree seeking students who wish to pursue specialized courses or related, complementary study.
Certificate Admission Information
Stand-Alone Certificate Applicants.All students enrolled in a stand-alone graduate certificate program will be classified as Graduate Certificate-seeking graduate students. As such, to qualify for admission, they must have successfully completed the baccalaureate degree at an accredited college/university. Specific graduate certificate programs may have admission standards that exceed those for post-baccalaureate graduate students. New graduate applicants wishing to pursue a stand-alone certificate only should complete the Graduate School’s online application for admission and meet the Graduate Faculty Senate's minimum admission requirements for all programs.
Degree-Dependent Certificate Applicants
New applicants applying for a degree program should complete the Graduate Studies' online application for admission for the degree program. Once enrolled at MU, the Application for Graduate Change of Division, Program, Degree Emphasis or Advisor Form (pdf)should be completed to add a graduate certificate.
Check eligibility on both types of certificates Degree-dependent graduate certificate programs are federal financial-aid-eligible. Students only enrolled in stand-alone graduate certificates are potentially eligible for federal financial aid. Read our disclosure pages to learn more about the costs (tuition & fees); time needed to complete the certificate; and future placement (e.g., degree programs, jobs) of certificate holders. Next, check with MU Student Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility. Students enrolled only in a stand-alone graduate certificates are not eligible for scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, tuition waivers, etc. from the Office of Graduate Studies or University of Missouri.
Stand-Alone Certificate Admission Requirements for Non-Degree Seeking Students
A non degree-seeking student who is admitted into a stand-alone certificate program will be officially classified as “certificate-seeking” graduate student. To be admitted, the student must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited college/university. Specific graduate certificate programs may have admission standards that exceed those for post-baccalaureate graduate students.
Transfer credit for stand-alone certificate seekers.A maximum of three graduate credit hours which correspond directly to the MU graduate certificate program course requirements may be used as transfer credit from another university to satisfy the requirements for the certificate program. An original transcript from the other university, verifying graduate credit received for the requested hours of transfer credit, must be submitted to the Graduate School when the Plan of Study form is submitted. Please refer to the certificate program’s site for certificate policy updates.
Credit Hours Necessary for Certificate Completion
Graduate certificates vary in completion requirements, including the minimum credit hours. Please refer to the certificate program’s site for credit hour requirements.
Up to 12 hours of graduate credit earned for graduate certificate may be applied to degree requirements for a graduate degree upon approval of the degree program.