Bridge graduate certificate programs

Bridge Graduate Certificate programs provide students with specialized knowledge that may subsequently be applied toward the requirements of a designated master's degree and may be viewed as transitional to a master's program. This section describes the specific criteria for establishing Bridge Graduate Certificate programs.

Admission criteria

A Bridge Graduate Certificate is a graduate-level program open to students who hold a baccalaureate degree and who can meet the general graduate admission requirements of the university. Students with earned graduate credit or degrees may also apply for admission.

Administrative home

The Bridge Graduate Certificate shall be housed in the same unit as the master's program that proposes it and will be administered by the graduate office of the appropriate school or college.

Academic requirements

  • The curriculum will consist of courses from the corresponding master's program.
  • The certificate program shall consist of at least 12 graduate-level semester credits.
  • No transfer credit will be accepted into a Bridge program.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved in certificate coursework to obtain a Bridge Graduate Certificate.
  • The certificate program must be completed within three years.
  • All courses in the Bridge Certificate program may be applied toward the requirements of the designated master's degree, given they meet the approval of the master's program and the six-year time limit for master's degrees.


Proposals for Bridge Graduate Certificate programs should identify the master's program to which the certificate courses may be applied. They should include the following sections and provide the information as outlined in the Fast Track Guidelines:

  • Certificate title, home unit, affiliated master's program, inception date and contact person
  • Statement of how the proposed program meets eligibility criteria for fast-track approval
  • Need for the program and how the proposed program will meet that need
  • Program objectives
  • Admission requirements
  • Academic requirements
  • Financial aid eligibiligy statement
  • List of core and elective courses — prefix number, title, credit hours
  • Administrative structure (academic oversight, admission, advising, program evaluation)
  • Target audience and marketing plan
  • Program evaluation plans
  • Proposed Graduate Bulletin copy
  • Plan for assessing student learning outcomes
  • CIP code for the new certificate program. The school/college/department can consult with the Wayne State Office of Institutional Research and Analysis or U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to identify the corect code.

Approval procedures

Before submission to the Graduate Council, a proposal must be approved in its entirety by:

  • Departmental faculty and chair (in non-departmentalized colleges the proposal must be approved in its entirety by the school/college faculty)
  • School/college faculty governing body
  • School/college dean

Upon submission to the Graduate Council, the New Programs and Program Review Committee will review. After approval from the New Programs and Program Review Committee, the proposal is also evaluated and reviewed by:

  • Dean of the Graduate School
  • Provost
  • Certificate Program Committee (reviews the certificate program to determine if it is Title IV eligible based on the DOE's criteria for a gainful employment program)