Graduate certificate programs

Admission criteria

A graduate certificate is a graduate-level program open only to those students who can meet the general graduate admission requirements of the university. Specific certificate programs may stipulate additional requirements.

Academic requirements

  • The program shall consist of at least 12 graduate-level semester credits.
  • At least one course must be at the 7000 level or higher.
  • No transfer credit will be accepted for a certificate program.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved in certificate coursework to obtain a graduate certificate.
  • The certificate program must be completed within three years.
  • The program should utilize existing courses, facilities and resources.
  • No more than nine semester credits taken in this classification may be applied toward a graduate degree, subject to the approval of the relevant academic unit and graduate office.


Proposals for graduate certificate programs should include the following sections and provide the information:

  • Graduate certificate title, home unit, inception date and contact person for the program
  • 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 eligibility 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

Read in-depth about the certificate approval process

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
  • Academic Affairs Committee of the President's Council
  • 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) 
  • The Board of Governors makes the final authorization
  • State Universities of Michigan and North Central Accreditation's Higher Learning Commission