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8.5 Certificates and Concentrations

Certificate Programs

An academic certificate, either at the undergraduate or graduate level, is composed of a defined group or sequence of courses that provide a coherent focus on a topic outside existing degree programs. The requirements may include an interdisciplinary mix of courses, but must consist of at least 12 academic credit hours. All new certificate programs must receive university approval and must be reported to the Board of Regents. Each certificate must undergo a comprehensive review every seven years to ensure that it remains a viable program.


At the undergraduate level, an academic concentration is either (1) a well-defined area of specialization available to students within a major or (2) a sequence of courses on a theme, approved by a department head, available to students outside a major where no minor exists. At the graduate level, a concentration is a track of courses on a topic that is contained within a degree program. All concentrations must involve at least 9 academic credit hours and must be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee.

For any new academic certificate programs or academic areas of concentration, the new program approval form, along with appropriate documentation, must be completed and submitted to the College's Curriculum Committee for review and approval. The dean will then submit all documents to the Provost’s Office. Documents related to the program review process will be placed on the agenda for the Provost Council (PC). All program proposals will receive second readings by the PC. Initial review/comments/suggestions by the PC will occur at the first reading. After the first reading the proposal will be added to the agenda of the next PC meeting as a second meeting item. Between the first and second readings, any questions regarding the program will be sent to the appropriate university office for review. The final PC approval vote will occur at the conclusion of the second reading. After PC Approval, programs will be submitted to either the Academic Affairs Committee (undergraduate programs) or Graduate Council (graduate programs) for review and approval.

Approved February 2013

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