Certificates - Guidelines and Policy

Overview of policy and guidelines for certificate programs, including undergraduate, graduate and professional certificates, Capstone, and non-credit certificate offerings.

UW-Madison faculty adopted new policy guidelines governing certificate programs in spring 2012 (revised spring 2014 and summer 2016). 

The Full Guidelines for For-Credit Certificates and related documents are available on the Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) website. 

A certificate program is a designated set of for-credit courses focused upon a specific topic or theme. Certificates give students the opportunity to pursue a subject of interest in a formalized way and to have completion of the course of study recognized by the awarding of the certificate. After approval, the for-credit certificate is documented on the student’s UW-Madison transcript and becomes part of the official student record. Certificates add opportunities for flexibility not available in majors and degrees. 

The certificate policy guidelines cover the following types of certificates; a high-level overview of each type of certificate is included below:

Undergraduate Certificates

Graduate and Professional Certificates

Capstone Certificates

Non-Credit Certificates

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