Certificate Program

Certificate: University System of Georgia institutions offer a variety of certificate programs. Many of these certificates are not associated with degrees, but are a prescribed program of study at the post secondary educational level. (Academic Affairs Handbook 2.3.8)

Proposal Format

Proposals should include the information below, as well as any items required by the originating department or college.

  • Department / College / Institution
  • Contact name and email/phone
  • Date of submission
  • Implementation term
  • Certificate program title
  • CIP code
  • Certificate acronym (i.e., CERO: undergraduate certificate of less than 30 hours; CER1: undergraduate certificate greater than 30 hours; CERG: post-bachelor’s/graduate certificate; CERM: post-master’s certificate; CERP: post-first professional certificate).
  • Certificate Type:
    • Embedded (open only to students enrolled in degree program) or
    • Stand-Alone (application based certificate that exists outside of a degree program)
  • Modality: Face to face, Hybrid (25-49% online), or Online (50% or more online)
  • Program description and objectives
  • Complete program curriculum (i.e., catalog copy)
  • Number of credit hours of core curriculum courses (if applicable) and total credit hours for certificate completion.
  • Evidence that the program was designed to meet local market needs; or, for online programs, that the program was designed to meet regional or national market needs. Include projected enrollments.
  • Role played in the development of the proposed program by external advisory groups or prospective employers of program graduates.
  • Anticipated impact on other programs within the offering department, the college, or the university.
  • Additional resource requirements, if any, and budget implications (e.g., personnel costs, library acquisitions, computing/equipment costs, facilities and other operating costs, graduate student support). Intended method of funding additional costs if any.
  • Administration of the program.
  • Process for admitting students to the program.
  • Advisement process and resources for students in the program.
  • Measures that will be used to assess the effectiveness of the program, including:
    • Student learning outcomes and other program outcomes (e.g., job placements, examination pass rates, etc.)
    • Plans for assessing these outcomes
  • Offices, departments, committees, and individuals consulted during the development of the proposal.
  • Approval path for program proposal, noting all formal department- or college-level votes.

Approval Process

The approval process for proposals consists of the steps below.

  1. Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  2. Proposals require the approval of the dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.
  3. The dean should send approved proposals to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee chairs will include the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness (APIE) in the dissemination of proposals to committee members. The Associate Provost for International Affairs should be included if the proposal involves collaboration with an international partner institution. The Graduate College dean should be included if the proposal involves graduate programs. These university administrators may request that notable issues be addressed before subcommittee review commences, or they may provide feedback on the proposal as part of the subcommittee review process to be addressed before the final proposal goes to the full committee for further review.
  4. The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
  5. The chair of CAP will notify the APIE in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
  6. If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACSCOC standards, the university may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.
  7. The provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.
  8. If the provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the university’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.
  9. Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after return acknowledgment of the university-level approval from the USG. (The APIE will send a copy of the official University System acknowledgement to the originating college(s) and the chair of CAP upon receipt.)

Program Policies & Resources

USG Certificate Guidelines

Gainful Employment Guidelines: Information about initial and ongoing requirements for certificate programs, particularly those in disciplines without existing university degree programs.

From BOR Academic Affairs Handbook: University System institutions are required to notify the Office of Academic Programs when a new certificate is established. Notification will be provided using the certificate notification form (https://www.usg.edu/academic_programs/academic_affairs_approvals_and_notifications). Changes in a certificate name should also be sent to the Office of Academic Programs as notification.

Embedded certificates, those certificates that are only awarded to a student upon completion of a degree and are a self-contained set of courses embedded in a major or stand-alone degree, do not require notification and are not listed separately on the Degrees and Majors inventory. Additional information may be found at the website listed above.