Graduate certificate programs are formally recognized programs of study attesting to a level of competence or to the development of skills in a particular area or field. They are intended only for students already enrolled in graduate degree-granting programs at Rice, and are awarded when the student's degree is conferred. Graduate certificates are offered both to recognize students who have achieved the defined level of competence or skill, as well as to encourage students to pursue additional areas of interest. A certificate comprises a specific grouping of courses and related activities (such as internships) that either:
- form a coherent yet distinctive complement to a degree program, or
- leads to the acquisition of specific skills or professional expertise
The certificate would include, but not be limited to the following requirements:
- Minimum standards: twelve graduate (12) credits, or nine such (9) credits plus a graduate-level internship or other experiential learning opportunity. Each department or program is responsible for determining the number of credits and the courses that are acceptable for satisfaction of the certificate requirements.
- All departments are eligible to submit proposals for the granting of certificates. Programs eligible to submit applications for certificates are restricted to faculty-based centers, institutes or other consortia reporting directly to one or more of the deans of the university or the vice provost of research.
- All courses counting toward the certificate must be taken on either a letter-grade or S/U basis. Courses taken for a letter grade must be completed with a grade of B- or better.
- No more than one-third of the credit hours required for the certificate may be taken on an S/U basis.
- No more than one-third of the credit hours required for the certificate may be transfer credit.
- Students must obtain the approval of their director of graduate studies to apply for a certificate.
- A certificate program is not intended to substitute for a graduate degree but may be taken by graduate students to complement their graduate program.
- Multiple certificates: Students may acquire more than one certificate provided that the credits in each certificate are unique and non-redundant with those of any other certificate.
Additional information on graduate certificates can be found here.