Certificates: Graduate-Level

Graduate certificate programs at Rice are post-bachelor’s degree academic credential programs.

Graduate Certificate programs may be (1) restricted to Rice degree-seeking graduate students, (2) restricted to non-degree-seeking post-baccalaureate students, or (3) open to both Rice degree-seeking graduate students and graduate certificate students.

Degree-seeking Rice graduate students may apply for a certificate program, through the online graduate application, all application fees are waived. Students must declare the graduate certificate using the Graduate Declaration and Change of University Certificate Form available from the Office of the Registrar. Declaration of the certificate requires the student to obtain the approval of their director of graduate studies (in the degree program to which they have been admitted) as well as approval from the appropriate certificate advisor for the university certificate program. Students may complete and acquire more than one certificate, provided that the student meets any and all of the requirements for each certificate program. The certificate is awarded at the same time as the conferral of the student's terminal Rice degree, and is included on the academic transcript.

Non-degree-seeking post-baccalaureate students must apply formally for the graduate certificate program via the online application. Minimum requirements for admission are consistent with standards for degree seeking students. Please see Admission. Graduate certificate students who are not also pursuing a degree can only take coursework within the requirements of the graduate certificate.

In certain situations, students completing a Rice graduate certificate credential may use credits earned toward the graduate certificate credential toward a Rice graduate degree.

Graduate certificate programs are intended to recognize students who have achieved a defined level of competence, skill or professional expertise, as well as to encourage students to pursue additional areas of interest in a particular area or field that may complement their coursework in the graduate degree-granting program to which they have been admitted. The certificate must include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • A minimum of 4 courses (12 credit hours) of standard or traditional (with a course type of lecture, seminar, laboratory, lecture/laboratory) graduate semester credit hours (coursework taken at the 500-level or above) to satisfy certificate requirements, or
  • A minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) of standard or traditional (with a course type of lecture, seminar, laboratory, lecture/laboratory) graduate semester credit hours (coursework taken at the 500-level or above) and a graduate-level internship or other substantial experiential learning opportunity.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework
  • A minimum GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the graduate certificate with a minimum grade of B- (2.67 grade points) in each course.*

  • All coursework taken to satisfy certificate requirements with the standard letter grade earned (not on a Pass/Fail basis), with no more than one-third of the coursework taken to meet certificate requirements on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis and no more than one-third of the coursework taken to meet certificate requirements earned through transfer credit. 
  • All requirements for the graduate degree-granting program in which the student is enrolled.

Note: Graduate Certificate programs may identify and define in their program's General Announcements Requirements tab stricter minimum requirements to satisfy their program requirements. With approval from the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies, graduate programs may substitute but not waive local degree requirements.