Academic Programs Catalog

Graduate Education

Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs are constructed in selected fields as complements to degree programs or as distinct offerings. The issuance of a graduate certificate signifies that the certificate holder has completed specified course work or professional training or possesses specified skills or competency levels. Four types of graduate certificate programs are offered at Michigan State University:  Type 1 - directly related to a degree program; Type 2 - distinct entities that are transcriptable; Type 3 - distinct entities that are not transcriptable; and Type 4 - university-level certificate programs.  Graduate certificate programs that appear on the transcript have been approved via academic governance.

The minimum number of credits for a Type 2 Graduate Certificate is nine. More than half of the credits of the total required for a graduate certificate must be taken in courses at the 500 and 600 levels or the 800 and 900 levels. For additional information on graduate certificate programs, visit www.reg.msu.edu/Read/UCC/gradcert.pdf.

University Graduate Certification in College Teaching

In partnership with colleges that have approved programs (Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Letters, Communication Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Music, Natural Science, Social Science), the Graduate School oversees a professional development program, the University Graduate Certification in College Teaching (Type 4), for graduate students who wish to pursue additional activities related to pedagogy and preparation for faculty careers. Visit www.grad.msu.edu/cctp

University Graduate Certification in Community Engagement

In partnership with the Graduate School, the Office of University Outreach and Engagement oversees the University Graduate Certification in Community Engagement (Type 4) for interested graduate and graduate-professional students who wish to further their understanding and practice of engaged scholarship and research, engaged teaching, and engaged service in local, national, and international communities. Contact the Office of University Outreach and Engagement, gradcert.engage.msu.edu, or call 1-517-353-8977.

Academic Standards

A 3.00 cumulative grade–point average for all courses counting toward the Graduate Certificate is the minimum university standard; however, colleges, departments, or schools may establish a higher minimum standard.

Each college and department or school determines whether the minimum standards must be attained at the completion of a certain number of credits or by a specified interval after the student's first enrollment in the graduate certificate program. Some colleges, departments, and schools will not permit a student to remain in a certificate program if there is an accumulation of more than a specified number of graduate credits with lower than a 3.0 grade even though the cumulative grade–point average is 3.00.

Transfer Credits

Each program may decide how many credits of graduate course work may be transferred from institutions external to Michigan State University and may be applied to a Graduate Certificate. The department or school chairperson or director and dean must grant approval. Only courses in which at least a 3.0 grade or its equivalent was received will be considered for transfer. The College of Education may transfer 12 semester credits taken at the Graduate Certification (GC) level under the terms listed above. Some colleges with programs that require more than 30 credits for the master's degree may apply more than 9 credits toward the master's degree but not more than 30% of the total number of credits required for the master's degree.

Applied Credits to Master’s Degree Program

There is no limit to the number of credits taken at the graduate certification level at MSU that can be applied to a master’s degree program.  Credits applied to a master’s degree are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

Applied Credits to Doctoral Degree Program

There is no limit to the number of credits taken at the graduate certification level at MSU that can be applied to a doctoral degree program, with approval of the student’s doctoral guidance committee.  Credits applied to a doctoral degree are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.