Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education


Selecting an Undergraduate Certificate

Undergraduate certificate programs are constructed in selected fields as complements to degree programs, minors, or as distinct offerings. The issuance of an undergraduate certificate signifies that the certificate holder has completed specified course work, co-curricular experiences, specified training or possess specified skills or competency levels. Five types of undergraduate certificate programs are offered at Michigan State University: Type 1 - directly related to a degree program that are transcriptable; Type 2 - distinct entities not related to a degree program or minor that are transcriptable; Type 3 - distinct entities designed for external stakeholders or guest students that are not transcriptable; and Type 4 - university-level certificate programs; and Type 5 – directly related to a degree program, exclusively reserved for the Institute of Agricultural Technology, and are transcriptable. Undergraduate certificate programs that appear on the transcript have been approved via academic governance.

The minimum number of credits for an Undergraduate Certificate is 9 with a maximum of 12. Visit

Academic Standards

A 2.00 cumulative grade–point average for all credit-bearing experiences counting toward the undergraduate certificate is the minimum university standard; however, academic units may establish a higher minimum standard in the decision to award the certificate.

Certificates may be structured as either discipline-specific, interdisciplinary, or thematic. (1) academic units applying for certificates must consult with and/or obtain support from related programs and departments to ensure availability of courses required for the certificate, but offered by another department, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of content; (2) non-academic units may create certificates that are sponsored by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or an academic unit if it undergoes an academic program review; (3) non-academic units seeking to create certificates or intercollegiate/unit groups wanting to create certificates that would not clearly reside in a single college or department or focus on non-disciplinary themes should consult with the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, which will administer pan-institutional certificate programs.

Transfer Credits

Previously completed course work, experiences, and transfer credits can count toward the certificate at the discretion of the program coordinator up to a limit of 6 credits. Sponsoring units can set additional parameters on the amount of prior courses and transfer credit that can be counted toward a certificate.

Applied Credits to Undergraduate Degree Program or Minor

Participants who take MSU course work as a guest student may only transfer up to 16 credits to an undergraduate major or minor per MSU policy.