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Rackham Policies

Certificates of Graduate Studies Programs

A Rackham certificate of graduate studies is a non-degree credential for study and participation in a scholarly community around a focused topic of special academic interest. A certificate requires a specified set of courses and activities that supplement and enrich a student’s primary program of study.

A student in a Rackham or non-Rackham degree program may apply to the Graduate School for a certificate program after having completed at least one term. Some certificate programs, however, are open to admission of persons who are not University graduate students but who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Such applicants apply directly to the certificate program through Rackham Admissions.

Certificates require a minimum of 9 credits of coursework plus an additional requirement equivalent to 3 credits, for a total of 12 credits. The additional 3 credit equivalent requirement is defined and approved by the certificate faculty. This may take the form of an internship, practicum, research project, professional development activity, or similar experience. Alternatively, the certificate may require additional coursework of at least three credits of coursework. Certificates may require no more than 19 credits.

The following general rules apply:

  • Only graduate level courses eligible for Rackham credit may be used to meet certificate requirements; no transfer credit may be applied. All credits must be completed on the home campus on which the degree program is administered.
  • The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of B (3.0 on a 4.0 point scale) in courses counted for the certificate program.
  • Not more than one-sixth of the credits required for a master’s degree may be double-counted with a certificate.
  • Not more than half of the credits necessary for a certificate that requires 10 or more credits of coursework may be double-counted with a master’s. If a certificate requires 9 credits of coursework, only 3 credits may be double-counted. Double-counted credits may not be used to fulfill requirements of other degrees or certificates, and double-counting is not permitted for two certificate programs (section 6.2).
  • A non-Rackham student who has been admitted to a free-standing certificate program must complete all requirements within four years from the date of first enrollment in the program.

Double Counting Credits

The double-counting of credit rules apply to all Certificate students in their Masters programs and all Certificate students who have received an embedded Master’s degree on their way to their PhD. (Double-counting rules are irrelevant to PhD students who do not seek an MA).

Students in dual degree programs may double-count a limited number of credit hours toward the requirements of both degrees. Double-counting of credit hours for two certificate programs is not allowed. To request double counting, a student must complete a Dual Degree Course Election Form no later than one term prior to completing the second degree. Double- counting rules specific to each dual degree program are found on the Rackham Website. The following general guidelines apply:

  • Double-counted course must be taken within five years of the first date of enrollment of the current degree program.
  • To preserve the integrity of each Rackham degree, at least half of the minimum required credit hours for each Rackham degree must be earned in the Rackham program under a Rackham registration and counted solely for that degree. That is, of the ___ credits required for the CAAR Certificate, the maximum amount that may be double counted is ___.
  • Only 1/6 of the total credits for the Masters degree can be double-counted towards the CAAR certificate (e.g. if that MSW is ___ credits, only ___ can be double-counted between units).
  • A graduate program may overlap with only one other program for the purpose of double-counting credit hours. Credit hours may never be used for three or more programs. If a student seeks a third certificate or program, it must stand alone.
  • Graduate programs may limit the double-counting of credit hours below the Rackham maximum, but may not allow double-counting above the Rackham limit.
  • Credits cannot be split (e.g., A student cannot use 1 credit from a 3 credit course).
  • Your non-Rackham degree program may have separate rules regarding double-counting.

Additional Rackham Graduate School Policies on Graduate Certificates

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