Undergraduate Certificate Programs

4240.1 Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Undergraduate certificate programs offer students focused instruction in a structured and coherent field of study, but with fewer required courses and credit hours than a major or minor. Undergraduate certificates may be earned in conjunction with degree programs, or can be earned by non-degree seeking students who wish to expand their professional expertise. All certificates must have specific learning outcomes, an assessment plan, and have an assessment report submitted in accordance with university, ODHE and accrediting agency guidelines. Undergraduate certificates are designated by departments or academic units, and will bear names and requirements that distinguish them from existing majors and minors.

An undergraduate educational certificate program at Wright State University should include between 12 and 21 semester hours. As of the effective date of this Policy, all new undergraduate certificate programs will require a minimum of 12 semester credit hours must be 2000+ level standard academic letter grade coursework.

Courses taken in an undergraduate certificate program of study are subject to the same regulations on course grade replacement, probation, dismissal, etc. as courses taken in a degree program of study. If not otherwise prohibited, courses taken in a certificate program may be applied (double-counted) to a subsequent or concurrently awarded degree program of study without penalty. Conversely, courses taken as part of a completed two or four-year program may be counted towards an undergraduate certificate program of study, within the limitations of the certificate residency requirement.

Successful completion of a certificate program of study will be noted on the permanent record


4240.2 Admission into Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Applicants must apply and be accepted to undergraduate certificate programs of study in much the same way that they are expected to apply for associate and baccalaureate degree programs of study. Each certificate program must specify any formal requirements for admission.

A student may pursue an undergraduate certificate as (A) an exclusive non-degree program of study, (B) a dual program of study in conjunction with an associate or baccalaureate degree, or (C) a non-degree program of study taken after the awarding of a previous associate or baccalaureate degree. In each case, the certificate credential is awarded on the completion of the certificate program of study.

4240.3 Credit Hours in Residency Required For Earning An Undergraduate Certificate

A minimum of 9 semester credit hours must be earned at Wright State University in an undergraduate program of study approved by the department/unit overseeing the certificate. Credit by evaluation or transfer credit will not be considered as residency credit.Credits earned prior to the awarding of a previous degree, including degrees earned at Wright State, will not be considered as residency credit. Credits earned as part of a concurrently awarded degree may be considered as residency credit.

4240.4 Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Certificate Program Proposals

Before approving or revising a certificate program, the proposal must be reviewed by all departments and program units that may be affected by the proposed program. In cases where a certificate is significantly similar to existing programs, scheduling/faculty/resource implications must be specifically addressed. Programs that require new resources/staff or significant utilization of existing resources/staff must address sustainability and resource impact of the proposed program.

The requirements for certificate programs may vary considerably across departments or program units. In order to ensure consistency from program to program, those preparing and approving proposals for a new program must observe the following format and guidelines:

  • Title. Tile of Program and college or school and department responsible for administering the program.
  • Description. Proposals must include an undergraduate catalog description of the certificate program.
  • Objectives. Proposals must provide a clear statement of the objectives and student learning outcomes of the program and the method by which the achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed.
  • Admission Requirements. Proposals must clearly indicate requirements for admission from the program, including (as appropriate) required prerequisite coursework, GPA requirements, etc.
  • Program Requirements. Proposals must specify the program of study, including course requirements, any electives/options, and total credit hours required. Certificate programs that require a summative evaluation (such as a comprehensive examination or portfolio review) must make clearly specific the evaluation requirements and procedure.
  • Program Quality. Proposals must address how the proposed program of study and evaluation mechanisms meet and ensure successful completion of program objectives. The faculty body responsible for overseeing the quality of the program must be explicitly identified. Proposals must indicate any requirements for maintaining the quality of student performance and continuation in the program for successful completion of the certificate. This should include the following:
    • Student GPA and/or performance in a specific course or set of course required to continue/progress in program
    • Time limits for completion, including need for continuous registration
    • Criteria for reapplying if necessary
    • Acceptance of previous experience, including Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) or credit by examination (e.g., CLEP)