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Certificate Programs

Professional certificates at the School of Continuing Education (SCE) are an affordable and convenient way to increase your value in the workplace. Frequently attained as a supplement or a stepping stone to a degree, certificates are earned through noncredit, hands-on professional development in a specific career discipline. SCE’s noncredit certificates demonstrate vocational achievement in content areas that increase employability and allow for career advancement.

View our Professional Certificate Guide PDF

Who Should Pursue a Professional Certificate?

  • Working Professionals – update current skills, gain new ones, advance your career and increase your earning potential
  • Recent College Grads – bridge the gap between your education and new job requirements
  • Career Changers – jump start your employment in a new field, quickly and economically
  • Reentry Workers – refresh your resume with relevant and non-intimidating education for today’s job market
  • Veterans/Military – smooth the transition back into civilian life with supportive training

Why Choose SCE?

  • Local industry experts with real-world knowledge and advice
  • Opportunity to network with like-minded professionals
  • Convenient downtown location
  • Amenities, including course materials, meals and discounted parking

Frequently Asked Questions


SCE does not require formal enrollment to begin a certificate track. It is recommended that you express your intent to the Program Manager responsible for the certificate so he or she can actively monitor your progress. Each certificate has unique curriculum requirements, and your path toward certificate completion begins with registering for a program that fulfills a requirement. Curriculum requirements, prerequisites and the most up-to-date list of program offerings are available on each individual certificate webpage. Almost all courses may also be taken individually without the pursuit of a certificate.

Prior Education and Training

SCE does not grant credit toward curriculum requirements for prior education and training. The majority of certificates offer varying pathways to completion and incorporate recent developments in subject content. Participants should select certificate tracks that provide an opportunity to build off of prior education and training with new content.


Participants in SCE’s programs receive either a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” designation to indicate their performance in a course. Satisfactory designation is implied for all participants that receive a verification of attendance/completion certificate at the end of the course. Only courses for which a participant receives a satisfactory designation can be applied toward the curriculum requirements for a certificate.

  • To receive a satisfactory designation in a classroom based (face-to-face) course, participants must attend and participate in all clock hours
  • To receive a satisfactory designation in a distance based (online) course, participants must access all modules and complete all required activites.
  • To receive a satisfactory designation in a capstone (if applicable), participants must submit a project that meets all established requirements for the capstone.

Participants are not suspended or dismissed from a certificate track due to unsatisfactory designations, nor are there probationary periods attributed to unsatisfactory designations; however, courses for which a participant receives an unsatisfactory designation don’t apply toward the cumulative curriculum requirements for the certificate. Participants would be required to retake the course, or take a different course that satisfies the curriculum requirement of a certificate. Retaking or substituting a course may result in additional registration fees incurred (per the discretion of the certificate Program Manager).


SCE focuses on condensed training that allows participants to accelerate their progress toward certificate completion. Missing days or tardiness can result in a substantial portion of the class content being missed. As such, attendance is the primary consideration in the assignment of satisfactory designations. The implication of tardiness toward the completion of curriculum requirements is at the discretion of the certificate Program Manager; however, a general guideline would be to consider tardiness of two or more clock hours to result in an unsatisfactory designation for the course.

If participants know in advance that an absence is an issue or there is need for SCE to initiate the cancellation of a course, SCE has the following cancellation policy pertaining to certificate programs in place:

  • A full refund is issued to program participants if the School of Continuing Education cancels a program for any reason. Participant withdrawals made at least two weeks (14 days) prior to the start of a program can receive a 100% refund. When a participant withdraws less than two weeks prior to the program start, participants may have their fees transferred one time to any currently available program, otherwise participants receive a refund minus a 20% administrative fee. For programs with a fee of $35 or less, no refund is given, if a participant withdraws within two weeks of the start date. Once a program has begun, refunds are no longer issued.

Certificate Completion

Upon completion, participants are awarded a framed certificate to acknowledge their accomplishment. SCE maintains a student record system for noncredit courses, and can issue a transcript listing all of a participant’s noncredit courses per their request. Program Managers maintain a strong network of certificate holders, and frequently communicate news, trends and employment opportunities pertaining certificate content.

UW-Milwaukee’s Career Planning and Resource Center maintains a public facing website devoted to career and employment related topics. Resources on careers, resumes, cover letters, interviewing, salary and negotiations can be found at: http://uwm.edu/careerplan/.

Participant Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

The School of Continuing Education is one of the UWM’s Schools/Colleges, and falls under the umbrella of the University of Wisconsin System. As such, SCE’s policies on participant conduct are rooted in the following UW System Administrative Code:

Participants who violate standards contained within UW System Administrative Code may be placed on probation, suspended from, or dismissed from all UWM functions.

List of Certificates and Affiliated Program Managers

*   Certificates marked with an asterisk can also be taken for University Credit. The information in this guide pertains to the noncredit option. To acquire information about the University Credit option, please contact the Program Manager directly.