A certificate program is a sequence of courses that provides specialized knowledge and skills for personal enrichment, professional advancement, or career change. Certificate programs may provide:
- A basic introduction to an established field of study.
- An interdisciplinary approach linking several fields.
- A concentrated focus on a sub-field.
Graduate certificates are designed for students at the following levels:
- For students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and are enrolled for graduate credit.
- For students who are enrolled simultaneously in a graduate degree program.
- For students who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree and are enrolled for graduate credit.
In most cases, certificates function independently of degree programs.
View a list of certificates we currently offer.
All students interested in obtaining a graduate certificate must formally apply through the Graduate School before completion of six credits in the certificate sequence, and pay any required application fees.
Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.
- All graduate certificate applicants—including those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School via the Panthera Admission Application.
- Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
When submitting an application, indicate the certificate desired in the narrative space.
Certificate programs may require additional information or have additional criteria for admission. Certificate programs will inform the Graduate School of their admission recommendation. The final admission decision is made by the Graduate School.
For certificate completion, students must submit an application to the Graduate School using their PAWS account, and pay any required completion application fees.
For qualifying students, the certificate program director will verify for the Graduate School the course number and title, grade and semester of enrolment for all courses that meet certificate program requirements. Certificate completion will be posted on a student’s official transcript in line with UWM’s official conferral dates, and an official paper certificate will be sent to the student from the Graduate School.
Criteria for Awarding a Certificate
Graduate certificates are awarded to students who:
- Meet the certificate requirements within the allotted time limit
- Have a minimum 3.00 overall grade point average (without rounding)
- Have a minimum 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses (without rounding)
Double-Counted Certificate Credits
UWM graduate certificate credits can double count toward either a UWM graduate degree or a second UWM graduate certificate. To double count credit, you must submit a Certificate Double-Counted Credit Evaluation Form to the Graduate School.
If you are looking for the Accelerated Master’s Credit Evaluation Form or the Graduate Transfer Credit Evaluation Form, visit the Forms and Downloads page.
Double-Counted Credits Between Two Graduate Certificate Programs
A maximum of 6 required credits may double count from one graduate certificate program to another, provided that both programs specify the courses as approved, required, or elective.
Double-Counted Credits Between Certificate and Degree Programs
- Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
- Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
- All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
- Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
- Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
- A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
- Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.
A minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.
Graduate Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the required credits for the certificate program may be taken at an institution other than UWM. Some certificate programs do not allow any transfer credits. To qualify, the work must meet the following criteria:
- Graduate-level from an accredited institution.
- Taken within five years of admission to your UWM certificate program.
- Not have been used to meet previous degree requirements.
- Grade of B or better (B- is not acceptable).
- Approved by your certificate program unit.
To transfer credit, you must submit a Graduate Transfer Credit Evaluation Form to the Graduate School.
If you are looking for the Accelerated Master’s Credit Evaluation Form or the Certificate Double-Counted Credit Evaluation Form, visit the Forms and Downloads page.
Transfer institutions must send an official transcript of the coursework directly to the UWM Graduate School. Unofficial transcripts are not accepted. UWM coursework does not require a transcript. To take coursework at another institution as part of your certificate program, you must obtain permission from your advisor and from the Graduate School.
Transfer credit will be posted on your official record after you have completed one semester in your certificate program. Transfer work is not calculated into the UWM GPA; only UWM coursework is calculated into the GPA.
Pursuing Concurrent Certificates
A student may work toward a maximum of two UWM graduate certificates concurrently. This does not change the time limit for completion of each certificate.
Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:
- 18 or fewer credits: Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
- 19 or more credits: Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.