University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Plans Approved by the Board of Regents

Policy Statement

This policy sets minimum standards for post-baccalaureate certificates approved by the Board of Regents.  Programs and collegiate units may have additional and/or more stringent requirements.

I. Admission

Minimum admission requirements for post-baccalaureate certificates are the same as for master’s and doctoral degrees. Admission is governed by the Administrative policy: Admission for Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

II. Program Requirements

Programs offering post-baccalaureate certificate plans must assure students receive graduate-level training. The minimal criteria are:

  1. Certificate plans must consist of at least 12 semester course credits.
  2. All courses must be at the 4000 level or above. At least 50% of the certificate course credits must be at the 5000 level or above.
  3. Certificate plans cannot offer minors or sub-plans.

III.  Requirements Upon Matriculation

  1. Students are responsible for knowing all requirements of their certificate plan when they matriculate.
  2. Upon students’ matriculation, the program offering the certificate plan must provide each student with:
    1. a current student handbook that specifies the requirements for the certificate and policies governing successful certificate completion; and
    2. a temporary advisor.

IV. Performance Standards

  1. Annual Review The academic progress of each certificate student must be reviewed at least once per year by the certificate program.  Students deemed not to be in good standing must be informed of the results of the review in writing, with a copy to the student’s advisor.
  2. Continuous Enrollment -- Students must enroll every fall and spring semester from the time of matriculation through the semester of certificate conferral, except for cases with an approved Leave of Absence on the student’s record.
  3. Certificate Degree Plan -- Certificate students must have an approved certificate degree plan on file with their collegiate unit in order to apply for certificate conferral.
  4. Minimum Grade Requirements 
    1. To remain in good academic standing, students must meet the minimum GPA requirement specified by the certificate program, or 2.800 (on a 4.000 scale), whichever is higher.
    2. Students who have filed a certificate degree plan must maintain a 2.800 GPA for courses included on that certificate degree plan.
    3. Only courses with grades of A, B, C (including C-) and S may be counted towards the certificate.
    4. Students who have not yet filed a certificate degree plan should maintain an overall GPA of 2.800.  Students who fall below 2.800 or the minimum GPA requirement specified by the certificate program, whichever is higher, may be terminated from the certificate program.
    5. A minimum of two-thirds of the course credits included on the certificate degree plan must be taken on the A/F grade basis.
  5. Application of Credits
    1. Graduate credits taken before the award of the baccalaureate degree may be counted toward the certificate under limited circumstances, if approved by the certificate program and collegiate unit  Graduate courses used to meet either credit or degree requirements for the baccalaureate degree may not also be counted toward a certificate. 
    2. A student’s certificate degree plan for the certificate must include at least seven graduate course credits earned while enrolled as a degree-seeking student in that certificate program.
    3. Additional graduate course credits included on the student’s certificate degree plan to meet minimum requirements for the certificate, at the discretion of the certificate program and subject to college approval, may include those credits earned from within or outside the University, from previous or concurrent graduate degrees, and/or those taken as a non-degree seeking or non-admitted student.
    4. Graduate course credits taken while enrolled as a degree-seeking student in a certificate program may be applied to meet credit requirements of University master’s and doctoral degrees, at the discretion of the graduate program and subject to college approval.
    5. A maximum of three graduate course credits may be counted in common between two University certificate plans.
  6. Time Limit for Earning the Post-baccalaureate Certificate All requirements for the certificate must be completed and awarded within five calendar years after matriculation in the certificate program, or within a more restrictive time frame specified by the certificate program.
    1. Students unable to complete the certificate within the time limits described above may, with the approval of their advisor/s and the certificate program director of graduate studies, petition the certificate program and collegiate unit for one extension of up to 12 months.  Students must submit the extension petition prior to the end of the term in which the time limit will expire..
    2. The certificate program and collegiate unit are responsible for reviewing and taking action on their students’ time extension requests, and for notifying the student in writing of the final decision.
      1. For approved petitions, the written communication will include the expected timeline for completion of remaining requirements and award of the certificate.
      2. For denied petitions, the written communication will include notification of dismissal from the certificate upon expiration of the time limit.
    3. Students who have been dismissed under such circumstances may apply for readmission to the certificate program; however, readmission is not guaranteed.

Reason for Policy

This policy provides a framework for offering post-baccalaureate education that is oriented primarily toward professional and skills development and that culminates in the award of a certificate.


Primary Contact(s)Anne Barnes [email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Anne Barnes
    Assistant to the Provost, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost


Following the completion of undergraduate studies and the award of the undergraduate degree.


Collegiate Units
  • Ensure appropriate review of coursework on the certificate degree plan (including any subsequent changes to an approved plan).
  • Review and approve student requests for extensions to the time limit for completing the post-baccalaureate certificate.
  • Clearly state requirements for maintaining good standing in the Student Handbook, even if they are identical to the requirements in this policy.
  • Review and approve the coursework on the student’s certificate degree plan (including any subsequent changes to an approved degree plan).Establish procedures to review all post-baccalaureate students at least once a year.
  • Review and approve requests for extensions to the time limit for completing the certificate; notify students in writing of the decision and subsequent actions (i.e., expectations for progress and for the month/year of certificate conferral or termination from the certificate program upon expiration of the limit).
  • Must know all certificate requirements when matriculated.
  • If certificate requirements change, students may elect to continue under the requirements in effect when they matriculated, provided they have remained in good standing.
  • Must obtain the required approvals and file the certificate degree plan with the program and collegiate unit.
  • Must initiate the request for an extension to the time limit for completing the certificate, obtain the approval of their advisor/s and director of graduate studies, and submit their request by the deadline.

Related Information



September 2021 - Comprehensive Review.

  1. Revised policy statement to reflect current policy intent.
  2. Enhanced language on maximum number of course credits for postt-baccalaureate certificate (in alignment with masters and doctoral requirements).
  3. Articulated existing practice of certificates not having minors or concentrations (not in current policy).
  4. Added a new section of the policy titled Requirements Upon Matriculation that articulates current practice and aligns with master’s and doctoral student matriculation requirements. Moved matriculation-related text in current policy to this section.
  5. Created a new section of the policy titled Performance Standards.


May 2012 - New Policy. Comprehensive Review. Expands the current admission, program and credit requirements across all Board of Regents approved post-baccalaureate certificate plans. Specifies a minimum GPA of 2.8 to remain in good standing.