Curriculum Services

New Certificates

These guidelines provide an overview of the procedure and guidelines for proposals. If the guidelines are unclear, or if your program has some unique characteristics that require special input, please contact Curriculum Services.


New certificates require approval from the campus community. The final authority for approving the certificate program resides with the university President.

Below is information and requirements for certificate programs proposed at Chico State (EM 23-018).

Definition and Scope

An academic credit certificate program, which can be awarded at the undergraduate or graduate level, is a series of university-level courses or related experiences that provide knowledge and skills in a concentrated course of study that is shorter than a typical undergraduate or graduate degree program. Successful completion of such a program shall be recognized with a certificate of completion awarded by the university. 

Types of Certificates and Minimum Standards

Undergraduate Level Certificates: An undergraduate-level certificate program shall include no fewer than 12 semester units. Course prerequisites shall be included in the program as determined by the relevant academic program. A maximum of six units of transfer credit may be granted. A grade point average of at least 2.0 must be earned and/or maintained in order complete an undergraduate-level certificate. Academic programs overseeing certificates can set higher minimum standards. 

Graduate Level Certificates: A graduate, or post-baccalaureate, certificate program shall include no fewer than 12 semester units at the 400-level or higher, at least nine of which must be at the 600-level. Lower-division prerequisites may not be included in the program. A maximum of three units of transfer credit may be allowed in a post-baccalaureate certificate program.
A grade point average of 3.0 must be earned and/or maintained in order to complete a graduate­ level certificate. Academic programs overseeing certificate can set higher minimum standards.

Oversight and Content

A certificate program may include courses from a single department. Interdisciplinary certificate programs may include courses from multiple departments or colleges offered in collaboration. In addition to the academic departments, the expertise of relevant professional groups involved with the certificate program should be sought and incorporated into the program. One academic (lead) department will oversee the development and coordination of an interdisciplinary certificate program. Certificate program proposals will be submitted for approval to the Education Policies and Programs Committee (EPPC), the Academic Senate, and the President of the University.


Matriculated students* may seek a certificate as part of or in addition to their academic objective. Students should follow any application process according to the certificate program requirements set forth by the relevant academic program or department.
Non-degree-seeking students may enroll in a state-support certificate through Open University on a space-available basis with program approval. University application is not required.

* A matriculated student is a student who has, through normal procedures, been admitted formally at a CSU campus to pursue an authorized degree, credential or certificate (for academic credit) and who is enrolled in or is expected to enroll in courses. A student may be matriculated through state-supported university enrollment or through self-supporting extended education enrollment, or both.

This document is the property of Academic Affairs and maintained by Curriculum Services