Certificates of Undergraduate Study Guidelines

Original Policy Source APPM Section III Item 25
Policy Approval Authority University Council
Responsible University Office Office of the Provost
Contact Person Denise Halverson
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Proposed Adoption Date 01-21-2020
Effective Adoption Date 01-21-2020
Last Review Date 01-21-2020
Policy Category/Categories Faculty & Academics

certificate of undergraduate study is awarded upon successful completion of a specified coherent set of undergraduate courses around a specific theme (9-15 semester hours). A certificate of undergraduate study may be awarded for completion of a prescribed multidisciplinary set of courses or for completion of a prescribed set of courses primarily in a single discipline.

The availability of certificates of undergraduate study may help attract students to NIU and also draw some students to specific degree programs at NIU. Certificates of undergraduate study will attract non-degree students seeking specific course work to secure better professional positions and advance their careers as well as students simply seeking to pursue additional studies. Certificates of undergraduate study will benefit students pursuing baccalaureate degrees by providing them the opportunity for broader training in areas related to their major field. The visibility and stature of certificates of undergraduate study will be enhanced by their publication in the Undergraduate Catalog and by indicating their completion on students' transcripts.

Approval Process: Appropriate departments, college curriculum committees, or interdisciplinary centers will develop proposals for new certificates of undergraduate study. Proposals will be processed through the normal curricular approval process, culminating with the Board of Trustees.

Requirements: 1) A course of study leading to a certificate of undergraduate study shall consist of at least nine (9) semester hours and normally not more than fifteen (15) semester hours of specified course work, typically in the upper division. 2) A grade point average of at least 2.0 must be earned in the certificate's courses. 3) A certificate's course work must be completed within a specified period of time set by the administrative home of the certificate curriculum. 4) Only NIU courses may be applied toward the certificate. 5) With the approval of the major department, a certificate's courses may also be applied toward an undergraduate major.

Administration: There shall be a department, college, interdisciplinary center, or similar academic office designated as the administrative home for each certificate of undergraduate study. There shall also be a body designated to act as the curriculum committee for each certificate of undergraduate study to monitor the operation of and propose changes to the certificate's curriculum. This may be an existing curriculum committee or, if no appropriate body exists, one established for the certificate of undergraduate study.

Publication and Award: Upon final approval, a course of study leading to a certificate of undergraduate study will be published in the Undergraduate Catalog. Notation of a specific certificate of undergraduate study will be posted on the student's transcript upon the successful completion of the requirements for that certificate.

Student Admission and Status: To pursue a certificate of undergraduate study, a student must be admitted to NIU, must submit an application to the appropriate academic unit, and must have the application approved. A certificate of undergraduate study may, through the curricular approval process, establish additional admission requirements (e.g. prerequisites and/or core competencies).

Originally approved by UCC, December 7, 2000 
Revisions by APASC and UCC approved by UCC, March 1, 2001 
Approved by the UC Academic Policy Committee on March 28, 2001 
Approved by the UCC on April 5, 2001
Approved by the Baccalaureate Council, September 8, 2016

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