Undergraduate Certificates

For information on proposing a certificate, see this page: https://clas.uiowa.edu/faculty/undergraduate-certificates-0

Overview of Key Policies and Procedures

  • Undergraduate CLAS Certificate policies and procedures apply to undergraduate certificates with their administrative home in CLAS and to any UI student earning a certificate awarded by CLAS.
  • Students in CLAS may choose to earn a CLAS undergraduate certificate with or without earning or having earned a baccalaureate degree.
  • The requirements for a particular certificate are the same for all students, regardless of the student’s UI college affiliation; the student’s status as a degree-seeking student earning an online certificate only; as a Des Moines Center student; or as a traditional on campus student. (Note: the number of course options for some certificate requirements could vary but the requirements themselves will remain the same.)
  • Students may count GE courses multiple times for different programs of study.

Students earning a certificate program are held to the same CLAS academic standards as all CLAS students, including the GPA standards and the probation and dismissal policies; the drop and add deadlines; the grading policies; the Code of Academic Honesty; and others.

Mode of Offering

Some certificates use only face-to-face courses and are not available to distance learners. Other certificates use a variety of offering modes but with the primary goal of reaching on-campus students. Some certificates are designed primary for distance learners with the course work offered only online but with on-campus students welcome to take these courses and to earn the certificate. The mode of offering of a certificate might be in flux, but the policies and procedures for certificates remain the same.

Exclusion of Students in Graduate and Professional Programs

According to current UI Graduate School policy, an undergraduate certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program. U2G students may earn the certificate when the undergraduate classification is primary. Students in the College of Pharmacy are an exception; those who have earned the Pharm.D degree also may earn an undergraduate Global Health Studies certificate. Questions may be directed to the Graduate College.

Students in a UI graduate or professional program may earn an undergraduate certificate before or after the completion of a graduate or professional program.

Students enrolled in a non-UI graduate or professional program may earn the certificate while enrolled in the graduate or professional program but should be advised that the certificate is considered to be at the undergraduate level.

Admissions Policies and Procedures for CLAS Certificates

Students not already admitted to UI but wanting to earn a certificate without a degree apply to CLAS as a non-degree seeking student.

Students entering as non-degree students will be asked by Admissions if their intent is to declare a certificate.

Distance learners seeking to complete a certificate online without being on-campus should be advised to also declare the appropriate program of study with the online qualifier.

Students may enroll for three consecutive semesters under the non-degree seeking status and then must reapply.

International students must present the appropriate TOEFL score for admission.

Students with the AA or AS Degree
Students with an Associate of Arts (AA) Degree from an Iowa community college or Waldorf College must have a cumulative transfer GPA of 2.00 or higher on acceptable graded credit from all colleges attended (AA holders from Black Hawk College in Illinois must have a cumulative transfer GPA of 2.25 or higher from all colleges attended).

Students with an Associate of Science (AS) Degree from an Iowa community college must have a cumulative transfer GPA of 2.00 or higher on acceptable graded credit from all colleges attended.

Students with 24 s.h. of Transfer Work
Students who have taken course work at another college must present a cumulative grade-point average of 2.50 or higher if they have taken at least 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of acceptable graded credit.

Students with Fewer than 24 s.h. of Transfer Work
Students with fewer than 24 semester hours will be considered for admission as a non-degree seeking student based on a combination of high school and college academic records, as well as ACT or SAT scores

High School Students
Students in high school who wish to apply to the University as a non-degree seeking student must have a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher with the GPA reported each semester to Admissions.

Note: High school students will declare two programs of study, the High School program of study (POS) and the specific certificate POS so that the students may be tracked and offered advising for the certificate.

Role of Transfer Credit for Certificates

Transfer work will not be evaluated by Admissions for certificates nor will these courses or credits be added to the student’s record or degree audit by Admissions.

Students who have completed a requirement for a certificate at another institution and have proof of their accomplishment may request a waiver of the requirement from the department or unit offering the certificate. The department will notify the Graduation Services of the waiver.

The administrative home of the certificate sets the number of transfer credits accepted for a certificate. The College recommends that transfer credit should be limited to 6 s.h.

Transcripts and Transfer GPAs Once Admitted

A student will submit the initial transcript showing that the required admission GPA is met according to the type of admission status sought (such as a non-degree seeking student in high school which requires the 3.50).

A student concurrently enrolled as an undergraduate in another institution of higher education will not be asked to send transcripts each year or semester to verify this GPA. The GPA at the time of admission will suffice except for those students also currently in high school.

High school students will continue to send transcripts and be held to the high school student standard to allow continuing enrollment in UI and CLAS as is now the practice.

Standards for Awarding a Certificate
Students must earn a 2.00 in all UI certificate classes and a 2.00 in all UI classes to be awarded a certificate.

The GPA standard of 2.00 in all college work (i.e. the UI GPA including transfer work) needed for a CLAS baccalaureate will be applied only during the admission process.

Conferral of Certificate Award

Most students will earn the certificate at the same time as the baccalaureate degree, with these awarded using the current process. That is, when applying for graduation, the certificate earned will be included on the degree application by the student.

A student who enrolls and completes the certificate as an online learner without earning a baccalaureate will be awarded the certificate when completed. Degree-seeking students who leave UI before earning a degree may be awarded the certificate but must notify the Registrar of the earned certificate. The Registrar will develop the following process for these requests. Each semester the Registrar sends certificate advisors and/or certificate coordinators a link to a form for requesting that a certificate be conferred without the degree. Advisors/coordinators complete the form and submit it to the Registrar; the Registrar will check to make sure all requirements are completed and will then add the certificate to the transcript.

Students Returning to CLAS to Earn a Degree

Students returning to CLAS after earning a certificate without a degree likewise may not earn a duplicative certificate, minor, or major on their return.

Currently, CLAS allows returning students who have previously earned a minor or certificate to drop that award and apply the credit hours to the new program of study (i.e. if duplication is involved and a drop is necessary for this reason). This policy remains in effect.

Tuition for Online Certificates

Students who are admitted to CLAS with the purpose of pursuing a certificate online (such the Certificate in Writing) are charged tuition according to the Liberal Arts and Sciences tuition rate with the technology fee added. The other fees are not charged. The rates are currently the same for both resident and non-resident students. (For current rates, see https://www.maui.uiowa.edu/maui/pub/tuition/rates.page).