Frequently Asked Questions

Credit Certificate Policy Changes

Colorado State University has approved the delivery of transcripted certificates. Credit certificates of completion are being retired and, in most cases, are not accepting new students. New students can begin a Certificate of Completion during the Summer 2016 semester only in cases where two or more courses are available for registration and they register for and complete at least two courses toward the certificate by the end of Summer 2016. Course availability is indicated on individual Certificate of Completion webpages.

Individual courses that make up the retiring certificates of completion are still available for registration and there will be no changes to how they appear on transcripts.

Please note these changes only apply to certificates of completion that include credit courses. Noncredit certificates, professional development programs, training programs, and badges remain available and unchanged.

Does CSU Online offer undergraduate certificates?

Currently, no undergraduate certificates are available through CSU Online. Please visit individual departmental websites to learn more about undergraduate certificates available to on-campus students.

What are the differences between the types of certificates?

Certificates of completion were created to offer concentrated learning experiences that provided students an opportunity to learn within the structure of a degree program before committing to an entire program and to demonstrate learning beyond a transcript. Credit certificates of completion are being retired, and only display courses completed on a transcript, not the certificate of completion name.

Certificates are 9-15 credit university-approved programs. Students may pursue certificates (1) as standalone credentials separate from a degree program, (2) in addition to a degree program where coursework taken to complete the degree may also apply to certificate requirements, or (3) in addition to a degree program where certificate and degree coursework requirements do not overlap.

Noncredit certificates of completion have not changed. They will continue to be offered and do not appear on transcripts.

Where can I view the graduate certificate policy?

Review the CSU Catalog for details about the University graduate certificate policy.

What must my individual course grades and cumulative GPA be to earn a certificate?

For conferral purposes, your GPA for cumulative graduate certificate coursework must be a minimum of a 3.0. You must earn a C grade or better in all courses taken after admission to the certificate, and only courses completed with better than a B grade apply toward certificate requirements if they are taken prior to admission.

Do I need to take courses continuously semester to semester until I complete the certificate?

Students who do not enroll in coursework within Fall or Spring semesters will need to enroll in continuous registration credit or reapply to the program for the next semester in which they will take courses. Continuous registration or another application is not necessary when no coursework is completed in the Summer term.

Am I required to apply to earn a certificate?

Students pursuing graduate certificates are required to submit an application and be admitted. See the graduate policy statement for greater detail.

Can students who have successfully completed CSU graduate coursework included in certificate programs apply previous coursework toward a certificate?

CSU graduate courses previously completed with a B grade or better may be applied toward a certificate. Before completing the final course toward a certificate, students must apply and be admitted to the certificate program.

Can coursework from other institutions be applied toward graduate certificate requirements?

No. Transfer coursework from other institutions cannot be applied toward certificate requirements.

Can students apply to earn a certificate after starting courses?

Students must apply and be admitted to a certificate program at some point before completing the final course requirement for a certificate. Coursework completed prior to being accepted into a certificate program with a B grade or better may be counted toward earning the certificate.

On the transcript, what is the difference between a certificate of completion and a certificate?

When a certificate of completion is earned, individual courses, but not the certificate name, are listed on the transcript. When a certificate is earned, the certificate name is listed along with completed courses.

What are important dates to remember related to certificates of completion?

There are two key dates related to CSU’s retirement of certificates of completion. By the end of the Summer 2016 registration window, students must have successfully completed or enrolled in at least two courses to earn a certificate of completion. After the end of the Fall 2017 term, certificates of completion will no longer be awarded.

Do CSU’s policy changes regarding certificates apply to noncredit certificates of completion?

No, noncredit certificates of completion are not affected by this policy and will continue to be offered without changes.