UC San Diego Certificate Programs
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Certificate Programs Frequently Asked Questions

How will a certificate assist me?

Completion of a certificate program provides documentation of specific, formal study; career-oriented post-graduate training to complement a college or university degree; increased job skills and knowledge for your current job, a promotion, or career change. Certificate programs provide an opportunity to examine a new field and demonstrate to others you have the discipline to work toward a specific goal.

I have a bachelor's degree and am employed. Would a certificate program benefit me?

Yes, certificate programs offer concentrated study in areas directly applicable to many jobs and can add breadth and depth to your existing knowledge and skills. By applying new skills at your workplace, it may also provide opportunities for career advancement.

I do not have a college degree. Will I be able to handle the courses?

A college degree is not required to enroll in a certificate program (unless otherwise noted in the "Conditions for Admission" section of the certificate description). Most certificate programs include special introductory courses to familiarize students who are new to the topics at hand or allow others to refresh their knowledge. Advanced courses usually have prerequisites that supply necessary background. Some programs, such as nursing, engineering, and teaching, require advanced or specialized degrees. Specific program requirements are listed within each certificate description. You may also contact the department offering the program for more information. Contact information can be found on the individual certificate pages.

Do I need to complete an application or pass prerequisite courses before I can enroll in the certificate program?

Some certificates require you to complete an application, or pass prerequisite courses, before enrolling in the certificate program. Please refer to each certificate's individual Conditions for Admission section for complete details. You can petition to waive required certificate prerequisites if you already possess the required knowledge due to personal or professional experiences. To do so, please submit a written petition request, including a letter of recommendation, to the academic department listed in the certificate description for consideration.

How do I register for a certificate program?

Please see Student Services Certificate Programs FAQ for detailed instructions.

How do I enroll in certificate courses?

Review the certificate course matrix to choose your course. Click on the link to review course details. Click on the Add to Cart button. For information pertaining to office hours, parking rates, locations, and where to buy course books, please refer to our general information section. NOTE: Courses, instructors, locations, dates, and fees are subject to change without notice.

May I take courses without being enrolled in a certificate program?

Yes. However, if you want to work toward a certificate you are advised to enroll in the certificate program as soon as possible. From time to time, certificate requirements may change. Once enrolled in a certificate program, any revisions or changes to the requirements will not affect you.

Do I have to take a certificate course for academic credit?

A course has to be taken for credit in order to apply it towards a certificate. Therefore, you must choose either the credit option Letter Grade or Pass/No Pass. Unless otherwise stated, students must earn a grade of "C-" or higher in order to earn credit toward the certificate. "Pass" is awarded for "C-" work or better.

I received a D in one of the courses. Will this count toward the certificate?

No. If you did not receive at least a "C-" in a required course, you must repeat the course and earn a grade of "C-" or higher. If you did not receive at least a "C-" in an elective course, you may substitute a different elective course with a passing grade for a failed elective course.

May I take a course without having completed its prerequisites?

Your chances of succeeding in the program and your level of confidence greatly improve if you follow the recommended sequence of courses and the prerequisites listed for each class. On rare occasions, the department may waive a prerequisite based on your documented prior experience. Please contact the academic department to obtain approval to waive a required certificate course prerequisite.

How many courses can I take each quarter? May I skip a quarter?

Yes, because our typical certificate students are working adults, you have the option to take as many courses as you feel you can handle or skip a quarter if necessary. To ensure that certificate coursework remains current and relevant, you have five years to complete your certificate program unless the program description states otherwise. The academic department offering the certificate program is available to discuss program, scheduling and completion requirements.

How much does the program cost?

Students pay for individual course fees at the time of enrollment. UCSD Extension provides a Cost of Attendance estimate, which includes the certificate fee, estimated course fees and required textbooks costs needed to complete a specific certificate program at UC San Diego Extension. This estimate may vary based on the elective requirements of the specific certificate program chosen by the student and changes in textbook costs. The Cost of Attendance is reviewed quarterly and is intended to be used as a guide. Your actual costs may differ. In some cases, financial assistance is available.

Can I transfer units I earned at another academic institution?

In order to receive a certificate at UC San Diego Extension, you must fulfill all minimum unit requirements of a certificate with transcripted, credit-bearing coursework from an accredited institution. The number of units that can be transferred, however, varies depending on where the academic credit was received. Non-transcripted continuing education courses or courses from a non-accredited institution are not accepted for transfer.

Units of courses completed at educational institutions operating on the semester system should be converted to a value consistent with the quarter system, i.e., one quarter unit is equivalent to two-thirds of a semester unit. The number of units of the course completed outside of Extension must be at least equal to the unit value of the certificate course you are petitioning to transfer. Similarly, the number of units that can be transferred is determined by the number of units associated with the Extension certificate course and not the unit value granted elsewhere.

If you have successfully completed comparable courses at another accredited college or university within five years certificate coursework began at UC San Diego Extension, and you earned at least a "C-" in each, you may petition to transfer up to a third of the certificate program units, not to exceed two courses for professional certificates and one course for specialized certificates. If you have successfully completed courses at a UC campus within five years certificate coursework began at UC San Diego Extension, you may petition to transfer up to half of the units required for a certificate program. To request transfer credit, please submit a written petition, including an official transcript and course descriptions (with syllabus) to the academic department listed in the certificate description for consideration.

Can I take a course toward a certificate if it's not listed as part of the requirements?

Only approved courses count toward your certificate program. Due to the post-baccalaureate level of Extension coursework and the intent of many certificate program students to further specialize and develop their current careers, you may have acquired industry knowledge outside of the classroom. If you can demonstrate mastery of the knowledge imparted in a required certificate course through personal or professional experiences, you may petition to substitute a course. In that case, you may have the option to take another Extension course as determined by the academic department in lieu of the required course. You may waive the course requirement but not the unit requirement. Because of the curricular importance of required certificate coursework, you can only petition to substitute up to half the total required course units. To request a substitution, please submit a written petition, including evidence of your knowledge, to the academic department listed in the certificate description for consideration.

One of my certificate course numbers has changed; do I need to retake the course?

No. Effective winter 2012 quarter, there may be a slight change to some of the course IDs in your certificate program. For those courses that had a letter following the leading digit, that second digit will now be a zero, e.g., ARCH4B000 will now be listed as ARCH40000. As long as the course title has not changed, the content of the two courses is the same and you will not need to retake the course. Your successful completion of the course will still be applied toward the certificate program assuming that you have already enrolled in the certificate program or, if you haven't enrolled in the program, that certificate requirements have not changed.

Can the courses in the certificate program apply toward an undergraduate or graduate degree?

Each individual college or university decides whether or not to accept UCSD Extension credit. If you wish to transfer credit, it is your responsibility to confer with that institution's advisor before enrolling.

May I enroll in Extension courses and programs if I am not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?

Yes, Extension courses and programs are open to all persons, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

International students who are already in the U.S. in F-1 student visa status or wish to obtain an F-1 visa, must enroll in a qualifying full-time program through the International Programs office. If you are currently in the U.S. in any other nonimmigrant visa status and you are not sure if your status allows you to study, contact our International Student Advisor at opiro@ucsd.edu.

How do I join the Alumni Association?

UC San Diego Extension certificate graduates may join the UC San Diego Alumni Association. Membership in the Alumni Association keeps you connected with the University, fellow alumni and current students. For Member benefit information and to join, visit extension.ucsd.edu/alumni.

Program Information

Certificate FAQs

Program Support

If you require additional certificate support, please call (858) 534-3400.

Certificate Students

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