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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Credit Bearing Certificate Programs

A college-credit certificate program is “an organized curriculum of college-credit courses offered as a distinct area of study that leads to specific educational or occupational goals, and for which the university awards a certificate, diploma, or similar form of recognition upon completion."


"College-credit certificate programs may consist of courses that are part of a degree program or distinct courses that are created outside of any degree program. The number of credit hours for a college-credit certificate program shall be set by the university within guidelines established by this regulation.” (BOG Regulation 8.011).

Development of new certificate programs at UNF is governed by the Undergraduate Certificate Programs (2.0670P) and Graduate Certificate Programs (2.0720P) policies. These policies define credit-bearing certificate programs as follows:

Graduate Certificate Program –related courses that constitute a coherent body of study within a discipline. The number of graduate credits within a graduate certificate program cannot be less than 9 or more than one-half of the credits necessary for a related master's degree.

Undergraduate Certificate Program –related courses that constitute a coherent body of study within a discipline. The minimum number of credits required is 8 for a certificate program.

Proposal Process

A proposal for a new certificate program should describe the proposed program, identifying what value would be added by its establishment and identifying the target group(s) for the program. It should specify the skills and knowledge to be achieved through the program, and how the curriculum accomplishes these goals. It should also confirm that adequate resources will be in place to deliver the certificate successfully.

Program faculty and/or department chairs can download and utilize the Graduate Credit-Bearing Certificate Program Proposal Form or the Undergraduate Credit-Bearing Certificate Program Proposal Form as needed.


  1. Program faculty and/or department chair complete this proposal in its entirety.
  2. Proposal is to be reviewed by the department chair and the college dean. Both the department chair and the college dean are to complete the appropriate section on this proposal seeking their support.
  3. Once approved at the college level, the proposal is submitted to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for review.
  4. Following a review of the proposal, the proposal is presented to the Council of Deans for review and recommendation to the Provost.
  5.  If the Provost approves the recommendation, the department chair and/or college dean work with faculty on submission of the certificate program to the Faculty Association for curriculum review, approval, and implementation. The signed proposal and program of study must both be attached to the APC Package to create the program.
  6. UNF is accredited by SACSCOC and is, therefore, compliant with current policies and standards:
    1. New Program Notification and Approval: SACSCOC notification or approval is required if the percentage of new-to-UNF course content in the certificate program meets stated minimums. Notification is required for 25–49% new course content and Approval is required for 50% or higher.
    2. Method of Delivery Notification: SACSCOC notification is required for any certificate program that changes or adds a new method of delivery (i.e., face-to-face or distance learning). The closure of a method of delivery requires SACSCOC approval and a teach-out plan. Per SACSCOC, closure is when students are no longer admitted, not when instruction ceases. (Note: Multiple methods of delivery may take place. E.g., a certificate could be offered fully online and fully face-to-face.)
    3. Off-campus Instructional Site: SACSCOC notification is required if 25–49% of the certificate’s instruction is offered at an off-campus instructional site. SACSCOC approval is required if more than 50% of the program coursework could be offered at an off-campus instructional site.