Graduate Certificate Programs

A Graduate Certificate Program is composed of a focused collection of courses that offers a skill set in and/or distinctive approach to a subject that cannot be otherwise gained through an existing Northeastern degree program or academic minor.  

Graduate certificate programs must conform to Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) guidelines and to the following IBHE Program Inventory Definitions:

  1. A post-baccalaureate certificate “requiring completion of an organized program of study requiring at least 18 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s and…designed for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the master’s level.”
  2. A post-master’s certificate “requiring completion of an organized program of academic study of at least 24 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.”


Students may be concurrently enrolled in a degree program and a certificate program.  Such students will complete separate application to each program.

Courses composing a Northeastern graduate certificate will, upon their completion, be included on a student’s transcript and in the computation of a student’s grade point average.

Credit hours earned through a post-baccalaureate certificate from a program or combination of programs in which there is/are (an) approved graduate degree(s) may, upon approval of the program and the College of Graduate Studies and Research, count toward a master’s degree.  At its discretion, a Northeastern graduate program may count all credits earned in certificate courses offered by that program.  At its discretion, a Northeastern program may count up to 9 hours of credits in certificate courses offered by another program that offers courses in the shared certificate program.

A student enrolled in a graduate degree program in which there is a fully- or partially-embedded graduate certificate program is eligible to receive the certificate only if the student has made separate application and has been admitted to the certificate program. 

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved in graduate course work for the certificate to be awarded.

Acceptance of transfer credits toward a graduate certificate is at the discretion of the graduate program.  Graduate programs may accept up to 9 hours of graduate transfer credits.  Programs may set more stringent transfer credit limits.