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Certificate Program FAQs

  • What is a Certificate Program?
  • A Certificate Program is a series of courses providing in-depth study, so you can get the most up-to-date skills and information you need to excel in your chosen field, or transition to a new career. These professional education programs provide a minimum of 12 units (120 hours) academic credit. A UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education certificate represents a much deeper understanding of your industry beyond what a course or workshop provides. Some certificates prepare you to take accreditation exams or meet state-mandated requirements for continuing education.

  • What is a Professional Concentration?
  • A Professional Concentration provides a highly focused sequence of study that can be completed in a year or less. These shorter programs (60-119 hours) focus on one facet of your profession. A Professional Concentration requires approximately half the number of courses as a certificate program.

  • What is a Specialized Study Program?
  • A Specialization Study Program is a short sequence of courses or modules representing focused study of specific knowledge, skills and tools, leading to the achievement of a narrow but cohesive set of learning objectives that are skill and competency-based. These programs do not carry academic credit, however, successful completion of a Specialized Study Program will result in an award of completion.

  • What is a Customized Certificate Program?
  • A Customized Certificate Program allows you to combine courses from up to three certificate programs to create your own unique certificate program. You must complete a minimum of 21 units of coursework.

  • How is an Intensive Certificate Program different?
  • In an Intensive Certificate Program you complete the same number of courses as in a regular Certificate Program. The only difference is the format—intensive programs are designed to be completed in 10-12 weeks rather than one or two years. You attend class full-time during the day, Monday-Friday. Instead of enrolling in each course separately, you enroll in the entire Certificate Program. It is a great way to make a career change—fast.

  • Is a certificate the same as a certification?
  • An academic certificate is an educational credential that shows you have successfully completed at least 120 hours of an academic program and demonstrates your acquired knowledge in a particular field or subject area. These programs award academic certificates. In some instances, a certificate earned can prepare you to sit for certification exams or meet continuing education requirements.

    A certification is a professional credential that means you have demonstrated mastery, typically by passing a certification exam through an industry-standard test, and is awarded by professional organizations. Becoming certified typically includes a professional designation, such as AICP, CPA or PHR.
  • Why take a certificate program from UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education?
  • Unlike some other institutions, each of our programs are UC-approved, requiring at least 120 hours of coursework. All of our certificate courses offer academic credit, which may be applied to degree programs at colleges and universities at their discretion. UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education certificate courses are taught by respected leaders in their industries, so you always get practical, real-world knowledge and instruction.

  • How will I benefit from getting a certificate?
  • Making the personal investment in a certificate shows your employer a serious commitment to your field and increases your value in the workplace. Achieving a certificate can give you a competitive edge in hiring and promoting situations. Some of our certificates prepare you to take accreditation exams or meet state-mandated requirements for continuing education. And, over the course of a certificate program, many students have opportunities to work closely with instructors and fellow students, providing a valuable professional network for the future.

  • May I apply courses from another college to a certificate?
  • You may substitute one course from an accredited institution for one Certificate Program course, with approval of the program manager, if the course is comparable and you earned a grade C or better. The representative can give you more information about substitutions.

  • May I use certificate program units in a degree program?
  • Acceptance of our courses toward a degree is determined by the institution where you want to earn the degree. We recommend that students who wish to apply a UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education course toward a degree at another institution verify acceptance of the course with that institution before enrolling.

  • Do I have to be in a program to take certificate courses?
  • No, courses are open to the general public as well as certificate program enrollees. Many people take two or three courses before committing to an entire program. Others simply take courses they find interesting without ever intending to earn a certificate.

  • How long does it take to complete a program?
  • Most certificate programs take approximately two years to complete if you take one course per quarter. Intensive Certificate Programs are typically completed in 10-12 weeks of full-time study. Customized Certificate Programs may take up to five years to complete.

  • How much does it cost?
  • Program costs vary depending on the number of units required and the subject area. They can cost approximately $2,300-$12,000. Some certificate programs also require students to pay a non-refundable, one-time certificate registration fee of $125. This fee would be in addition to any other costs associated with the certificate program.