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Graduate Certificates (CERT)

The Campus Graduate Certificate (CERT) is a professional credential, available on-campus or online, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus,  that attests proficiency in a specific field. It is suitable for individuals seeking to advance their careers by showing expertise in specific areas. It is a transcripted post-baccalaureate certificate approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and conferred by the University of Illinois upon successful completion of all the courses comprised in the certificate program. It is intended for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree but are not enrolled in a graduate degree program. Credits earned from a CERT can be stacked into an appropriate master’s program. Students enrolling in a CERT are eligible to apply for financial aid.

Comparing the CERT to a COS

The Campus Graduate Certificate (CERT) is different from the College of Education Certificate of Specialization (COS) in a few ways. Here are the similarities and differences between the two:


Certificate of Specialization (COS)
Campus Graduate Certificate (CERT)
Graduate (post-baccalaureate) Graduate (post-baccalaureate)
Non-Transcripted- The courses taken will appear on the transcript. However, the name of the certificate will not.Transcripted– The courses taken and the name of the CERT will appear on the transcript.
Not eligible for financial aid Eligible for financial aid 
Courses/credits can be stacked towards a master’s degree Courses/credits can be stacked towards a master’s degree


What is the admission procedure for CERTs? Admissions are through the Graduate College application. Admissions to a CERT follow the same protocols as admissions to other graduate programs, where the program makes an admission decision, and the Graduate College approves that decision based on campus requirements and then processes the admission. Please contact the Office of Online Programs at if you have any questions related to admissions.

How do I find out if I am eligible for financial aid?

Please contact the University of Illinois Student Financial Aid directly at (217) 333-0100 or for any questions you may have related to financial aid.

Student Status 

What will my student enrollment status be when I am in a CERT program? You will be enrolled as a “CERT” student.

How many courses should I complete for a CERT?

A CERT requires at least 12 credit hours, but the requirement for each CERT is different. Check the course requirements for the CERT you are interested in.

When can I enroll in a CERT?

What if I am already in a degree program? Can I enroll in a CERT? Yes, if you are already enrolled in a degree program, you can enroll in a CERT. Please contact the Office of Online Programs at to help you enroll in a CERT.

Where will the CERTs be listed? 

When will I receive the CERT?

CERTs will be awarded at the end of the traditional semester following the campus graduate degree conferral schedule.

More Information

You will find information about credit hour requirements, transferring CERT credits towards a graduate program, time limits, and other requirements here:

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