Policies & Procedures

Certificate Policies

General Requirements for Certificate Programs

A graduate certificate program requires a minimum of 9 credit hours.  As there is no “general” certificate program in education, requirements vary between programs. Students must go through the standard process for admission for a certificate and be admitted before the semester starts. Certificates that share coursework with higher degrees must be awarded before or at the same time as the higher degree.

Faculty Advisor

An advisor from the major program area must be selected by the student or assigned by the department. Students should check with the department office for information about the assignment of faculty advisors.

Electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS)

For the certificate program there is a program outline form used for planning the specific courses included in a student’s electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS).  It must be developed with a faculty advisor, then be approved by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. An electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) must be submitted before all coursework for the certificate is completed. If any courses listed on the electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) were not taken at Indiana University, a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit must be submitted concurrently. The electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) can be found on the Graduate Student Portal.

Transfer Courses

Up to 6 credit hours of graduate coursework completed at other universities may be transferred into certificate programs that requires at least 12 hours, and a maximum of 4 hours may be transferred in for 9-hour certificate programs. All coursework transferred must be from an accredited college or university. No transfer credit will be given for a course with a grade lower than B. Courses graded P (Pass) may not ordinarily be transferred into education graduate programs. Courses graded S (Satisfactory) may be transferred only if a letter is received from the course instructor stating that the student's performance in the course was at or above a grade of B.

All transferred courses must be relevant to the student's Plan of Studies. They must be approved by a program advisor and by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. An official transcript showing the courses to be transferred and the grades awarded for them is required for coursework to be transferred. A course description or syllabus may be required in order to judge the appropriateness of coursework to be transferred.

Certificate students must complete a minimum of 5 - 15 credit hours of coursework at Indiana University. Beyond this, graduate coursework may be transferred from other universities. At least half of the hours must be taken on the campus awarding the certificate. 

Course Revalidation

To ensure that graduates have current knowledge in their field, coursework must be less than seven years old at the time a student passes the oral qualifying examination (for doctoral students) or at the time of graduation (for Ed.S. or M.S.Ed. students). However, if program faculty feel that a student can clearly demonstrate current knowledge of course material taken more than seven years previously, the faculty may allow course revalidation.

Revalidation is a process whereby a student demonstrates current knowledge of older course material.

Several methods of revalidating old courses are available:

  • Passing an examination specifically covering the material taught in the course (such as a course final examination).
  • Passing a more advanced course in the same subject area, taken more recently (within the seven years).
  • Passing a comprehensive examination (e.g., a doctoral qualifying examination) in which the student demonstrates substantial knowledge of the content of the course. (Only two courses may be revalidated by this method).
  • Teaching a comparable course.
  • Publishing scholarly research that demonstrates substantial knowledge of the course content and understanding of fundamental principles taught in the course.
  • Presenting evidence of extensive professional experience that requires the application of material taught in the course.

E-docs for course revalidation are available in One.IU.  Courses must be justified individually even if a common method is used. A Curriculum Vitae is required when revalidating coursework through professional experience, publications, and teaching. 

The revalidation evidence for each must be assessed by an Indiana University faculty member who teaches the course being revalidated. The revalidating faculty member must be personally convinced, based upon present evidence, that the student has current mastery of basic course concepts and principles.

If the course instructor is not available, a faculty member in the same program specialization area may be substituted. Permission to use a part-time faculty member or a faculty member at another university for course revalidation must be secured from the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Departments have the right to limit the amount of old coursework to be included in graduate programs.

Transfer credit must be transferred before it can be revalidated.

There are limits on allowable coursework revalidation:

  • Students may revalidate no more than 50% of their coursework for an IU SoE graduate program
  • Students may not revalidate coursework that is more than 14 years old.
  • In accordance with UGS policy/practice, no more than 2 courses may be revalidated via the qualifying exam.
  • Additionally, no more than 3 courses may be revalidated with any single method.

A faculty member may petition the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for an exception to the above limits on behalf of a student if they believe the student can demonstrate current knowledge and the exception is in the best interest of the student and School. If a student withdraws from an advanced degree program with the intention of earning a less advanced degree, coursework used toward the less advanced degree will not require additional revalidation beyond that which would have been required for the more advanced degree. 

Even when a revalidation request falls within established policy, faculty should require students to take current coursework if that is clearly the best way to ensure students have current knowledge in the field. Coursework age, content timeliness, and student performance should be considered in decisions of whether to support revalidation of old coursework.


Certificate Conferral

Certificate conferral occurs monthly. An online Application for Graduation form must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office at least one month prior to the degree conferral date. The Graduate Studies Office will send out an e-mail and post these specific dates each semester. 

Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline may result in the certificate being denied for that graduation period. The application may be filed for the subsequent period, but students should note that this may create issues with the seven-year deadline for completing coursework or for visa status, depending on individual circumstances. The online application to graduate can be found on the Graduate Student Portal.

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.