All you ever wanted to know about graduate certificate programs (and more!)

At some point in your graduate career, you have probably heard of UConn’s graduate certificate programs. I remember entering my graduate training and hearing students mention them, but I never really knew what they were or why I should consider doing one. If you have ever thought of completing a certificate program, or don’t really understand what they are, read on for more information and feedback from a graduate student who is working on a certificate!

What are certificate programs?

UConn offers dozens of certificate programs in many different subjects, from nonprofit management to puppet arts to adult learning. Some certificate programs are completely online, and others are at Storrs, UConn Health, or Hartford campuses. To see the full list of certificates, look here

Why should you think about doing a certificate program?

Certificates are an excellent opportunity to learn more about a subject that you might not get a lot of training in during your graduate program and might also be of value to your future career trajectory. While allowing you to build your knowledge and skills, they also provide a concrete example to mention when a future employer asks about your proficiency in a given subject.

Feedback from a current certificate student

I asked a doctoral student in the Cognition, Instruction, & Technology program some questions about their certificate program and how it has impacted their graduate learning.

What program are you doing and how did you get interested in it?

  • I’m in the College Instruction certificate program. I got interested in completing it because I’m in Educational Psychology and I study learning and want to work in academia in the future. I saw an email about the certificate program and thought it would be good to have more professional development in that area.

What did you gain in the certificate program that you didn’t learn in your other graduate studies?

  • It spent more time on teaching instruction, and got more in depth about some of the same things that I learned in my graduate courses. I learned more about teaching philosophies and syllabi, which will help me with my future career in academia.

How will your certificate program help you with your career in the future?

  • The certificate program will help me teach — which will help me get a job. It will also look good on a CV because I got job relevant experience in college instruction.

How do I enroll in a certificate program?

Certificates vary depending on the program, so check out the website to look at the requirements. Talk to your advisor and see if they think that the program is right for you and your academic and career goals. Some certificates have several admission periods throughout the year and others only have one. Most require a recommendation from your advisor and a 3.0 GPA at the graduate level. Tuition is waived for TAs, RAs, and GAs!

Now go forth and get the graduate certificate of your dreams!



By Kalle Nelson
Kalle Nelson Graduate Assistant Kalle Nelson