A student wishing to earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate at San Francisco State University is expected to follow the basic university requirements and procedures outlined herein. In addition, the prescribed program requirements of the desired certificate must be completed. More detailed information regarding a specific certificate may be obtained by contacting the academic unit offering the program.

Undergraduate Certificates

Certificate Department/Program Office
Athletic Coaching Kinesiology
Biotechnology Biology
Conflict Resolution Colleges of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Humanities, and Extended Learning
Cooperative Education College of Science and Engineering
Holistic Health Health Education and Extended Learning
Hospitality Management Extended Learning
Independent Living Center Practices Counseling
Information Technology Auditing Information Systems and Business Analysis and Extended Learning
Interdisciplinary Digital Arts College of Creative Arts
International Business Extended Learning
Legal/Court Interpretation (Spanish/English) Extended Learning
Legal Nurse Consultant Extended Learning
Meteorology for Broadcasters Geosciences
Music/Recording Industry Extended Learning
Paralegal Studies Extended Learning
Professional Practice of Internal Auditing Accounting and Extended Learning
Psychological Field Services Psychology
Technical and Professional
Center for Humanistic Studies
Youth and Human Services Non-profit Agency Administration Recreation and Leisure Studies

Graduate Certificates

Certificate School/Department/Program Office
Counseling Deaf Persons Counseling
Counseling Deafened and Hard of Hearing Persons Counseling
Dietetics: Focus on Older Adults Consumer and Family Studies/Dietetics
Early Childhood Special Education Special Education
Educational Therapy Special Education
Entrepreneurial Leadership in Health Care Extended Learning
Family Nurse Practitioner Nursing and Extended Learning
Genetic Engineering Biology
Independent Living Center Practices Counseling
Integrated Services Special Education
Jewish Community Studies Jewish Studies
Middle/Junior High School Studies Elementary and Secondary Education
Rehabilitation Counseling Counseling
Rehabilitation Engineering Technology Counseling
Teaching Critical Thinking Philosophy
Teaching of Composition English
Teaching Post-secondary Reading English
Training Systems Development Instructional Technology
Vocational Special Education Special Education

Purpose of Certificate Programs

A certificate program is a coherent set of academic courses that does not lead to a degree, but is focused on a substantial area of study that may be practically oriented toward skills and/or occupations. Such a program is designed to meet special needs, especially those with a limited time to learn specific subjects, concepts, skills, and competencies. The award of a certificate means the holder has completed the required courses and related work at an acceptable level of academic accomplishment. The certificate indicates to a prospective employer that the university validates the particular program of study. It neither credentials nor licenses the student, nor does it guarantee the ability of the student to put into practice what has been studied.


Guidelines for Acceptance to Undergraduate Certificate Programs

In order to be accepted to an undergraduate certificate program, a student must have completed 56 semester units of undergraduate course work with a 2.0 (C) grade point average. Exceptions may be permitted upon presentation of special justification to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or appropriate program administrator for Extended Learning programs.

Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate certificate program should contact the offering department regarding specific program requirements and procedures. For certificate programs offered through Extended Learning, students should contact the program area as shown in the program description.

Guidelines for Acceptance to Graduate Certificate Programs

Admission to Post-Baccalaureate Status

Acceptance to Certificate Program

A student enrolled, or eligible to enroll, in the university as a post-baccalaureate level student must contact the program offering the desired certificate to complete any prescribed requirements for acceptance to that program. Such requirements and procedures may include a supplementary application, a defined set of prerequisite courses, a designated GPA, written recommendations, etc., as may be appropriate for the program in question.


The university requirements listed below are considered to be minimal and the academic department offering the program may impose additional or higher requirements for its specific certificate program(s). See the specific presentation in the Academic Programs section of this Bulletin or contact the department offering the certificate for further information.

Basic University Undergraduate Certificate Program Requirements

Basic University Graduate Certificate Program Requirements


A student planning to earn an undergraduate or graduate certificate must meet the requirements, as reflected in the university Bulletin, that are in effect (1) as of the date the student is officially accepted to a certificate program by the offering department (or in special circumstances the date of the first course used to meet the requirements for the certificate, providing continuous enrollment in the university has been maintained) or (2) as of the date the application for the award of the certificate is filed in the Graduate Division (for both undergraduate and graduate certificates).

Advising and Registration

Advising assistance will be provided by the program faculty responsible for offering the program.

Registration for required courses will be accomplished by means of the normal registration process of the university or through Extended Learning registration procedures for Extended Learning certificate programs.


When all the requirements for either an undergraduate or graduate certificate program have been completed, the following steps must be taken to apply for the certificate, to have the completion of the requirements checked, and to have the certificate awarded to the student. Note that the Graduate Division is responsible for the final processing requirements for both undergraduate and graduate certificates. Graduation for Extended Learning certificates is processed through the Extended Learning Office.

The student prepares a Certificate Approved Program (CAP) form (available in the department, Undergraduate Studies, or Graduate Division) and forwards it, along with transcript(s) showing the completion of all course requirements, to the department chair of the area offering the certificate program.

The chair is responsible for determining that all the requirements for the certificate have been satisfactorily completed. This is accomplished by signing the CAP form.

After paying the application fee ($7.00) for the award of the certificate at the Cashier's Office and having the CAP form stamped "Paid," the student is responsible for filing (a) the signed CAP form, (b) the supporting transcript(s), and (c) the evidence of the fee paid, in the Graduate Division (for both undergraduate and graduate certificates).

The Graduate Division is responsible for reviewing the materials received and authorizing the issuance of the undergraduate or graduate certificate on behalf of the department/program area and in the name of the university. This is accomplished by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Graduate Division, as appropriate, signing the certificate and returning it along with two signed copies of the CAP form to the department/program area. Upon receipt, the department/ program chair signs the official certificate and arranges to issue it, along with a copy of the CAP form, to the student. A second copy of the signed CAP form is to be retained by the department/program area for its records.

The Graduate Division is also responsible for forwarding a signed copy of the CAP form to the Registrar's Office. This copy of the CAP form will serve as the official notification that all the certificate requirements have been completed satisfactorily. The registrar is then responsible for posting the award of the certificate on the student's permanent academic record (i.e., transcript).

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Last modified July 09, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu