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Career Planning
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A Certificate of Completion is awarded to indicate the individual has a specific knowledge, skills or abilities from an educational institution. The certificate is a document that certifies a student has studied a specific course or has passed a test specific to a field of study.

The certificate is a qualification of knowledge. The certificate may also be for a program of highly focused and advanced academic work concentrating on a specific occupational area. Students already possessing a degree sometimes use certificate programs to acquire more in-depth training.

Below is a brief summary of online undergraduate certificate programs and prerequisites offered by our university partners:

[Kaplan University]
Previous college credits are not required, but a background is necessary in the field. Extra courses may be required if a student doesn't have the prerequisite knowledge level. Course completion leads to preparation for professional certification, such as the Certificate in Financial Planning but not academic credit.

[Villanova University]
Professional development certificates with no additional prerequisites. Upon completion you will receive CEUs, continuing education units, which satisfies professional rather than academic advancement.

[University of Maryland University College]
Students require a BA or 24 credits in undergraduate level courses in the field of study before applying for an undergrad certificate.

Completion of a certificate program while pursuing a college degree can serve as a signal to prospective employers that you are a person with the drive and determination to excel.

Graduate Certificate Programs

As with undergrad certificates, the definitions, prerequisites and award status of graduate certification varies widely so you should refer to your chosen university's program descriptions.

A common advantage to holding a graduate certificate is that you can update your credentials and skill levels of a previous degree or it can serve as a first step towards a new area of study and the credits can often be applied to a full Master's. Your professional status is also enhanced as you receive formal recognition for your increased knowledge and skill in your field.

Here is a brief overview of the different graduate certificate programs featured.

[University of Maryland University College]
Students require a BA or 24 credits with a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate level courses in the field of study before applying for a grad certificate. Neither a GRE or GMAT are required. Each certificate requires from 12 to 24 credits of coursework. Graduate course credits can be applied toward the parallel master's degree program. Students have three years to complete certificates up to 18 credits and five years to complete certificates requiring more than 18 credits.

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