Certificate Requirements

The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern University offers Graduate Certificates that enable students to gain competencies in or across fields. Some Graduate Certificates may be pursued in conjunction with a degree program while others may be pursued independent of another degree. Graduate Certificates are typically available to students currently enrolled in TGS in a PhD or Master’s program. Certain Graduate Certificates are available to students who are not pursuing a PhD or Master’s degree and require admission into a non-degree TGS program. For a list of available certificates and links to specific certificate requirements, visit the Cluster and Certificate section of this website.

Students currently enrolled in a PhD or Master’s program in TGS and who wish to pursue a Graduate Certificate may only do so when the Graduate Certificate goes beyond the degree program requirements and is an extension of the student’s expertise into a different field.

14.1 Coursework

  • Students must complete at least five quality letter-graded (A, B, C) courses authorized for TGS credit. Individual Graduate Certificates may require additional courses or specific course requirements. See the Graduate Certificate descriptions for additional information. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the courses counting toward the Graduate Certificate.
  • TGS allows students to count courses towards both the Graduate Certificate and degree. Graduate Certificate programs may have more strict requirements. PhD and Master’s students are encouraged to inquire with the Graduate Certificate Program Director about which courses may count towards both the Graduate certificate and degree requirements.
  • Students who wish to pursue multiple Graduate Certificates may not count the same coursework for more than one certificate.

14.2 Certificate Awarding

  • In order to petition to have a Graduate Certificate awarded and appear on the transcript, students must submit the Application for a Graduate Certificate once all Graduate Certificate requirements have been completed, but no later than the time that the student files for graduation (in the final quarter of study). Each course counting toward the Graduate Certificate must be listed. The Application for Graduate Certificate requires approval by the Certificate Program Director and, for students also pursuing a PhD or Master’s, the Director of Graduate Study (DGS) of the degree program.
  • In the event that a student pursuing a PhD or Master’s degree wishes to depart the University prior to awarding of the PhD or Master’s, but after having completed the requirements for the Graduate Certificate, a form must be completed informing TGS of the change in credential.
  • Graduate Certificates will be issued and noted on the student’s transcript.
  • Questions should be directed to gradservices@northwestern.edu.