General Education Graduate Certificate Programs

General Education Graduate Certificate Programs may appeal to students interested in either a stand-alone program to boost credentials or as additional credits within the context of a joint degree and credential graduate program. Some programs are geared to those who are studying to earn a professional educator license, while others are not; these may comprise a first phase of a Master’s degree program in education. If you are looking for a shorter program with a targeted educational focus, a graduate certificate in general education is worth considering.

General Education Graduate Certificate Programs: Basics

General Education Graduate Certificates programs are often available as add-on programs for advanced licensure in education, as non-licensure, or as initial licensure, so they have appeal for a variety of learners.

Some add-on Graduate certificates in education consist of around 21 credit-hours, of which several hours may be credited internship hours. In order to apply to these programs, individuals may need to hold a master’s degree in an educational area from an accredited university and relevant experience.

Other certificate programs in education may consist of 27 credit-hours and may be designed for students who have an undergraduate degree but not in the specific field of the certificate. In order to apply for admission, students commonly need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, a GPA of 3.0, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and even a background check.

Shorter graduate certificate programs in education, such as the Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate, one of our sponsored listings, is an 18 credit program that may take 12-24 months to complete. This may be a great fit for a current professional who already has a graduate degree but is looking to enhance capabilities in a specific subject area.

DID YOU KNOW? Often, teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. (BLS)[i]

On-Campus or Online Graduate Certificate Program?

Searching for a General Education Graduate Certificate is easy on GradSchools.com. For those seeking a hands-on approach, use the location settings to find graduate programs and schools by city, state or country. Busy working professionals and those who cannot commute to class consistently might prefer distance-learning. Often considered a convenient format, an online graduate certificate in education requires you to be autonomous, but it does give you some freedom with scheduling. Web learning involves a reliable Internet connection, making it as portable as your computer set up.

Accreditation, Licensure

What you may need to consider is how a graduate certificate in education fits into any licensure path you are on or need to be on in order to work in your chosen field. Usually there are specific state requirements for certification and licensure, especially for teachers in the public school system.[ii] Some states also require teachers to earn a master’s degree after the initial certification.[iii] In other words, a graduate certificate may not be your path to teaching unless you have the other credentials that go along with it.

In terms of accreditation, graduate schools may be accredited by national and regional agencies. You can check with the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

FACT: 21% of Education Administrators hold a post-master’s certificate (O’Net).[iv]

Taking the Next Step

Whether you are looking for professional development or approaching your search for a graduate certificate in education from another standpoint, GradSchools.com has some great sponsored listings to choose from. Start browsing to find one that aligns with your academic and vocational goals.


sources:[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/mobile/high-school-teachers.htm |[iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9032.00#Education |

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