Alaska Graduate Schools With Certificate Programs

Graduate school certificate programs may help students deepen expertise in a specific subject area and provide a purposeful and professional credential. Whether sought as a stand-alone award, a prelude to a full graduate degree, or in union with a master's or doctoral program, graduate certificates programs are available in a wide range of subjects. Business, bioethics, education, project management, psychology and IT are just a few of many options.

Why Consider Graduate School Certificate Programs?

Graduate school certificate programs provide an alternative to a full degree. A graduate certificate can be earned after a bachelors or masters degree. In both cases, a certificate might build or enhance skills and knowledge. As they often entail a series of themed courses, a certificate has the potential to boost practical know how in a single content field. For some, this may be a means to explore a new career path or develop or refresh ability. Others may find that a certificate helps them to gain more credibility or expertise. All without the same time commitment of a graduate degree.

Shorter than a Full Degree

Most graduate school certificate programs encompass about three to twelve courses. Because graduate certificate programs involve few courses, students may be able to complete the requirements in about one year of full-time study. As a result, they might fit the needs of the busy adult who does not have time to devote to a full degree.

Graduate Level Courses

While shorter, graduate certificate programs on campus still require coursework at the same level as a full degree program. In fact, in some graduate school certificate programs, students choose courses that are normally part of the curriculum for a related masters degree program. After successful completion of a graduate certificate, a student may decide to continue to finish the corresponding degree within the same university or transfer their credits. Most schools specify whether this is a possibility, but stay informed and do some homework to make sure you know what to expect.

Take Advantage of the Campus

Graduate schools that offer certificate programs may extend certificate students the same resources and services as full time students. This means you may have access to the libraries, tutors, student services, art studios and laboratories. Plus, since you take classes with other certificate and graduate students, you might benefit from the chance to expand your network.

DID YOU KNOW? When surveyed, 9% of human resources managers said they had a post-baccalaureate certificate.i

Types of Graduate Certificate On-Campus Programs

Essentially, graduate schools with certificate programs may offer post-baccalaureate or post-masters certificates. As the name suggests, post-baccalaureate certificates are designed for applicants who have a bachelors degree. To apply, it may be necessary to submit an application for study in the related graduate program along with all necessary documents. Post-masters certificates are sometimes called professional certificates. They are usually designed for those who already have their masters or doctoral degree. As a result, applicants may have to submit a resume of work experience along with school-specific material. For instance, post-degree nursing certificates target registered nurses who have earned their masters in nursing and want to further refine their practice.

To find graduate school certificate programs, you can refine your search by broad subject categories such as business, education, fine arts, psychology, social work and healthcare. These larger areas often have multiple graduate certificate programs to choose from, and you can see what fits your specific needs. Below are a few highlights.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

A graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) may provide students with a course sequence that is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).® This is likely to cover concepts, principles, assessment and intervention methods for behavior modification. Upon completion of the courses and supervised practice, students may be eligible to take the BCBA® certification exam.

Graduate Certificate in Business Administration

Some graduate certificate in Business Administration programs are designed to help working professionals with non-business undergraduate degrees develop basic business-management skills. Coursework is likely to explore law, statistics, financial accounting, marketing, economics and models for managers. As a result, students may take courses that develop a practical tool-kit, and/or prepare them to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA).            

Graduate Certificate in Education

There are several types of graduate certificates one might earn in education. Some prepare educators to teach a specific content area such as math, English or biology. Others are designed to help teachers pursue state licensure in their state for a specific endorsed area. For instance, a graduate certificate disabilities endorsement might address the needs of teachers who already hold an initial certification but want to branch out. This type of education graduate certificate might teach instructional strategies for special needs students. 

Graduate Certificate in Elder Care Management

A graduate certificate in Elder Care Management is likely to explore the theory and practices relevant to the management and administration of programs for the elderly. Some courses might cover the policies and politics of environments in which elder care services are delivered. Other courses might delve into housing, long term care and how to market to senior customers.

Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management

The graduate certificate in Human Resources Management might provide students with the chance to build up key knowledge in negotiation and conflict resolution. Students may take courses that examine staffing, compensation and labor laws. Also, schools that offer certificate programs in HR might allow students to tailor their studies through several business electives. This could build up key managerial skills (e.g. finance, operations) while it addresses current issues that affect HR managers.

Graduate Certificate in Marketing Analytics

A graduate certificate in Marketing Analytics may help students with an undergraduate degree to gain essential marketing and IT skills. Some coursework is likely to explore strategy and evaluation of specific marketing management problems. Other courses might dive into data analysis, customer loyalty and market research.

Graduate Certificate in National Security Affairs

A graduate certificate in National Security Affairs is one example from the larger field of criminal justice. Coursework in this type of certificate program might help students and current professionals develop the ability to critically analyze intelligence information. Classes might explore the historical and contemporary issues that inform the field. Terrorists, terrorism, national intelligence collection, and border protection are some general examples.  

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Organization Management

The graduate certificate in nonprofit organization management may be designed for students who need to build specific managerial skills for this sector. Or for those who want to explore public administration but are not ready for an MPA degree. Core coursework might cover public policy, the nonprofit sector and leadership issues. Through electives, students might customize their studies to a professional interest such as lobbying or marketing and public relations.

Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Nursing graduate certificates, such as a Nurse Educator Certificate, might enable experienced professional nurses to combine their clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. This type of graduate certificate is often designed for the nurse with a masters or doctorate degree who wants to add on credentials, branch out, and receive input from new research. Other nursing certificates might focus on a focused area of clinical practice such as family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. 

Find Accredited Schools That Offer Certificate Programs

Many of the graduate school certificate programs are available at regionally accredited universities. This is a good thing to check out. Look for accreditations with Department of Education approval. This typically speaks to a school’s faculty, curricula, student services and financial stability. Individual programs may also be approved by professional agencies with an eye to subject specific criteria.

Take the Next Step

Ready to look through graduate school certificate programs? Search for schools with graduate certificate programs by location. Choose your city, state or country and a list of sponsored programs is generated. Or, search by subject. From there, just contact the schools with the on-page forms. Your new education is waiting for you. Take the next step now!


[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-3121.00

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