Online Certificate Programs

From Undergraduate to Graduate, Find Online Certificates in Fields like Paralegal, IT and Accounting

Search ONLINE Programs

A post-secondary certificate is a non-degree program offered by community colleges, four-year colleges and career schools. It represents completion of a specialized training program that focuses on the development of professional skills. Because certificate requirements do not include the core general education courses that make up an associate curriculum, programs are typically completed in less time than an associate degree program. This guide outlines the benefits of earning a certificate, the kinds of programs available, and how accreditation plays a role in establishing and maintaining the value of a certificate in the workplace.

Undergraduate Online Certificate Programs Learning Center

It makes sense to pursue a certificate that is offered at an undergraduate and post-graduate advanced level when they’re required for entry to a career or advancement within a profession. The major certificate disciplines include business and management, technology, education, healthcare and legal studies. Check out some popular certificate program options below.

Best Online Certificate Programs for 2017

Students can earn a variety of skills certificates and certificates of achievement in an online format from several schools around the country. Online learning is not only beneficial for students with busy schedules that may inhibit their attending traditional in-person class sessions, but also for students who are interested in attending an out-of-state school without relocating. Our methodology—based on class sizes, student services, student success rates, and more—has allowed us to compile a list of schools from around the country that offer online certificate programs. Look below to find our list of available 2017 schools offering online certificate programs.

1 National University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
78
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 99.81
Read more

Certificate programs at National University are designed to meet job requirements of working adults. Many of the university's certificates can be earned in one year or less. The school's more than 30 certificates are at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificates may only offer a level of education and training that prepares students to enter career fields. These types of certificates include the accountancy, finance, basic human resource management and marketing certificates. Other certificates like the LVN to RN 30 Unit Option provide students the minimum credits needed to maintain their nursing license.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
2 Siena Heights University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
40
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 99.57
Read more

Certificate programs at Siena Heights University, a Catholic school, accept qualifying students who are enrolling in the university directly out of high school. International students, adults transferring from another college, military members and current Siena Heights students who are continuing their education are also accepted into the school's certificate programs. For adults interested in completing a certificate program in person, options exist at the school's 10 campuses. Specialties that certificates can be obtained in include theology, healthcare management and professional communication. It takes about 21 semester hours to complete a certificate. Class sizes are kept small.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
3 Southern New Hampshire University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
71%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
73
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 98.89
Read more

Southern New Hampshire University is part of the New England education system. The nonprofit school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Authorization to award degrees is given from the Higher Education Commission. By earning an undergraduate or graduate certificate, adults could transition toward a four year or graduate level degree. Areas that certificates are awarded in cover accounting, athletic administration, nursing education, marketing, public administration and other career, research, education and sciences fields. It's possible to finish many of the certificates online. Students should expect it to take about one year to graduate.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
4 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
26
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 97.91
Read more

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is a faith based, liberal arts college located in Woods, Indiana. Faculty have been educating future leaders and workers since it opened its doors in 1840. Master's, bachelor's and associate's degrees are awarded at the school. Music therapy equivalency and transition to teaching are two areas that certificates are awarded in. Both certificates are taught online and in-person on campus. Depending the curriculum, new students may have to take one or more prerequisites. The college accepts online applications. Discipline and time management skills are required to stay apace with the curriculum while enrolled in the online option.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
5 Davenport University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
89%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
45
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 97.30
Read more

At Davenport University, certificates are awarded at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Similar to degrees, the certificates are aligned with the universities different colleges. There is the Donald W. Maine College of Business, the College of Technology, the College of Health Professions and the College of Arts and Sciences. Many of the certificates serve as standalone credentials. Managerial accounting, internal auditing, health care management and marketing are career fields that graduate certificates are awarded in. At the undergraduate level, there are certificates in fields like medical case management and global project management.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
6 Tiffin University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
92%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
44
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
33%
Ranking SCORE 96.99
Read more

Introduction to professional experiences can come through a Tiffin University certificate program. Aim of the school is to provide adult learners with a practical, professional and a personal education. The private, coed school spread across 130 acres in Ohio's north central region. Adults can enroll in the online program and get a certificate in Arabic studies. Completion of the certificate can help prepare adults to get accepted into degree programs like the Bachelor of Arts in History. Before pursuing the certificate, students are encouraged to ensure that they have at least three to four hours a week to complete class materials and to study.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
7 Liberty University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
51
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 96.41
Read more

Liberty University's certificate programs are geared toward adults with basic or higher working experience in the area that they are seeking a certificate. Some certificates only require students to finish three to four classes to graduate. Other certificates take six classes to finish. Similar to degree programs, classes that lead to a certificate generally run on an eight week cycle. There are a total of 40 certificates awarded at Liberty. Undergraduate certificates are in areas like information insurance, health sciences and biblical studies. At the graduate level, there are certificates in fields like management and leadership, global studies and theological studies.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Granite State College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
39
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 96.26
Read more

Granite State College is a regionally accredited postsecondary school that develops academic programs, including degrees and certificates, for adults. Many students enrolled in the college's online programs are working adults. At Granite, educators can earn a post-baccalaureate teacher certification. To get accepted into the certificate program, adults need to have a bachelor's degree. They also need to be in pursuit of a New Hampshire Teaching certification. The curriculum requires the completion of 18 to 29 credits. Courses that students take include math, general special education and early childhood special education.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
9 Northern Arizona University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
41
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 96.24
Read more

Northern Arizona University offers more than one way to earn a certificate. There is the traditional classroom path. Logging into a virtual class is the other path to earning a certificate at Northern Arizona University. More than 75 certificates are taught at the school. Some of these certificates are at the undergraduate levels, others at the graduate level. Accounting, biotechnology, communication and public management are areas that certificates are taught in. To gain the most from the certificate programs, adults should choose certificates that either expand on existing degrees that they have or that help them to meet requirements of more senior roles at work.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
10 Nova Southeastern University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
55
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 96.05
Read more

Although Nova Southeastern University is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it's not necessary to attend class in Fort Lauderdale to graduate with a certificate. Other places that students can earn a certificate from are the school's regional campuses and online. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) certifies the certificate programs at Nova Southeastern. Some areas that certificates offer students specialized instruction in are information security, education law, conflict analysis and resolution and computer information systems. Depending on the certificate, students may be required to complete a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree before they start a certificate program.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
11 Saint Leo University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
35
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 95.90
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
12 Champlain College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
41
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
64%
Ranking SCORE 95.74
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
13 Western Kentucky University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
44
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 95.64
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
14 Regis University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
39
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 95.59
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
15 Colorado Christian University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 95.32
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
16 Southwestern College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 95.10
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
17 Indiana Wesleyan University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
42
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 95.09
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
18 Baker College Center for Graduate Studies
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
29
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
25%
Ranking SCORE 95.07
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
19 Dickinson State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
35%
Ranking SCORE 95.04
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
20 Buena Vista University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
13
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 94.96
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
21 Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 94.95
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
22 Bellevue University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
46
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
31%
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
23 Drexel University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
34
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
24 Fort Hays State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
26
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 94.80
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
25 University of Memphis
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
40%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 94.71
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
26 Bay Path University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 94.61
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
27 East Carolina University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
37
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 94.57
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
28 Mercy College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
88%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
34%
Ranking SCORE 94.48
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
29 University of Louisiana at Monroe
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
37%
Ranking SCORE 94.32
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
30 LeTourneau University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
16
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 94.31
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
31 Indiana State University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
29
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 94.18
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
32 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
39
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
86%
Ranking SCORE 94.18
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
33 University of Maryland-University College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
54
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
4%
Ranking SCORE 94.16
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
34 University of the Incarnate Word
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
48%
Ranking SCORE 94.08
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
35 Concordia University-Saint Paul
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
24
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 93.97
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
36 University of Illinois at Springfield
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 93.83
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
37 Brenau University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
16
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
38 Belhaven University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
39 Wayland Baptist University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
33%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
36%
Ranking SCORE 93.82
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
40 Franklin University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
41
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 93.81
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesNo
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
41 Goodwin College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
91%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
18
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 93.77
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
42 Chaminade University of Honolulu
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
12
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
36%
Ranking SCORE 93.76
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
43 Concordia University-Wisconsin
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
20
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 93.72
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
44 Viterbo University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 93.70
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
45 The University of Alabama
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
67%
Ranking SCORE 93.66
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
46 Texas A & M University-College Station
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
33
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
80%
Ranking SCORE 93.62
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
47 Troy University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
45%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
35%
Ranking SCORE 93.62
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
48 Hawaii Pacific University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
20
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
40%
Ranking SCORE 93.55
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
49 Roger Williams University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
89%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
23
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 93.51
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
50 Oral Roberts University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
12
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 93.44
Read more

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes

Earning an Online Certificate

Programs may contain between four and eight courses that can be completed in between three months to a year. Students typically need only a high school diploma to enroll in an undergraduate level certificate program. Graduate certificate programs have their own class entry requirements, which can include a completed bachelor’s degree and/or graduate test scores, professional experience, or a combination of elements. Online certificate programs contain the same career focus and specialized skill components as on-campus ones, but they add exceptional class flexibility and accelerated programs.

How Online Certificates Are Taking Off

Undergraduate certificate programs offer exceptional options for students who wish to train for a new career and enter the workplace in as little as a year. Post-graduate certificate programs are gaining popularity among professionals who need additional career training to receive promotions or apply for mid-level positions in their fields.

icn 1
63% of all jobs

in America by 2018 will require applicants to have completed some form of post-secondary education or career training. (CEW).

icn 2
22%

of postsecondary awards are certificates. (CEW)

icn 3
20% of certificate holders

go on to earn associate degrees, while 13 percent earn bachelor’s degrees. (CEW)

icn 4
More than 10%

of Americans reported a certificate as their top level of education. (CEW)

icn 5
More than 1 million certificates

were awarded in 2010-2011 – that’s more than the number of associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral certificates awarded during that same time. (NCES)

icn 6
Nearly half of all certificates

awarded in 2010-2011 were for healthcare professions. (BLS)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Georgetown University, Center on Education in the Workforce (CEW)
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Post-graduate certifications in healthcare, business management and technology are gaining in popularity for building existing professional skills in project management, Six Sigma, human resources, healthcare administration, or computer engineering. The following table shows the variety of undergraduate and post-graduate certification programs:

Dental Assisting Certificate

A comprehensive 44-hour certification program that includes classroom and laboratory (internship) practice. Courses include oral health, dental science, chair-side ethics and assisting, radiology, infection control, office operations and management.

Automotive Technology Certificate

Students must complete 32 hours of training in engines, braking systems, suspension/steering, electrical systems, diagnostics and welding.

Certificate in Property Management

In this 19-credit program, students learn fundamental skills and techniques for management and marketing of residential, office, retail and industrial properties.

Medical Billing and Coding Certification

An 18-credit online program leading to a certification in the principles of medical coding set forward in the commonly accepted CPT, HCPCS and ICD-9-CM manuals.

Network & Communications Management Certificate

Students earn a post-secondary certificate through 21 hours of advanced education in networking security, applications, wireless, communications law, IP/VOIP telephony and network design.

Principles of Criminal Investigation

Examination of techniques and theories in the detecting, preserving and presentation of physical and forensic evidence. Includes laboratory sections. Prerequisite: Introduction to Criminology.

CPA Preparation

Post-secondary 30-hour program in specialty fields required for the CPA examination including ethics, international accounting, information systems and taxation.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certificate

Post-master nursing students undertake 38 hours of advanced coursework in areas including advanced pharmacology, primary care across the entire age spectrum, and an integrative practicum.

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Dental Assisting Certificate Undergraduate

    A comprehensive 44-hour certification program that includes classroom and laboratory (internship) practice. Courses include oral health, dental science, chair-side ethics and assisting, radiology, infection control, office operations and management.

  • Automotive Technology Certificate Undergraduate

    Students must complete 32 hours of training in engines, braking systems, suspension/steering, electrical systems, diagnostics and welding.

  • Certificate in Property Management Undergraduate

    In this 19-credit program, students learn fundamental skills and techniques for management and marketing of residential, office, retail and industrial properties.

  • Medical Billing and Coding Certification Undergraduate

    An 18-credit online program leading to a certification in the principles of medical coding set forward in the commonly accepted CPT, HCPCS and ICD-9-CM manuals.

  • Network & Communications Management Certificate Undergraduate

    Students earn a post-secondary certificate through 21 hours of advanced education in networking security, applications, wireless, communications law, IP/VOIP telephony and network design.

  • Principles of Criminal Investigation Undergraduate

    Examination of techniques and theories in the detecting, preserving and presentation of physical and forensic evidence. Includes laboratory sections. Prerequisite: Introduction to Criminology.

  • CPA Preparation Graduate

    Post-secondary 30-hour program in specialty fields required for the CPA examination including ethics, international accounting, information systems and taxation.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certificate Graduate

    Post-master nursing students undertake 38 hours of advanced coursework in areas including advanced pharmacology, primary care across the entire age spectrum, and an integrative practicum.

Transferring to a Degree Program

Students who intend to transfer to a degree-conferring program should speak with academic advisors at their certificate program and at their target college. In most cases, undergraduates seeking certificates that wish to continue their college education would do well to consider earning an academic degree (associate) instead of — or in addition to — their certificate. The associate degree is divided between general education courses required of all college undergrads along with a concentration of courses in major fields. Colleges accepting academic transfers are traditionally more willing to accept credits for core education courses, rather than for majors or specialty classes.

For post-graduate certificate seekers, their advanced credentials are meant to stand alone as benchmarks of experience and career skill attainment. Many professionals in business, technology, and healthcare fields that earn a master’s degree or MBA also pursue certificates that illustrate skills beyond the scope of their degrees.

Online Certificate Programs

graduates

Students looking for the convenience of an accredited, flexible distance education should search for online certificate programs at community colleges, adult schools, public and private colleges and universities, trade and vocational schools and for-profit online schools.

Online certificate programs at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels may be accelerated and relatively brief in nature. But don’t be misled: the academic requirements and certificate coursework can be extremely strenuous and technically challenging.

Students preparing online for a new career at the undergraduate level may also fulfil laboratory or internship requirements to complete certificates. In those cases, schools and colleges may have partnerships with local businesses or organizations where students can complete lab or hands-on instruction.

Post-graduate online certificate seekers find a number of benefits including opportunities to coordinate their studies with their current professional roles as well as potentially receive tuition reimbursement from their employers.

Online certificate programs dovetail with students’ work and family schedules, providing 24/7 access to their course materials. Classes are delivered through an online college interface that typically includes web browsers, chat tools, email and discussion boards. Communications can also be facilitated by programs such as Skype, other video conferencing tools, and through conference calls. Students only need a computer, pad, or smart device to view their courses, email communications and grades. In some cases, online colleges offer laptops are part of their total fee and tuition package. Depending on the school, technical support for the learning platforms is readily available, 24/7.

College Accreditation

Accreditation is a means for systematizing, evaluating and maintaining academic standards for integrity and educational quality. While accreditation is voluntary, it can be an indispensable asset for the college and student. Accreditation is often the benchmark by which student’s certificates are judged and accepted in the workplace. A college or university offering post-graduate certificates may already hold accreditation for their degree programs or for their departments offering specialized training. The accreditation process, which can take up to several years, includes an initial college self-assessment followed by an on-campus evaluation by an independent accreditation association or agency. If the school or college offers federal financial aid, the accrediting organization must be approved by the Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both.

Seven regional accreditation agencies serve the nation’s two-year schools through The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Specialized accreditation is often undertaken by school departments or colleges offering a single discipline. For example, American National Standards Institute Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) is a popular accreditation sought by technical certification programs. Schools that offer certifications entirely through distance learning or campus-based colleges that offer online certificates may also seek and receive National Distance Learning Association accreditation that attests to the quality of content and delivery of online courses.