Graduate Studies

Guidelines for Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs


Philosophy Statement

Post-baccalaureate certificate programs may be created within the same administrative structure of the University as graduate degree programs. Students may be awarded a certificate upon satisfactory completion of a well-defined program of course work. Certificate programs at Western Illinois University are focused collections of courses that, when completed, affords the student some record of coherent academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. These programs are designed to address societal needs, facilitate professional growth, and promote university interaction with business, industrial, and professional communities. Certificate programs are intended to be unique, independent programs offered to graduate level students at Western Illinois University in addition to existing master's and specialist degree programs

Process of Approval for new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs

Certificate programs must be proposed by an academic department and approved by the Department Curriculum Committee, Department Chairperson, College Curriculum Committee (if appropriate), College Dean, Graduate Council, Academic Vice President, reported to the President, and included on the annual listing of changes to the WIU Board of Trustees and the IBHE. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs in a field in which there is not a previously approved degree program at that level or higher must be approved by the IBHE staff.

Criteria/Information Requested for Approval of new Certificate Programs

Must be at least 18 semester hours in length to be recognized as a certificate program.

  • A statement of demonstrated need for the certificate program (market demand and/or student needs to be served).
  • A Statement of the educational objectives of the program.
  • A statement of the proposed course sequence associated with the certificate, including titles and course descriptions of approved course offerings in addition to new course proposals for any new courses that may be included in the certificate program.
  • A statement of how the proposed course sequence associated with the certificate will meet the stated educational objectives.
  • A description of the relationship between the proposed certificate program and existing degree programs at the University.
  • A description of any special features of the certificate program.
  • Identify programs offered by other Illinois colleges and universities that are similar to the proposed certificate program.
  • A statement indicating the need for additional faculty, equipment, and/or any other additional resources that will be required for the proposed program.

Student Eligibility and Admission Criteria

Applicants for admission to the certificate program must hold a bachelor's degree from an institution that is accredited by the appropriate accreditation agency and be admissible to the University as a non-degree graduate student.

Certificate Academic Requirements

  • Students in certificate programs may not earn more than three semester hours of C, D, or F grades in the graduate level courses required for the completion of the certificate.
  • Students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA for all course work required for completion of the certificate.
  • The work required for the certificate must be completed in 3 calendar years.
  • If approved by the specific academic department, courses taken to satisfy certificate requirements may be used to satisfy post-baccalaureate degree requirements at the University.

Certificate Verification

The School of Graduate Studies shall be responsible for verification of completion of all program requirements.