Certificate Opportunities

Understanding the Certificate Landscape

Graduate certificate programs are structured sequences of courses and requirements which focus on a specialty or area of expertise not offered by a regular degree program. There are several forms of certificates with different pathways for proposal and development. Understanding the different certificate options will help faculty interested in developing a certificate determine which option(s) best suits the educational and financial goals of the target audience, as well as the program/unit offering the certificate.

Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC)

GACs are open to any student eligible for graduate admission (as defined in GS2014-04), and students do not have to be enrolled concurrently in a UC Davis graduate or professional degree program.

Students admitted into a GAC may articulate to a graduate degree through the standard Graduate Studies admissions process, although GAC coursework cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of that degree.

Certificates of completion for a GAC are issued by the Office of the University Registrar. GACs are governed by Graduate Council (GC2007-01). 

View the list of current GACs...

Graduate Academic Unit Certificate (GAUC)

GAUCs are open to and taken by currently-enrolled UC Davis graduate/professional students and postdoctoral scholars.

Students admitted into a GAUC may not articulate to a graduate degree program, although they may use shared courses/units for an existing degree program.

Certificates of completion for a GAUC are issued by the school or college which hosts the certificate. GAUCs are governed by Graduate Council (GC2007-01).

View the list of current GAUCs...

Continuing and Professional Education Certificate (CPEC)

CPECs are open to and taken by the general public, and do not require that enrollees meet the criteria for admission to a graduate degree program.

These certificates provide a minimum of 12 units (120 hours) of academic credit. Credit may articulate to UC Davis graduate degrees through a transfer credit evaluation (capped at 12 units).

Students are admitted through UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. CPECs are governed by the Public Service Committee of the Academic Senate.

View the list of current CPECs...

Next Steps: Administrative Contacts

Once you've had a chance to think about the options which might be best for your program—or if you'd like to chat about the options' relative merits—the next step is to talk with a campus expert who can help during the early stages of the proposal. 

  • For GACs and GAUCs, please contact Graduate Studies' Director of Policy and Programs, Jasmine Durias Bonite (jedurias@ucdavis.edu). 
  • For Continuing and Professional Education certificates, please contact cpeinfo@ucdavis.edu