Graduate Academic Certificates


A graduate certificate program is a structured sequence of courses and requirements that focuses on a specialty or area of expertise not offered by a regular degree program and has been reviewed and approved by the Graduate Council. There are two formats for graduate certificate programs that make use of regular UC Davis courses:

  1.  University of California Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC) 
  2.  UC Davis Graduate Academic Unit Certificate (GAUC)

See GC2007-01 for a complete description of each certificate format and the process for proposing new graduate certificates. 

Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC)

The GAC certificate program is open to any student who is acceptable for admission into the Graduate Division (SR 735). A GAC is a structured sequence of courses and requirements that focus on a specialty or area of expertise not offered by a regular graduate degree program. A GAC cannot be granted until a student has completed a minimum of three quarters in full-time resident study at the University of California with a grade-point average of at least 3.0. The certificate of completion for a GAC will be issued by the Office of the Registrar with the seal of the University of California, and will bear the signatures of the dean of the school or college, the Dean of the Graduate Division, the Chancellor, and the President.

A list of GACs can be found below. Contact the GAC program for more information on participating.

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner  (GKMH)

  • Program Contact: Katherine Leyva, Manager of Admissions, Student Services, and Outreach,
    Program ChairAmy A. Nichols, Ed.D., R.N., C.N.S., C.H.S.E., A.N.E.F., GAC Chair, School of Nursing; (916) 734-1493,
    Program Website
     The Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC) is intended for working professional nurse practitioners and APRNs who already have a graduate degree in nursing with an unencumbered Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) licensure to practice as Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in California. This certificate allows providers to add an additional specialty area to their existing board certifications and licenses. The hybrid curriculum is postgraduate and competency-based and is aligned with the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) competencies for PMHNP practice and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2021 Essentials for Graduate Nursing Education. The certificate program is 12 months in duration and includes online didactic courses with both synchronous and asynchronous sessions as well as three in-person immersive weekend sessions during the year.
  • Future Undergraduate Science Educators (GKFS)
  • Program Contact:  Samantha Arcement, Director of Graduate Academic Programs; (530) 752-9092 or
    Executive Committee Co-chairs:  Dr. Marina Crowder, (530) 752-9664, and Dr. Mona Monfared,  (530) 752-5817, 
    Program Chair: Dr. Mark Winey, Dean of College of Biological Sciences; (530) 752-6778,
    The GAC in Future Undergraduate Science Educators (FUSE) provides training for Ph.D. students in the College of Biological Sciences who are interested in pursuing teaching careers at the undergraduate level. Students are trained in evidence-based teaching practices as well as mentored, authentic teaching experiences. The curriculum is based on Scientific Teaching, a pedagogical framework in which teaching is approached with the same rigor as science and includes active learning strategies and other teaching methods that have been systematically tested and shown to both engage students in the process of science and promote diversity and inclusion. Goals of the program are to make Ph.D. students in the sciences more competitive for teaching positions after they graduate (closing the time gap between graduation and achieving tenure track positions in higher education) and to improve the quality of undergraduate science education. STEM Ph.D. graduate students who are not affiliated with CBS are welcome to apply and would be admitted on a space-available basis. 
  • Health Professions Educator (GKHE)
  • Program Contact: Amy A. Nichols, Ed.D., R.N., C.N.S., C.H.S.E., A.N.E.F., GAC Chair, School of Nursing; (916) 734-1493,
    The Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group hosts the Graduate Academic Certificate as Health Professions Educator. Students enrolled in one of the School of Nursing’s graduate programs are eligible to apply and earn this certificate. Students enrolled in a UC Davis graduate program and with an interest in health professions education may apply and will be admitted on a space available basis. With a looming nursing shortage, an aging faculty workforce with anticipated nursing faculty retirements, and implementation of a pre-licensure nursing education program, preparation of the next generation of educators is an important issue for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing as well as the larger Sacramento Valley nursing community.  Educators in the health professions, particularly nursing, are in high demand to teach didactic as well as clinical content. In California, approval by the CA BRN is required for faculty interested in teaching pre-licensure nursing programs. Although educators in other health professions may not have the strict requirements of the Board of Registered Nurses, the School of Nursing believes that potential educators who have completed course work in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and educational leadership will be better prepared to meet the needs of students.
  • Industrial Ecology (GKIE)
  • Program Contact: Dr. Alissa Kendall, GAC Committee Chair; (530) 752-5722,
    The GAC in Industrial Ecology (IE) is a certificate offered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The target audience for the GAC is University of California Davis master- and doctoral-level graduate students from a broad range of graduate groups including Human Ecology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Geography, Community Development, Transportation Technology and Policy, and Public Health Sciences. Students will gain expertise in principles and methods of industrial ecology, with an emphasis on life cycle analysis, material flow analysis, green engineering, sustainable manufacturing, and urban metabolism. In addition to completing relevant coursework, students in the IE GAC will have the opportunity to participate in UC Davis Industrial Ecology Team meetings and have access to Industrial Ecology computing resources for research purposes.
  • Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (GKLA)
  • Program Contact: Dr. N. Claire Napawan, GAC Chair, Human Ecology, (530) 554-9540;
    The GAC in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (LAED) offers graduate students an opportunity to complement their graduate degree with analytical and design skills that seek novel, interactive and dynamic processes of problem-solving leading to defensible and sustainable solutions. Landscape architecture and environmental design concern the relationship between people and their environment. The LAED Program at UC Davis focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry related to landscape structure and function, spatial patterns, the built environment, natural systems, landscape meaning and history, and environmental quality. This GAC program will prepare students to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in landscape architecture and environmental planning and design; (2) serve as researchers and analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of planning and design at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international level
  • Second Language Acquisition (GKSL)
  • Program Contact: Dr. Travis Bradley, GAC Chair, Spanish;
    The GAC in Second Language Acquisition provides students with both a theoretical and practical knowledge of language acquisition. Choosing the GAC in SLA gives graduate students the opportunity to integrate theory with the methods they use in the classroom and to move beyond being a well-trained teacher, to understanding curricular choices in language education. Similar to the Designated Emphasis in Second Language Acquisition, the only difference in the GAC is that there are no requirements related to a student's dissertation.

Graduate Academic Unit Certificate (GAUC)

A GAUC is administered by a UC Davis academic instructional unit (professional school, department, graduate group or a designated emphasis program). A GAUC consists of a minimum of 12 units of graduate level instruction and may use shared courses/units for another degree program. A GAUC cannot be granted until a student has completed a minimum of three quarters in full-time resident study at the University of California with a grade-point average of at least 3.0. The certificate of completion for a GAUC will bear the seal(s) or letterhead of the particular College(s) or School(s), but not the seal of the University of California, Davis. The certificate will be signed by the dean(s) of the school or college or program chair(s); it will not bear the signatures of the Dean of the Graduate Division, the Chancellor, or the President. GAUC certificates are open to and are taken by currently enrolled UC Davis graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral scholars.

  • Advancing Health Equity (GUAH)
  • Program Contact: Amy A. Nichols, Ed.D., R.N., C.N.S., C.H.S.E., A.N.E.F., GAUC Chair, School of Nursing; (916) 734-1493,
    The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offers the Advancing Health Equity Series Graduate Academic Unit Certificate (AHES-GAUC). The Graduate Academic Unit Certificate Program provides students with foundational knowledge around health equity in healthcare and health care settings, health equity standards and expectations, political determinants of health and health equity, an understanding of race and health in the U.S., and the application of these principles into real-world practice.
  • Family Caregiving (GUFC)
  • Program Contact: Amy A. Nichols, Ed.D., R.N., C.N.S., C.H.S.E., A.N.E.F., GAUC Chair, School of Nursing; (916) 734-1493,
    The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing offers the Family Caregiving Graduate Academic Unit Certificate Program (FCG-GAUC). The Graduate Academic Unit Certificate Program in Family Caregiving educates health care professionals to conduct a comprehensive assessment and integrate family caregivers into the health care team to ensure family caregivers are supported and prepared to fulfill their role over the caregiving trajectory. By providing students with the knowledge and application of best practices in the research, leadership and clinical environments students are able to effect change and lead the paradigm shift from person-centered care to family-centered care.
  • Translational Research
  • Program Contact: Angela Sharma, Project & Policy Analyst, Clinical and Translational Sciences Center, Translational Research Education & Development Office;
    Program Website
    The Translational Research GAUC is designed for doctoral students with an interest in gaining competence in Translational Research, but who are unable to apply for the DE in Translational Research. This training is a key component of a larger UCD strategy for creating a groundbreaking translational research program that is team-based and multidisciplinary and to make bold new changes in how we train our basic scientist students to discover answers to medical challenges. The overarching goal is to provide an innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable model for training a new cadre of PhD biologists who will have productive careers in clinically relevant basic research. Visit the Translational Research website to learn more.