Undergraduate and graduate certificates offered and awarded within the College of ACES are intended to address a growing demand for knowledge in specific areas of personal interest or career exploration. Certificate(s) provide students with a credential -- an official certificate document -- which validates their competency in the specialization area in which the certificate is awarded.

ACES certificate proposal

Certificate Proposal Process

  1. Complete the ACES certificate proposal (go.aces.illinois.edu/CertificateProposal).
  2. Your proposal will automatically route to your department-level Courses and Curriculum (C&C) Committee and your department head to review and offer suggestions.
  3. After department approval, your certificate proposal will automatically route to the ACES C&C Committee and the Associate Dean of Academic Programs to review, offer suggestions, and approve.
  4. Once approved, you will receive an email notification that your certificate has been approved and is ready to launch. 

Best Practice Recommendations

  • Identify the target audience for your certificate.
    • Who are the learners? What are their needs and interests? Are they current students or non-degree learners? Will they prefer online accessibility, blended modality, or face-to-face instruction?
  • Determine the objective and/or intent of your certificate.
    • What skills, knowledge, and perspectives will learners attain as a result of completing this certificate?
  • Select the required courses and elective courses that will be included in the certificate.
    • While there is no defined rule on the number of courses and credit hours for a certificate, it's recommended that an undergraduate-level certificate be at least 9 hours but no more than 15 credit hours, and graduate-level certificates be at least 12 credit hours. 
  • Create a title for your certificate. 
    • Does the title reflect the intention of the certificate? Is it clear and succinct? Will it generate interest from your target audience? Will the title be appealing for the learner to add to their online profiles and resume?

Certificate Conditions

  • Certificate(s) awarded will not appear on a student’s official academic record, transcript, or diploma. 
  • Certificate(s) must be awarded no later than the final day of classes in the student’s final term to affirm that the requirements for the certificate have been met.
  • Certificate(s) may not be awarded retroactively after a degree has been conferred. 
  • Students completing a certificate may list this credential on a resume or application for advanced study. 

Getting Your Certificate Information Online

  1. When your program is ready to go live, submit the information you want to display on your website to the web certificates form.
  2. The web team will populate the certificates page on the ACES web site.
  3. Your department will work with the ACES web team to display your certificate page.


Email Debra Korte, director for learning innovation and e-learning in the College of ACES.