The University of Colorado Boulder offers official certificate programs for degree-seeking and nondegree students. Certificates offer students the opportunity to pursue certain professional skills, customize their degree or explore different educational interests.
If your department wishes to offer a certificate that will post to a student's official record and transcript (i.e., an official certificate), the department must ensure that the certificate requirements meet established criteria.
- For undergraduate certificates, consult Academic Affairs' guidelines for academic certificates for undergraduates.
- For graduate certificates, consult the Graduate School's graduate certificate proposal process and policies.
To propose a new certificate, follow the steps under propose a new program, plan or certificate.
Certificate coordinators can run the following Cognos report to view how many students are active, discontinued or completed in their certificate program:
CU Reporting > CUBLD > Records and Registration > General Student Records Data Reports > Certificate Status Report
This report allows certificate coordinators to select multiple or individual certificate programs and includes information about whether the student has completed a degree program in the same career, is enrolled in the current or a future term, etc.
The milestone status column displays Completed once the Office of the Registrar has received notification from the certificate coordinator that the student has completed their certificate. When a student finishes their degree and they have a completed milestone, the Office of the Registrar will award the certificate for the semester in which the student graduated from their degree program.
If you don't have Cognos access and would like to run this report, follow the instructions on the CU-SIS Access page to request access.
When completing the CU-SIS Access Request Form:
- In the System Access Requested list, select Cognos.
- In the Required Job Duties field, indicate that you're a certificate coordinator who needs access to the following report (include title and navigation): Certificate Status Report (CU Reporting > CUBLD > Records and Registration > General Student Records Data Reports > Certificate Status Report).
Students must obtain approval from the host department before pursuing a certificate program. Departments are responsible for notifying the Office of the Registrar when a student declares a certificate, no longer wishes to pursue a certificate or has completed the certificate program requirements.
Departments should use the "Declare" option on the student certificate declaration and change form to notify the Office of the Registrar when it has approved a student to pursue a certificate. Please allow two to three days for processing.
Students will received an automated email confirming their enrollment once the certificate is added to their record.
Note: The Office of the Registrar only adds certificates to degree-seeking students' records. If you submit a student certificate declaration and change form for a nondegree student, we will forward the request to the Division of Continuing Education.
Once a student completes the requirements for a certificate, departments should notify the Office of the Registrar using the "Award" option on the student certificate declaration and change form. In the "Term Student Completed All Certificate Requirements In" field, please indicate when the student completed the certificate requirements. The Office of the Registrar will keep track of when the certificates are able to be posted to the student's transcript.
Departments should submit the form when the student completes the requirements for the certificate; however, due to federal financial aid regulations, Office of the Registrar staff won't process it for degree-seeking students until after their degrees have posted to their transcripts. Nondegree students may have certificates posted to their records at the close of the term in which the certificate requirements were completed and the Office of the Registrar notified.
Certificates are posted to eligible students' transcripts approximately five days after degrees post in a given term. Students whose certificates post on or after Fall 2017 are also issued an official certificate document.
If a student no longer wishes to pursue a certificate, departments should notify the Office of the Registrar using the "Discontinue" option on the student certificate declaration and change form. Please allow two to three days for processing.
Posting and Conferral
Only certificate programs approved by the host department will post to the student's official transcript. Any requests to post unofficial, unapproved certificates will be reported to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education or the Graduate School Dean.
Departments should submit the form when the student completes the requirements for the certificate; however, due to federal financial aid regulations, Office of the Registrar staff won't process it for degree-seeking students until after their degrees have posted to their transcripts.
Beginning with the Summer 2017 semester, departments must submit certificate award notifications by the Friday after degrees post (see Certificate Calendar in sidebar).
Once the Office of the Registrar awards the certificate, the credential appears on the student's transcript in one of two places, depending on when the student completed the requirements.
- Fall 2013 or later: The certificate appears in the top block of the transcript (like a degree).
- Before Fall 2013: The certificate appears as transcript text within the term in which the student completed it.
In Campus Solutions, only students who completed their certificate on or after Fall 2013 have a corresponding program/plan stack.
Faculty & Staff
- Class Enrollment
- Class & Facility Scheduling
- Curriculum & Catalog
- Faculty & Staff Calendar
- Grade Processing
- Program Enrollment
- Records & Privacy
- Student Data & Systems Access
- Training & Support
The following dates apply to students who are graduating from a degree program in the given term.
- Degrees post 9/10/2021, after 5 p.m.
- Completion notifications due 9/17/2021
- Certificates post 9/24/2021, after 5 p.m.
- Incomplete certificates discontinued starting 10/8/2021
- Degrees post 1/14/2022, after 5 p.m.
- Completion notifications due 1/14/2022
- Certificates post 1/21/2022, after 5 p.m.
- Incomplete certificates discontinued starting 2/4/2022