Advance in your career or begin a new one with an academic certificate.

Benefits Exclusive to Certificate Students

  • Access to Handshake, UCLA Career Center’s online job board, with access to thousands of job and internship postings
  • Become a member of the UCLA Alumni Association (upon completing your certificate) and a nationwide network of Bruin family
  • Join us for the annual UCLA Extension Graduation Ceremony on campus to celebrate all your hard work 
  • Get access to UCLA Recreation facilities as a student affiliate for $50/quarter   
  • Open an affiliate/Guest UCLA Bruin Card for a $10 fee, for a number of student-related benefits
  • PLUS, all UCLA Extension students have access to UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online career coaching, workshops and networking events

See what a certificate from UCLA Extension can do.

Frequently Asked Questions:

All UCLA Extension certificate programs require an application to establish candidacy, however most programs are open enrollment.  Click the “Apply Now” button on the page of your chosen certificate to begin the process.

Details on how candidacy works.

Academic certificates are ideal if you want specific, practical knowledge in a particular field. Certificates offer a focused course of study balancing theory and practice with an emphasis on real-world experience. Because completing an academic certificate program can take less time and significantly less money than a graduate degree, it's also an ideal way to quickly improve your professional skills, gain practical training, or explore alternate careers. In addition, most of UCLA Extension's certificate programs offer open enrollment, meaning you will not have to take preliminary standardized tests, compete for enrollment, or have a certain GPA for admission.

Academic certificate programs consist of a sequence of courses of at least 120 credit-bearing hours that provide instruction in a coherent body of knowledge within a specialized field. Successful completion leads to the award of a formal academic testimonial, appearing on the student's transcript and commemorated by a university gold-seal certificate document signed by the dean of UCLA Extension. All certificate program curricula have been approved by the appropriate dean or faculty of a UCLA or UC school, department, or college. For certificate programs, the full curriculum (in addition to individual courses) also meets University of California guidelines.

Specializations are sequences of courses, often with fewer than 120 credit-bearing hours, providing relevant instruction in a particular area. Successful completion leads to documentation appearing on the student's official transcript and commemorated by an award of completion document signed by the Dean of UCLA extension. All courses in specializations have been approved by the UCLA Academic Senate. 

Employers worldwide recognize the value of ongoing training and up-to-date skills. Academic certificate programs are typically very well received by employers and can be a significant consideration for hiring and promotion. In addition, certificate program curriculum is frequently developed by accredited professional organizations, state commissions and boards, which means employers can rest assured of relevant, current topic coverage in the classroom.

You can take as many courses as you feel you can handle during a quarter; most students who work full-time take one course per quarter. You are free to skip a quarter, as long as you complete the certificate within its defined time frame.

In general, yes. There are some exceptions such as courses and internships reserved exclusively for our certificate candidates; check individual course listings for exceptions.

If you've completed courses at an accredited U.S. college that seem to be equivalent, you can petition to apply your prior coursework towards your certificate. Upon acceptance of your petition, an amount up to a maximum of 25% of the units in your program may be advanced and specific required courses may also be waived. Petitions for advanced standing and course waivers must be made within the first quarter of the certificate program. For specific application to your program, contact your certificate program advisor.

You do not need a college (bachelor's) degree to enroll in a course or program. Most certificate program courses are at the academic level of post-baccalaureate (college/bachelor's degree) or some may be at the level of undergraduate major sequences. While most advanced courses typically have prerequisites, we usually offer introductory courses you can take if you're at a beginning level or need to refresh your knowledge. Typically you can also try a course to see if you're comfortable with the level. Your certificate programs advisor can work with you to plan your curriculum and review any potential transfer or substitution courses, depending on your academic background and professional accomplishments.

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