Enrollment and Support

Certificates & Specializations

The first step to a brighter future.

Once you’ve selected a program to pursue, you may be wondering what to do next.

Step 1: Enroll in a Course

Enrolling in one of the courses in the program (ideally an intro course) is a great first step. Not sure what to take? Reach out to the program representative, whose contact information is on the program web page. 

It's important to know that you'll pay for each course individually and most courses are open enrollment. This means you can take a course or two before committing to a program to make sure it’s the right one for you.  However, a select number of programs do require an application prior to enrollment and this information is highlighted on those program pages.

Step 2: Establish Candidacy

Your next step is to apply for the program. But why should you establish candidacy?

  • Receive tailored information to help you succeed in your program
  • Access to exclusive benefits (certificate students)
  • Lock in the most current terms and conditions of your program, as curricula and requirements are subject to change.
  • It’s required in order to receive your official certificate or award of completion upon completing your program.
  1. On your program page, click the yellow “Apply Now” button under the course listings.
  2. Read the program application details and click Apply Now. 
  3. Login or create a new student account.
  4. Once you are logged into the student portal, you can select “My Applications” from the left side menu at any time to return to your application. Click the yellow “Start” button to proceed.
  5. Complete any application requirements listed under “Pages: To Do”.
  6. Pay the Application fee*
  7. Submit your application.
*Application fees may be nontransferable and nonrefundable.

The timeline for approval of an application varies by program. For most programs, applications will be approved within two days. For others, the timeline for approval is 2-3 weeks.


Step 3: Complete Your Program

  • You’ll enroll in and pay for each course individually each quarter.*
  • To ensure that our programs and courses reflect the most current and relevant academic content, you will be required to complete your program requirements within five years, including any courses taken prior to establishing candidacy if you wish them to count toward your requirements. 
  • If you allow your candidacy to lapse and later decide to reestablish candidacy, you may be required to pay the full application fee again. You will also be subject to the curriculum requirements in effect at that time.
*Unless otherwise noted. 

Step 4: Receive Your Credentials

Once you have completed all of your coursework, you will receive your certificate (certificate students) or award of completion (specialization students) from the UCLA Extension Registrar.

Receiving Your Credentials

Exclusive Benefits for 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
  • Participate in the annual UCLA Extension Graduation Ceremony on campus to celebrate all your hard work
  • Access to UCLA Recreation* as a student affiliate
  • Open a UCLA Bruin ID Card* for a number of student-related benefits
  • Access to UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online resources and networking events
*Nominal fee required

Frequently Asked Questions

A certificate offers in-depth study of a professional field through coursework that balances theory and practice, providing learners knowledge and expertise in less time than many traditional postgraduate degrees. A specialization is a short series of courses designed to help you quickly gain knowledge in a focused area of study and acquire in-demand skills sought by employers.

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.

Employers worldwide recognize the value of ongoing training and up-to-date skills. Academic certificate programs and specializations are typically very well received by employers and can be a significant consideration for hiring and promotion. In addition, our 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.

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 program. 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 program. For specific application to your program, contact the program representative.

You do not need a college (bachelor's) degree to enroll in most programs. Most courses are conducted 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 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 program 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.

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, while fulltime students take three. You are free to skip a quarter, as long as you complete program requirements within five years.

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