We often get asked what a graduate certificate is and if it’s the same as a Master’s degree. Earning a certificate is an educational and professional option that’s become increasingly popular. A graduate certificate usually requires 6 months, and a graduate diploma usually requires 1 year to obtain. A graduate certificate is similar to an undergraduate certificate in that it supplements an existing area of study and can be completed in a shorter amount of time because of a lighter course load than a full-term degree. Students pursue graduate certificates for both professional and academic reasons. Common examples include the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and conversion courses such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Graduate certificates are great for those looking to increase their knowledge, to explore other fields, or to change careers. Post-graduate certificates can be in the student’s area of choice. While graduate degree programs operate via GPAs, graduate certificates are often Pass/Fail. The course aims to provide students with a high quality program linked to their professional and career development needs in areas that are of priority for schools and systems. You can earn a professional or liberal arts graduate certificate online or on campus. It is also the least expensive type of academic credential. Coursera, for example, gives you a percentage grade on each assignment and then a final combined score. Arts Literature & Media . Develop new skills and build expertise in a specialized area to update your professional profile, advance your career, or broaden your knowledge base. Most graduate certificate programs consist of three to twelve courses and may take about one year or less of full-time study to complete. Degree Cybersecurity Certificates . Though many online master’s programs offer an accelerated route. For example, a certification in cosmetology will allow you to officially work as a hairdresser. Obtaining a bachelor degree will qualify you as someone with a wide range of technical and theoretical knowledge of a subject, and the ability to apply that knowledge in a variety of contexts. Graduate certificates vs. master's degrees. When to Use Diploma Unlike a degree—which can take between two and four years to finish—certificates require as little as a few months to a few years to complete. A wide range of graduate certification programs are offered by accredited colleges and universities and are often available both on campus and as an online only basis. But otherwise are distinct in focus, credit requirements, length and appeal. Benefits of a Postgraduate Certificate. You’re Looking for Career Progression. A graduate certificate is usually earned after a master's or doctoral program, perhaps if the APRN is wanting to switch or add specialties. A post-master's certificate (also referred to as a post-graduate certificate) is a pathway for nurses who have earned a master's degree to gain specialized knowledge. Online students can generally pursue a graduate certificate alone or alongside a graduate degree. Many certification programs require an apprenticeship program for completion. This is a great option if you are looking to extend your existing knowledge base or upskill in a certain area. A graduate certificate is a postgraduate credential that, much like a graduate degree, is focused on a specific field of study. Practical Knowledge, Certification Prep. A graduate certificate is an educational credential representing completion of specialized training at the college or university level. Like a postgraduate diploma, it is standard practice to use 'PgCert' or 'PgC' as a post-nominal designation after completing the certificate course. A graduate certificate can be awarded by universities upon completion of certain coursework indicating mastering of a specific subject area. However, a master’s degree is a graduate degree which shows that a candidate has achieved a certain level of mastery in a particular field. Some common professional training courses that allow you entry to regulated professions are also classified as postgraduate diplomas and certificates - for example the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for aspiring solicitors, the PGDip in Social Work, and the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for those seeking a career in the classroom. Post-master's certificates add another year or two of graduate study and are usually more specialized. The second sense of certificate is a legal document that states that you can officially practice in certain professions. Earning a certificate takes less time and is more affordable than earning a master’s degree. A graduate certificate, sometimes called a "professional certificate," is awarded for completing an educational program in a specific field and offers professionals the option to develop the desired skills for a profession and may be attained faster than a degree. A certificate typically consists of from three to twelve courses, all commonly completed within a year or a year-and-a-half of study. Certificates consist of courses that help you develop career competency in a single subject. The Graduate Certificate of Education is designed for teachers and other professionals to undertake a focussed short-term study program and to gain credit for it. Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas are usually a subset of the units offered in a master’s degree. 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