Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs about Certificates, Concentrations, and Minors


     
  1. What is a certificate?
       
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    A departmental certificate is the most common of three types of certificates.  Departmental certificates are offered at the pre-baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate, and post-master's levels. A certificate program comprises a sequence of well-designed, cohesive coursework that meets a clear and appropriate educational objective in a timely manner. A pre-baccalaureate certificate must require at least 12 s.h. and no more than one-half of the s.h. requirement of a related undergraduate degree. Post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates must require at least 9 s.h. and no more than one-half of the s.h. requirement of a related graduate degree. The university may offer other certificates that provide professional development for practitioners and that may lead to certification or licensure in a given area.

       
       

    Note: Once a certificate is approved on campus, ECU's Office of Student Financial Aid will submit the certificate information to the U.S. Department of Education to determine if the program is eligible for participation in the Title IV (financial aid) programs.

       
       

    Two additional types of certificates are available in addition to the departmental certificate:

       
       

    A certificate of advanced study (CAS) is a sixth-year course of study for professional licensure of public school teachers and administrators and usually requires one year of study beyond the master's degree.

       
       

    The university may offer other certificates that provide professional development for practitioners and may lead to certification or licensure in a given area.

       
       

    Unlike a degree program, a certificate can be established or discontinued at the university level, unless inter-institutional.

       
     
  3. What is the difference between a concentration and an academic concentration?
     
  4.     A concentration is a course sequence that focuses on a particular area of study within the discipline of the degree program.    
       

    An academic concentration is a course sequence of 18 s.h. required for a teacher licensure area (TLA). These specific course clusters must meet licensure requirements of the State Board of Education, but do not lead to the conferral of a particular degree or a certificate of advanced study. The TLA may be at the entry or advanced level of teacher licensure.

     
           
  5. Are there established criteria for minors?
     
  6.     An undergraduate minor comprises a 24-30 s.h. sequence of coursework that provides an in-depth understanding of a specific discipline. Often this course sequence is taken from the core of the respective degree program.    
       

    At the present time, no criteria for a graduate minor have been specified, and certificates are preferred over minors.

     

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