Doctoral Certificate? Does it Exist?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mdg1775, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Just trying to find out if there is such an animal as a Doctoral Certificate or Program leading to a certificate that does not require one to go all the way through coursework and dissert.

    Someone at the "watercooler" mentioned that they are working on one and it sounds FISHY or "Less than Wonderful" but who am I to judge?


    P.S. If there is such a thing...where can I get one?
  2. KKA

    KKA Member


    I think, it is a postgraduate certificate or an education specialist certificate! One may argue, since it is a post-masterate qualification, that it is a doctoral level certifcate, especially if one subscribes to a scaffolding system of credentials.

  3. Dr Dave

    Dr Dave New Member

    A doctoral degree is either an academic or a professional doctorate. A certificate is an abbreviated course of study in a discipline at the bachelor's level. An advanced certificate is undertaken at the graduate level. There is no such thing as a "doctoral certificate". I have seen a certificate in the education field that simply states that the person has completed a certain number of hours of study beyond the M.Ed. But it is not titled "Doctoral Certificate".

    Following my MBA program I later earned the Advanced Certificate in Management (ACM). The criteria for entering the program were 1) the person had to have already earned an MBA, and 2) the person's MBA degree had to be ten years old or older. The aim of the ACM was to enable the returning student to expand/update knowledge in their MBA concentration, to go off in an entirely new direction of inquiry, or to take courses in a combination of areas. There were also integrative seminars. I chose to continue studies in my MBA concentration (Organizational Studies). The ACM was never promoted by the graduate school of business as a "doctoral certificate", nor have I ever portrayed it as such to employers or anyone else.

    David April
    BA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    MBA, Boston College
    ACM, Boston College
    DBA, California Pacific University
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2004
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you are talking about a Post doctoral certificate. This type of certificate is given by some universities upon completion of a post doctoral fellowship. However, you are required to have a PhD for such appointment. You are admitted into a Post doctoral fellowship based on your publication record and contact with a faculty member. You can make few bucks during the process but funding is not easy to get unless you have a good publication record. DL doctorates from DL schools are normally weak in publication requirements so getting a Post Doctoral certificate can help you to build your publication record in order to
    land a faculty position.

    UCLA and MIT are some of the universities that grant certificates for post doctoral appointments. It would be interesting to see if PhDs from DL schools are able to land post doctoral positions at top universities, I would say that it is possible depending on the idividual's motivation and contacts.
  5. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member


    I think what the gentleman was speaking of was more in line with what Dr. Dave mentioned...a Master's Certificate (Kinda Like the ACM). But he just seemed so darned sure that it was a Doctoral Certificate (I know that he does not have a PhD).

    Thanks again
  6. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    There is no such thing as a "doctoral certificate", although, as RFValve points out, there are some schools that will award a post-doctoral certificate. The closest thing would be a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S. or C.A.S.), a post-masters certificate usually requiring about 1/2 of the credits needed to complete a doctorate. It is roughly equivalent to an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), although the Ed.S. is considered to be a degree, rather than an certificate. Both are considered above a masters, but below a doctorate and do not require a research dissertation. They may involve coursework only, coursework + comprehensive exam or coursework + applied project.

    Tony Pina
    Faculty, Cal State U. San Bernardino
  7. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study


    Do you have any idea of which schools offer the CAGS or CAS? Now, since I have learned that they exist...I may be interested in learning more about them, like where can I get one (in between now and the time it takes me to finish NCU). Please advise if you have some insight. Thanks!!
  8. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

    Hi Mike - I am not speaking for Tony here but my experience is that CAGS programs are very specifically focused. I know where I could get a CAGS in Addiction Studies or in Child Psychotherapy (at Boston University) but each school offers only limited concentrations. You'll need to say what specific area interests you before a school can be identified. BTW, the BU programs cited above are good programs but they are not DL programs.
  9. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Some engineering schools (USC for example) offer the "Engineer" degree which is just about equal to a doctorate without the disertation.
    The University of Wisconsin (if I recall correctly) offers (or used to offer) a PD; aka Professional Development degree.
  10. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Re: Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

    Here are a few (in some different disciplines). There are many more examples than this:

    Tony Pina
    Faculty, Cal State U. San Bernardino
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

    In the case of business degrees, the program name is Post-MBA and normally requires 15 to 12 credits. The Post Master of Business Administration is meant for MBA holders that wnat to upgrade skills or change field of concentration and do not want to persue a PhD or a second master's degree.
  12. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Thanks Tony, et. al.

    This is a wealth of knowledge....however, none seem to have a DL or Online program. I will do a few searches and see if I can find a program in Business, Project Management, or Communications that is strictly (or primarily) via DL.

  13. agilham

    agilham New Member

    Re: Thanks Tony, et. al.

    How about the Stanford Advanced Project Management Programme?

  14. warguns

    warguns Member

    re: doctoral certificate

    There's definitely nothing actually called a "doctoral certificate". Some school offer a degree to doctoral candidates when they have completed all the requirements for the doctorate except for the dissertation. At my graduate school it was the MPhil.
  15. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    did you say Project Management (I'm a PMP)? You have multiple options in both degrees via DL and certfications for graduate but not post doctoral. has links to some. Be careful of accreditation issues with some of the schools listed.

    My favorite program is Western Carolina University. They offer a Masters in PM that is six classes (6 credits each) and AACSB accreditied.

    UW-Platteville offers a MS in PM

    Multiple folks offer a MBA with a project management

    Amberton University now has a PM certificate and the classes can be taken at both the undergraduate and graduate level and/or be used as management classes as part of one of their Masters degrees.

    Florida Tech has a certificate in Program management or a MS in Project Management with concentrations.

    I also know of at least one PhD program in Project Management, but it is for engineers.

    The Stanford program does not carry academic credit but the name can't hurt.

    If you need any other info PM me or holler back. One of my additional duties is as the alternate PM Program Manager so I have laid my hands on a bunch of different providers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2004
  16. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member



    its funny that you would mention PMI...I did a lot of research on their website and Gantt, when I was working on my MS. I had 4 PM Classes at SMSU.

    I will take a look at your suggestions...I like Stanford, but I am thinking that the Price will be unreachable.

  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: Thanks Tony, et. al.

    Argosy has an advanced graduate certificate for Master's graduates. Argosy has 11 campuses in the US and offer also on campus programs at the doctoral level. Price is very competitive too. I talked to an admissions officer and he says that a post-doctoral certificate can be arranged too but he would need to confirm this to me.

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