Graduate Cetificates???

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bmeyer, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. bmeyer

    bmeyer New Member

    What is a Graduate Certificate? Obviously I know what value a Graduate degree has, but what value, employment wise, does a Graduate Certificate carry?

    Would you ever prefer a certificate to a degree? Sounds silly but I am (un)enlightened on this subject...enlighten me...please.

  2. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I think most commonly there is little difference between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree with the exception that the certificate is fewer units. You usually take the same courses, just fewer.

    Graduate certificates are sometimes in more specific fields (as opposed to the more general graduate field). For example, some universities that offer MAs in Linguistics or Applied Linguistics might also offer a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Some graduate programs in management or business offer certificates in Non-Profit Organization Management (or the like).

    One reason to get a graduate certificate instead of the degree is that you already have an MA (in a different field), but you want to show/attain knowledge in a new field. This could be because of new interests or for a job qualification or whatever.

    Tom Nixon
  3. Caballero Lacaye

    Caballero Lacaye New Member

    Hey, Tom!

    As a matter of fact, there is also the Advanced Graduate Certificate in addition to the (regular) Graduate Certificate. I am not so sure what the differences between these two are, except, obviously, that the Advanced Graduate Certificate requires more units. I suspect, though, that this last term is used somewhat arbitrarily. Do you know something about this?

    Take care,

    Karlos Alberto Lacaye
    [email protected]
  4. welshboy

    welshboy New Member

    bmeyer, similar to what has been said here, the Certificate is just the first part of the Masters, using the same modules that would be used for the whole qualification.

    Take 1 example(not sure if the same in the US, but it is for the UK):

    When one person takes an MBA, it is done traditionally in three stages. You do the first part (third of the qualification), and you are awarded the PGCM (Post Grad Cert in Management). If you then go onto the second part (another third of the total qualification), you are awarded the PGDM (Post Grad Diploma in Management). The third part then is the dissertation, which makes up the MBA. At any stage, after first, second or the whole thing, you can finish, having the last stage that you completed as the qualification (Cert, Diploma, MBA).

    Obviously, when you do the Cert, you have that. If you do the Diploma, the Cert no longer remains in force as that it counted towards the award of the Diploma, and if you do the third stage, you come away with the MBA.

    The value? They are all good, but obviously with the Certificate, you haven't done as much work as someone with a Master's degree would have done.

    If people say that the Cert is as a good as a Masters, then that's comparable to saying that an associates is as good as a Bachelors, which it obviously isn't. It's undergraduate, but it's only part of the qualificaiton (Bachelors), although it is a qualification in it's own right. Similarly, the Cert is a qualification in it's own right and is Post Grad level, but it's not as near the level or workload as a Master's.
  5. George Brown

    George Brown Active Member

    This may assist in your search. The Australian Qualifications Framework Advisory Board (AQFAB) has developed descriptors for all qualifications issued in Australia. The following link will take you to the Grad Cert and Grad Dip descriptor:

    If you go to the 'AQF Implementation Handbook' link, you can download a PDF file which contains detailed descriptions of the characteristics of learning outcomes at this level.



    PS Please note the Grad Cert and Dip new descriptors which were due to be ratified by MCEETYA in July did not go through. They are an issue of hot debate at the momment ie can TAFE and Unis delivery a Grad Dip. Soon to be resolved we hope.
  6. Nosborne

    Nosborne New Member

    University of London allows external students to examine for one or more postgraduate subjects without seeking the Master's degree. They award a certificate "under Seal of the University" for each subject passed. Odd, though...they won't allow the student to use these certificates toward a degree even though the student must meet all requirements to register for the Master's.!
  7. Peter French

    Peter French member

    If you are looking at an Australian degree in this area be very careful. Our Carlyle Education (a registered provider of Nationally Recognised Training to Advanced Diploma level) can issue a GRADUATE CERTIFICATE but it has nothing to do with a Masters degree in any sense.

    The basic chart looks a bit like this;

    Graduate certificate - 1/2 of a Graduate Diploma or 1/4 of a Masters
    Graduate Diploma - 1/2 of a Masters
    ...provided that it is what used to be called a POST Graduate Certificate/Diploma, otherwise it may well comprise undergraduate units (year 1-3) simply repackaged for delivery to graduates of an unrelated discipline.

    Graduate Certificate/Diploma - may not even be undergraduate units, but VET units - excellent but 'applied' not 'conceptual' and therefore not univrersity level studies.

    George and I are aware of a case at the moment where someone has received a highly respected Masters made up of these fragmented and in this case unrelated courses.

    Should we restate - 'caveat emptor'

    Peter French
    Melbourne, Australia
  8. Caballero Lacaye

    Caballero Lacaye New Member

    Hello, readers!

    After a brief research, I've found out that a Graduate Certificate is designed for people who have an undergraduate degree while an Advanced Graducate Certificate is designed for people who already have a graduate degree. I am now not sure if an Advanced Graduate Certificate has more depth than a Graduate Certificate or if it is just the nomenclature that differentiates them. Does a reader know more about this?

    Bye for now,

    Karlos Alberto Lacaye
    [email protected]
  9. Frangop

    Frangop New Member

    In a nutshell, a Grad Cert. is 1/3 one-third of a Masters degree or an MBA.

    12 units completed = MBA
    8 units completed = Grad Diploma
    4 units completed = Grad Cert.

  10. Nicole-HUX

    Nicole-HUX New Member

    As you might gather by now, it depends, and it would be worthwhile to interact with the school from which the certificate is offered to find out why they offer what they do, and for what most of their students intend to use the certificate.

    The HUX program is considering offering concentration certificates in our five disciplines because many of our student wish to use our M.A. as an entry level credential for teaching at the community college level. Some of these colleges require either a degree specifically in the area in which the student wishes to teach, or evidence of a certain number of units accomplished in the subject area. So, for example, if you already had a master's degree awarded in Public Administration but wished to teach in History, a certificate confirming you had taken 12 units of Graduate level history courses might help you get your foot in the door.

    We also have quite a number of high school teachers who need to keep their teaching credentials up to date, but who don't necessarily need a master's to do so. A certificate would also be of benefit to them.

    Hope this helps.
  11. Peter French

    Peter French member

    Mr Faceless Fragop ...

    Maybe in the context of some MBA degrees, but there is *no guarantee* that a Graduate Certificate is graduate, or even undergraduate units, and therefore your statement is not absolute. A TAFE Grad Cert?

    Dual sector universities must be closely examined as to their content for a start ...

    Even with masters degrees in Australia, you can unwittingly get a repackaged bunch of undergraduate subjects - what a joke!

    Peter French
  12. Frangop

    Frangop New Member



    My comment is based on what is offered by Deakin & Monash, where a Grad Cert (business) is just that - a 1/3rd of an MBA.

    By the way, what did you mean by “faceless”?? I don't get it !!

  13. Ike

    Ike New Member

    His/her name or surname is probably Frangop and if so, he is not "faceless".

  14. Peter French

    Peter French member

    "Frangop" - is who you are? You have been politely asked to make contact with George Brown and i have done the same, however you prefer to hide/stay behind your 'name' and use your company's (if it is Esanda) webpage as a reference.

    You prefer to stay as you are, despite the fact that i am in the same City, and involved in the same industry in a sense.

    That is OK - that is your right. It is also my right to treat with appropriate contempt those who for watever reason prefer to remain unidentified, particularly when their news is late, of little or no consequence, or inaccurate and misleading.

    As far as your comment is concerned, it may apply in one degree stream at one university, but that doesn't make it the rule.

    If you were more aware of the current position in Australia regarding these 'degrees', you would be aware of the issue. It is as I have stated it. It is of real concern in some quarters, and George and i are working on an instance where one university is issuing a high level masters based on 2 unrelated graduate certificates. This is serious, and currently being addressed, but may not be an isolated instance.

    Maybe you would like to correspond off-line.

    Peter French,
    MEd MAcc (UNE - Australia) CMA
    Melbourne, Australia
    [email protected]
  15. Peter French

    Peter French member

    No - it is not, and he has been asked very politely to contact someone here by emial, but no response. I am now asking the same thing.

    My address is
    [email protected]

    My mobile is 0413 126 728

    Peter French
    MAcc MEd (UNE)
    Associate Aust Inst of Banking & Finance
    [Member No 103402]
    Melbourne, Australia
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I feel it is fine for people to post anonymously, with two reservations. First, if they flame, they do so in a cowardly fashion. Being able to back up what you say with who you are also requires you to show some restraint. Second, if you do not identify who you are, then your education, work experiences, and life experiences are not valid forms of support for your statements.

    Other than that, post away.

    Rich Douglas (not my real name)
  17. Peter French

    Peter French member

    And again we agree to differ - but we do agree

    (not my real name either)
  18. Dr Dave

    Dr Dave New Member

    I can shed a little light on "advanced certificates". While a graduate certificate can be considered the first six courses of a master's degree requirement, an advanced certificate is taken following the master's, and is considered as an update or an "add-on".

    Ten years after getting my MBA at Boston College, I returned for the Advanced Certificate in Management (ACM). Those were among the entrance rules incidentally--you had to have an MBA which was at least 10 years old. I used the opportunity to take courses and to do independent readings that I had missed in the MBA. I found the coursework, integrative activities, and the program in general to be enriching.

    On the practical side of things, I did find that the ACM honed my competitive edge somewhat--but not automatically. Most prospective employers instantly understand degrees and professional certifications, but have a very poor understanding of graduate and advanced certificates per se. So in interviews I found it best to briefly explain the concept and achievement to ensure it was seen as a plus.
  19. Peter French

    Peter French member

    Well, in that case you should all keep the Australian option quiet as I can get you Graduate Certificates that you can do underwater on one breath, with both hands tied behind your back.

    Who'd know? Accredited? Yes effectively.

    Peter French
  20. Jeffrey Ahrendt

    Jeffrey Ahrendt New Member

    This dialogue has caused a bit of confusion on my part regarding the perception of graduate certificates from Australian universities. At present, I am strongly considering USQ's grad certificate program in online learning. From all I have heard, USQ is a quality operation and, from my view, the methods and materials they use seem quite strong. This dicussion, however, has raised concerns on my part regarding the acceptance of graduate certificates in general and of those from Australian Unis in particular. I guess my question is this: does the completion of such a program result in a useful credential, or one that is viewed as second-rate?

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