A standalone certificate is an undergraduate certificate awarded to an undergraduate student without the requirement that the student is working toward earning a baccalaureate degree.

Standalone certificates may be developed by departments and submitted for approval through the Office of Academic Programs and Assessment.

Standalone certificates were approved by Faculty Senate on March 12, 2020, along with the proposal of Academic Regulation 32.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How are students admitted to standalone certificate programs?

A: Applicants complete the online admission application, indicating that they are seeking a standalone certificate program. The admission requirements for standalone certificate applicants are the same for undergraduate degree-seeking students. All admission processes and requirements are the same as for other undergraduate applicants. Students already admitted as degree-seeking students can move into a standalone certificate program by working with their academic advisor to submit a change of academic program request to drop the degree program and add a standalone certificate program.


Q: Do standalone certificate applicants have to pay the admission application fee?

A: Yes.


Q: Do standalone certificate students have to meet the foreign language admission requirement?

A: Yes, standalone certificate students who do not meet the foreign language admission requirement will have the DFL attribute added to their record at the time of admission like other undergraduate students.


Q: Are standalone certificate students non-degree seeking students?

A: No, standalone certificate students are undergraduate (Level 01) students. They have a special student type to indicate that they are certificate-seeking and not degree-seeking.


Q: Can standalone certificate students qualify for financial aid?

A: Financial aid eligibility depends on both the specific certificate program and the student.  Standalone certificate programs must be approved for financial aid by the US Department of Education.  Some certificate programs may be eligible for financial aid while others are not.


Q: Can I apply for two standalone certificates at the time of admission?

A: You will apply for one standalone certification at the time of admission and, following admission, work with your academic advisor to add the second certificate to your declared program of study.


Q: Can I pursue a degree at another institution and pursue a standalone certification at OSU?

A: Yes, pursuing a degree at another college or university will not prevent you from pursuing and completing a standalone certificate at OSU. Keep in mind that if your OSU certificate is financial aid eligible, you cannot seek financial aid at two different institutions; you should seek aid at the  institution where you plan to complete a degree.


Q: How do I know which certificate programs are offered as standalone certificates?

A: The academic catalog will identify whether a given certificate program is offered as one or more of the following: standalone, post-baccalaureate, or embedded. Colleges identify the student population(s) when submitting the certificate curriculum proposal.


Q: Will standalone certificate students have priority registration?

A: Yes, like all undergraduate students, their priority registration timeslot will be based on the number of earned credits.


Q: Will standalone certificate students pay special tuition or fees?

A: No, they will pay the same tuition rate and fees as other undergraduate students in their college/campus designation.


Q: Can standalone certificate students add a degree program after they matriculate as a certificate student?

A: Yes, standalone certificate students can work with their academic advisor to submit a change of academic program request to add a degree program and become degree-seeking.


Q: Do standalone certificate students attend START?

A: Yes, because standalone certificate students can later add a degree to their program of study, they will attend the orientation program specific to their campus. Ecampus students participate in online orientation but do not attend START.


Q: What happens if a standalone certificate student becomes inactive?

A: Standalone certificate students will follow the same readmission process as other undergraduate students.


Q: Can a post-baccalaureate student pursue a standalone certificate?

A: A post-baccalaureate student can pursue any certificate program that is offered in the academic catalog to post-baccalaureate students. Post-baccalaureate students seeking a degree may also add any certificate programs offered in the academic catalog as embedded certificates.


Q: Are standalone certificates institutionally awarded or do I need to apply to be awarded my certificate?

A: Starting in Fall 2020, all undergraduate degree and undergraduate certificates will be institutionally awarded by the Degree Completion Team in the Office of the Registrar.


Q: How many credits must be completed at OSU to earn a standalone certificate?

A: Standalone certificates are governed by Academic Regulation 32.


Q: Can credits earned for a standalone certificate later be used/applied toward a baccalaureate degree?

A: Yes, because the standalone certificate is a milestone on the way to a degree, credits used for the certificate can later apply to an OSU degree.


Q: Will standalone certificate students get a diploma?

A: No, certificate students are not issued a diploma. Their earned certificate is indicated on their official transcript.