Post Graduate Certificate Programs Online

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

Online graduate certificate programs are specialized programs that enhance existing knowledge and skills. Earning a certificate can also lead to a new career or simply provide additional study in a particular discipline. A shorter alternative to a graduate degree, an online graduate certificate usually requires 12-24 credits. Students can typically earn a graduate certificate within one year. Students interested in earning a graduate certificate online should identify the program that works best for their interests and goals. In this guide, you can learn more about graduate certificates.

What is a Post Graduate Certificate? | GetEducated

What Is a Graduate Certificate?

Online graduate certificates offered by colleges and universities supplement existing knowledge, offering insight into specific aspects of a single discipline. Graduates develop new skills to remain competitive in the workforce. Many graduate certificates emphasize leadership skills, giving learners an edge as they move into administrative and managerial roles.

By earning a graduate certificate, professionals demonstrate advanced understanding of a topic. Business professionals, for example, can pursue a graduate certificate in project management or data analytics, while information technology professionals might benefit from graduate certificates in topics like cybersecurity and database administration.

What Is the Difference Between a Graduate Certificate and a Master’s Degree?

Graduate certificates include fewer credits of coursework than master’s degrees, allowing most learners to graduate within a year. Master’s degrees often take around two years to earn.

Like a master’s program, admission requirements for a certificate track often include a bachelor’s degree and professional experience in the field. However, graduate certificate programs generally do not ask applicants to submit standardized test scores.


Graduate certificates provide a shorter, more affordable alternative to a graduate degree. By taking 12-24 credits of coursework, students gain fundamental knowledge in a specific field in roughly half the time it would take to earn a graduate degree.

As they require fewer credits, graduate certificates do not typically cost as much as master’s degrees. Most master’s degrees include at least 30 credits of coursework, adding additional tuition costs. A graduate degree also takes more time, potentially removing students from the workforce for around two years.

Certificate programs include more specialized content. Students with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, for example, can earn a certificate in healthcare information technology by taking 4-8 targeted classes.


A master’s degree includes comprehensive coursework in a discipline on a broader scale than a certificate. Master’s degrees also incorporate research and practicum requirements, providing more than didactic coursework to learners.

For some professionals, a master’s degree is the better (or only) option for career advancement. An MBA, for example, demonstrates competencies in finance, accounting, and management. This degree provides business professionals with holistic knowledge of the field and offers greater flexibility for career growth.

Because master’s degrees include more coursework, they allow for increased networking during the program. Learners may earn a master’s degree as a member of a cohort, working with the same group of students for several years.

With a master’s degree, learners can also advance into a doctoral program, which is not typically an option for students who earn a graduate certificate.

What Can I Do With a Graduate Certificate?

A graduate certificate offers a flexible option to expand your knowledge in a specific discipline. With a graduate certificate, students can advance within their current career or move into a new industry.

Online graduate certificate programs also give students a glimpse into what a master’s degree might entail, often allowing learners to apply credits from a certificate track toward graduate degree requirements.

Graduate certificates help working professionals stay up to date on emerging technologies, trends, and issues within a field. For example, certificates in cybersecurity and informatics help information technology professionals remain current, while education professionals benefit from graduate certificates in online teaching, curriculum development, and education administration.

A graduate certificate can also lead to professional licensure or complement certifications offered by professional organizations and associations. Many colleges and universities use curricula that align with standards established by government agencies, accrediting bodies, and industry-specific organizations.

Careers That May Require a Graduate Certificate

In some fields, earning a certificate can help you complete licensure requirements or meet hiring expectations. Employers hiring workers for the following positions may expect candidates to hold a graduate certificate to demonstrate advanced career readiness.

Business Analyst

A budget analyst works with public and private institutions to manage finances. These professionals need qualitative and managerial skills to make effective, data-driven business decisions. Business analytics students also learn to apply analytics to marketing, management, and business operations.

Project Manager

Project managers oversee budgets, personnel, planning, and direction of an organizational project. Tasked with supervising resources, timetables, and project activities, project managers need excellent communication, interpersonal, and managerial skills. A graduate certificate in project management teaches learners to effectively and efficiently carry out this multifaceted role.

Cybersecurity Analyst

Cybersecurity analysts plan and implement security measures to keep computer networks and systems secure. These professionals monitor and assess potential security threats and breaches.

Analysts must stay current on information technology trends, organizational practices, and objectives. Cybersecurity analysts can benefit from graduate certificates in information security, cyber risk management, and cybersecurity management.

Health Informatics Specialist

These healthcare professionals take charge of keeping information safe, establishing policies and protocols to adhere to regulations, and optimizing informatic standards. Health informatics specialists work closely with medical, administrative, and support staff.

Health informatics specialists assess needs within healthcare organizations. They can prepare for this role by completing a graduate certificate in the field.

Marketing Analyst

Marketing analysts assess demographic and market data to help businesses meet their marketing goals. They also use statistics, profiling, and qualitative and quantitative skills. General business and marketing professionals with a graduate certificate in marketing management or digital marketing gain the knowledge and skills needed to remain competitive in the contemporary marketplace.

Education Administrator

Education administrators oversee day-to-day operations of schools, colleges, and universities. They also work closely with students and colleagues, monitor budgets, and serve as leaders in their educational community.

Education administrators can benefit from earning a graduate certificate in the field, learning techniques and strategies to help solve issues and challenges. A graduate certificate in educational leadership also prepares education professionals to drive change in instruction and curriculum development.

CareerAverage Salary
Business Analyst$60,640
Project Manager$74,260
Cybersecurity Analyst$75,800
Health Informatics Specialist$64,790
Marketing Analyst$55,680
Education Administrator$57,390

Once you have finished your undergraduate degree program, there is a variety of postgraduate certificate studies that can help you expand your knowledge and receive valuable experience without the high cost of postgraduate studies and having to pursue a higher degree.

After completing a college degree, a student may wish to pursue a graduate degree. The first level of such study is called a master. Students can earn this title after completing approximately two years of study when taking a full load of credits.

Postgraduate Certificate Program 2021

Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PGCAP)

University of Liverpool Online Programmes

University of Liverpool Online Programmes This programme was developed through a unique collaboration with Advance HE, the UK’s foremost agency for driving excellence and developing leadership in education, and is designed to advance your ability to support learning within higher education. By engaging with global perspectives on academic practice in higher education, you will cultivate your reflective and reflexive learning practice, in Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 10 Months English 06 Apr 2021 Mar 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

BSc (Hons) Psychology

University of Essex Online

University of Essex Online  +1 More Developed and led by Chartered Psychologists, our BSc (Hons) Psychology degree allows students to discover the fascinating world of psychology. 100% online and part-time, this recognised qualification will prepare you for a wide range of jobs and opportunities. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 48 Months English Online

Online PGCert Design for Learning Environments

University of Birmingham Online

University of Birmingham Online Online education has dramatically increased in recent years, and learning environments in many sectors and industries now incorporate both digital and physical environments. The 100% Online PGCert will equip you with the skills and knowledge to design programmes of learning which meet the needs of learners and organisations. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 1 Years English Mar 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Online Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE)

Flexible Learning with Falmouth University

Flexible Learning with Falmouth University This PGCHE responds to the growing focus of Higher Education on developing excellence in teaching and learning, especially teaching and learning that is not solely concerned with traditional face-to-face delivery but instead combines this with the digital advantages of e-learning. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 30 Weeks English 01 Jun 2021 May 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Post-Baccalaureate in Computer Science

Tufts University - School of Engineering

Tufts University – School of Engineering The Computer Science Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program provides the opportunity for academically talented, highly motivated adult students, with at least a bachelor’s degree, to prepare for a new career or graduate work in Computer Science. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time Part-time 1 – 2 Years English Jan 2021 Campus Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Expert in Policies and Management of Migration and Asylum

Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset

Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset This course is mainly aimed at providing, together with a knowledge of international migration, the knowledge and tools necessary for the practical management of policies related to immigration and asylum and whose management is essential for intervention with immigrants and refugees . Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time 8 Months Spanish Oct 2021 Sep 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Post Graduate Certificate in Education International

Exeed College

Exeed College  +18 More The PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education (International) is aimed at professional teachers and practitioners working in countries other than the UK. The PGCE (International) focuses on improving individual teaching practices through research and critical reflection. Compare teaching approaches from different countries and evolve a global approach to teaching and education. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time Part-time 1 Years English Campus Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (International)

Unicaf - Liverpool John Moores University

Unicaf – Liverpool John Moores University Enhancing your employability and career progression is at the very heart of this programme. It offers excellent opportunities to enhance your employability and career progression through your developing skills and confidence. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time Part-time English Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

PGCert Legal Technology – Full-time

University of Law Online Postgraduate

University of Law Online Postgraduate Our PGCert in Legal Technology is available for both law and non-law graduates, providing you with an insight into this rapidly developing area. You will learn the basics of this exciting and often disruptive technology in a legal context and the regulation which is being formed around it. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time 34 Weeks English Feb 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Graduate Certificate in Public Relations – Corporate Communications

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College Communications professionals play a critical role in the verbal, visual and digital voices of institutions, businesses, and corporations. Fanshawe’s Public Relations – Corporate Communications program trains highly skilled strategic communicators who graduate ready to hit the ground running. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time 1 Years English Sep 2021 Campus Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Postgraduate Certificate in Fintech

The London Institute of Banking & Finance

The London Institute of Banking & Finance Do you want to be a digital leader of the future? Our part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Fintech can help you get there. On this online programme, you’ll learn from academics with industry experience – as well as experts, founders and practitioners – to develop the knowledge and skills employers tell us they want. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Full-time Part-time 10 Months English Sep 2021 May 2021 Online & Campus Combined Campus Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Postgraduate in Applied Management

ISCTE Executive Education

ISCTE Executive Education General Management Program with 4 Profiles: Retail, E-Commerce, Agile, and Business Digital Innovation. The main goals of this program are: to prepare participants to the state-of-art areas of management and its applied knowledge; to leverage applied and transversal knowledge in management allowing specialization in one of four knowledge domains e-commerce, retail & luxury, digital innovation, and Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 5 Months English 23 Mar 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Postgraduate Degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

International University of Catalonia

International University of Catalonia The teaching staff of this postgraduate degree is formed by university researchers, experts in the latest methodological innovations and teachers that come from actual schools. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 6 Months English Sep 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline

Postgraduate Certificate in Finance, Risk, and Insurance

Informa Connect

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PGCert in The Psychology of Dementia Care

University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews The Postgraduate Certificate in The Psychology of Dementia Care focuses on the practical application of psychological theory in dementia care and is intended for professional care staff and management who provide services to people with dementia. Featured help_outline Postgraduate Certificate Part-time 1 – 2 Years English 06 Sep 2021 Aug 2021 Online   Add to compare Add to favorites favorite_outline


Who Should Apply for a Graduate Certificate?

An online graduate certificate can help meet the needs of career starters, career switchers, and career accelerators. Professionals entering a new field gain valuable knowledge and skills in a discipline, creating a pathway for career success. Earning a graduate certificate can also prepare learners to pursue a more advanced degree.

Additionally, working professionals can earn a graduate certificate to enhance their current career trajectory or to enter a new field. Graduate certificates offer in-depth information in fields like business, healthcare, education.Career Starter

Career starters vary in age and include recent college graduates and adult learners. Career starters gain fundamental information about a discipline while earning a graduate certificate, allowing them to pursue entry-level positions.Career SwitcherCareer Accelerator

Applying to Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs may offer a faster admissions process with fewer requirements than a full degree program. For example, students interested in a certificate may not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Requirements vary by school and program, however, so work with the admissions department to make sure you complete the process correctly.

Things to Consider:


Many certificate programs are designed with student career and employment goals in mind. Depending on how many courses you take at a time, you may be able to continue working full time while you pursue a certificate.

Most certificates take 6-18 months to complete, depending on credit requirements and your enrollment status. You can expect to commit approximately three hours per week per credit to graduate courses.

Transfer Credit Opportunities

Some programs accept career and military experience as credit toward a graduate certificate, although there are limits on the number of transfer credits you can use.

Application Deadlines

Schools may only accept applications at certain times during the year, often coinciding with traditional academic semester deadlines in the fall, spring, and summer. Alternatively, some schools accept applications on a rolling basis, allowing you to apply at any time during the year and enroll in classes at the start of the next term.

Technology Requirements

Check your program’s website for detailed specifications related to technology use for students. To participate in online courses, you must have appropriate hardware, software, and a reliable internet connection. These requirements vary by school and your field of study. You may need additional equipment, such as a headset, to participate in live class meetings.

What You Need to Apply:

  • Testing Many certificate programs do not ask you to submit standardized test scores. However, requirements vary by school and subject. International and ESL students usually need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores with their application to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Letters of Recommendation Some programs require a reference or recommendation from someone who knows your academic or professional work. Others make this component optional.
  • Resume A resume or CV helps convey your related professional experience. Many certificate programs require a resume.
  • Personal Statement or Essay If your program requires a statement or essay, follow the directions carefully. You may need to share your reason for enrolling and your intended plans after completing the program. You may also need to answer specific questions about your background in the field and your education/career goals.
  • Official Transcripts Most graduate certificate programs require you to have already completed a bachelor’s degree. Some also maintain course prerequisites and minimum GPA requirements. Plan to submit transcripts from any universities where you have completed a degree or relevant coursework.

How to Choose an Online Graduate Certificate Program

Choosing a graduate certificate program requires careful consideration of several factors. Professionals working full time may opt for an online certificate track that provides extra flexibility and convenience. Alternatively, an on-campus graduate certificate program may be a good fit for students who live close to a school.

Students should make sure the program they choose includes classes suited to their goals. Redundant content or a lack of new information can result in a lack of intellectual rigor. Whether or not a program includes sequential coursework can also factor into the selection process, especially for learners who want to complete classes on their own schedules.

Cost is also an important consideration. Many online graduate certificate programs offer per-credit tuition. Potential additional expenses include textbooks, commuting/parking costs, and technology fees.

Graduate Certificate Program Formats

Graduate certificate programs use several formats to accommodate learners with various needs. Prospective students should choose a format that aligns with their time constraints, financial resources, and daily obligations.

Whether the best format is on campus, online, or blended, colleges and universities should offer an option that aligns with your situation.

On-Campus, Full-Time Classes

An on-campus graduate program includes coursework that takes place during the traditional school day. Some classes may take place on the weekends or during evenings, as well.

Students meet face-to-face with colleagues and instructors, taking part in lectures and class activities several times a week. Working professionals may not be able to attend courses during the day — a potential barrier to earning a certificate on campus.

Evening/Weekend ClassesHybrid/Blended Classes Online Classes

Discover the Best Online Graduate Certificate Programs

Online graduate certificates can be found across disciplines, but six fields stand out as the most popular among students and professionals.

  • Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Human resources professionals work across many economic sectors. A graduate certificate in human resources trains students to effectively communicate and coordinate administrative and personnel functions. Online graduate certificates in human resources include coursework in staffing, employment law, training and development, and compensation programs.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in English Language Learning Online graduate certificates in English language learning emphasize techniques and tools to teach English to nonnative speakers. Most certificates focus on teaching either children or adults. Students take required courses in linguistics, phonetics, and principles and practices of language acquisition.
    Current teachers, new teachers, and instructional coordinators can benefit from an English language learning certificate.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Finance Graduate certificates in finance emphasize financial theory, analytics, and principles. This credential may appeal to professionals working in business and banking. By studying economics, international finance, financial reporting, and analytics, learners develop specialized expertise applicable to careers as financial planners and advisors.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics An online graduate certificate in health informatics blends healthcare, business, and information technology, training students to effectively manage and protect health-related data. By focusing on medical computer and network systems, coursework emphasizes regulations and standards specific to health information.
    Current informatics professionals who seek to work specifically in a healthcare setting learn about electronic health records systems and security, while practicing healthcare professionals can develop analytical and data management skills.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Accounting Accounting knowledge and skills are vital to business and management practices. An online graduate certificate in accounting builds upon existing proficiencies by focusing on taxation, auditing, and research.
    Coursework also hones analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. A graduate certificate can also serve as a step toward certification as a CPA.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology A graduate certificate in educational technology emphasizes the principles and practices of using technology in schools and corporations. Earning educational technology graduate certificates can help business professionals design training and development programs. Alternatively, teachers learn to improve outcomes among their students.
    Required courses often include instructional design, online teaching methods, and web tools for learning.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Graduate Certificate Online?

Graduate certificates usually include coursework offered along the same timelines as other academic programs. Classes may take full semesters or run across eight-week sessions.

Because certificate programs include fewer required credits, learners can graduate within a year. The flexibility of an online graduate certificate often allows students to take classes one at a time, although some learners may want to take as many classes as possible to expedite graduation.

Graduate certificates generally do not accept transfer credits from other programs. However, students may have the option to transfer credits earned during a graduate certificate into a master’s program.

How Much Does a Graduate Certificate Cost?

The cost of a graduate certificate varies by school. In addition to tuition, students must consider the cost of textbooks and other related course materials. Additional expenses — especially for on-campus programs — may include commuting costs and parking fees. Depending on the program, learners may also need to pay laboratory or facility fees.

Because graduate certificates include fewer credits than a graduate degree, they are typically less expensive. Students may pay per-credit tuition or a set rate for the entire program. In some programs, online students may receive in-state tuition, regardless of their location.

Another financial consideration is the amount of time students put into the certificate program and how it can benefit them in the workforce after they graduate. The knowledge and skills they gain can provide opportunities to increase their salaries in the future.

Financial Aid

Students may access some federal financial aid for online graduate certificate programs, although many grants, scholarships, and loans are reserved for degree-seekers. Learners should start by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but identifying additional sources of funding is also important.

Students pursuing an online graduate certificate can take out loans or find scholarships. Service-based scholarships, private funders, and workforce development programs also serve as funding options for students pursuing a graduate certificate. Additional financial aid opportunities may be available through government agencies, including the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

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