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Advanced Graduate Certificate

The School of Professional Development offer a wide variety of Advanced Graduate Certificates. These can be taken after completing a bachelor's, master's, or other advanced degree. Certificates are designed around specialized areas of focus for targeted study within a field. Certificate programs can be taken concurrently with another program or as stand-alone programs (see program page for details). A certificate is a good option for someone who may not want to complete the full credit requirements for a degree program, but would like to develop a solid background and skills in a specialized field.

Courses and GPA

A student must achieve a 3.0 overall GPA in all graduate courses taken at Stony Brook to receive a certificate.

Calculation of the grade point average (GPA) includes all courses numbered 500 and above taken at Stony Brook. Temporary grades (I and NR), missing grades and those grades for which no numerical equivalents are defined (P, S, U, and R) are excluded from the computation.

Grading System: See Academic Regulations/Grading System

A graduate student who has changed primary program may request a restart of GPA in considering possible waiver of academic probation.

The GPA for the new program will be calculated from the beginning of the semester in which the change of program became effective. A graduate student who has graduated and is readmitted into a new degree or certificate program may request a restart of GPA. Program approval is necessary before any restart request is submitted to the School of Professional Development. Courses taken before the restart of GPA cannot be used towards a second degree or certificate.

Language Proficiency

Although the School of Professional Development does not require proficiency in a foreign language for certificate programs, programs oversee their own foreign language requirements and the evaluation of proficiency. Students must comply with program requirements.

To be granted an advanced graduate certificate at Stony Brook, a student must have been admitted to and enrolled in the appropriate certificate program for at least one semester.

Students must apply for graduation via SOLAR in accordance with published deadlines. If degree/certificate requirements are not met, students must reapply for any subsequent awarding periods using the Change of Graduation Date form found on the School of Professional Development’s web site.


Degree candidates must be registered in the semester they intend to graduate. Students who intend to graduate in the spring or fall must register for at least one graduate credit. Students who intend to graduate in the summer can register for zero credits, but it still must be a graduate-level course.

Program Recommendation

When all program requirements are completed, the graduate program director may recommend to the School of Professional Development that the Advanced Graduate Certificate be granted.

Time Limit

The School of Professional Development requires that students in Advanced Graduate Certificate programs complete the program within 3 years maximum from the original admission term, and those in master’s programs complete all requirements for the program within 5 years maximum. Post-Master’s Advanced Graduate Certificates have a time limit of 5 years maximum.

In the event a student will not have completed all degree or certificate requirements within the specified time limit, a Request for Waiver of Graduate Time Limit form must be submitted and can be found by selecting the forms link from the School of Professional Development web site. These petitions require the approval of the student’s graduate program director. Requests for a time limit extension must be filed before the limit is exceeded and must contain a significant justification. The ultimate decision rests with the Dean of the Graduate School, who may impose additional requirements.


Appreciation of the ethical questions and adherence to the highest ethical standards of the discipline are required.