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Dear Student:

Did you know that as a current Master’s student in the Schar School, you can apply this spring and earn one of the Schar Graduate Certificates by completing only two additional courses this summer? All Schar School graduate certificates (see complete list below) are worth 15-credits (5 courses) each; however, if you apply and are admitted to a certificate program while still enrolled in a master’s program, you will benefit from a reduction in credits which will allow you to earn that certificate by completing six (6) credits beyond the credits required for your master’s degree. For more information on curriculum requirements and approved electives, please click on the certificate links below.

Schar Certificates:

·         Biodefense Graduate Certificate

·         Emergency Management and Homeland Security Graduate Certificate

·         National Security and Public Policy Graduate Certificate

·         Science, Technology, and Security Graduate Certificate

·         Terrorism and Homeland Security Graduate Certificate

 

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Certificate

Under what circumstances is it beneficial to pursue a certificate?

  1. When a certificate specifically complements an existing degree.  This could be from a student’s past institution or a degree at the Schar School of Policy and Government.  As certificates vary from institution to institution, pairing it with a degree provides more clarity to an employer about its utility.
  2. When a prospective certificate student works in an industry where specific, current subject knowledge is desired.  The certificate then acts as an indicator of specialized knowledge.
  3. When a student’s employer indicates that a certificate can lead to advancement in the organization.

Under what circumstances is it NOT beneficial to pursue a certificate?

1.      When a certificate is being added to an existing degree program without clear knowledge of its utility.

2.      When the student’s intention is to delay graduation.

 How does a student add a certificate to their course of study while enrolled in a Master’s program at the Schar School?

The student meets with an academic advisor at least two semesters before the intended semester of graduation.  Together, they will make an appropriate academic plan that satisfies requirements for both a degree and a certificate. To apply, please fill out and submit to your advisor the following form: http://registrar.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/GSCA.pdf

What are important considerations about the admissions process for certificate students?

If a non-degree student applies for and is accepted into a certificate program, only two courses will be able to be applied toward certificate completion. Students who are currently enrolled in a Master’s program at the Schar School can apply to add a certificate.  This reduces the total number of courses required for that certificate.  However, students applying for this option must do so before the semester in which they intend to graduate. Enrollment in a Master’s program or as a non-degree student does not imply acceptance into a certificate program.

Should you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor.