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Certificate in University Teaching


“Earning this Certificate was instrumental in securing my job. The individuals with whom I interviewed were impressed with the Certificate. I was told during one interview that I had more experience than half of their faculty members and seemed like a third-year faculty member.”


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health, California Polytechnic State University

Ken Hite profile picture


PhD student, Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University

Tefanee Maurice profile picture


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health, California Polytechnic State University

Ken Hite profile picture


PhD student, Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University

Tefanee Maurice profile picture


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health, California Polytechnic State University


The Certificate in University Teaching is a fifteen credit hour program for graduate students. It includes the following:

  • mentored teaching experience
  • syllabus development
  • instructional design for a diverse set of students
  • implementation of instructional theory and techniques
  • development of a teaching portfolio

It helps to prepare graduate students for teaching at the college or university level. In this program, students learn to design and teach courses in their discipline while implementing effective instructional techniques, assessment, and self-reflection.


Your plan of study for this Certificate includes the following:

  1. Pedagogy course
  2. Diversity course
  3. Instructional excellence course
  4. Teaching practicum course (student must arrange for a course to teach)
  5. Teaching capstone course

For maximum benefit to you, we strongly recommend that you take the pedagogy course first and the capstone course last in this sequence.

However, the curriculum for the Certificate is flexible. You can choose from a large selection of courses. Potentially, a maximum of 6 credit hours from your Master’s or PhD coursework can be counted towards this Certificate.

See this document for details about the Certificate's requirements. If you are interested in pursuing the Certificate in University Teaching, someone from the Teaching & Learning Commons will meet with you. 

Certificate FAQs

Are there additional fees or tuition associated with the certificate?

This will vary depending on your graduate program. For most programs, there are no additional charges for the Certificate program. However, there are some complications with some programs or tuition waivers and scholarships. Please reach out to your program coordinator with questions about your specific program and contact us with further questions.

I have already taken courses that are part of the certificate. Will they count towards my requirements?

If the courses are on the approved course list, it is likely that you can count them toward the certificate but check with us to make sure. If the courses are not on the approved list, see the information about course approval.

Should I wait to apply to the program if I will not be taking courses this semester/year?

You should contact us or apply as soon as possible. Every program is different and may come with its own challenges for the certificate. The more time we have to work with, the more likely we are to find a solution.

There is a course that may fill one of the requirements but is not on the course list. How can I get it approved for the certificate?

Before you enroll in the course, please contact us. The course will be reviewed to determine whether or not it meets our requirements. We cannot guarantee approval of previously taken courses.

Will courses that I've previously taught count toward my practicum?

You can only receive practicum credit if you were enrolled in a practicum course while you were teaching. If you have not taken a practicum course, you will need to teach an additional course.

Does the program provide practicum opportunities?

No. You must secure your own practicum opportunity. We are available to provide resources and guidance on finding an opportunity, but it is ultimately your responsibility.

I just found out about the certificate, but I only have a short while left in my program. Can I still complete the certificate?

The certificate can potentially be completed in a few semesters. You should apply as soon as possible to the certificate so we can help you determine whether or not you will be able to complete the certificate within your timeframe.

Can I complete the certificate after I’ve graduated from my program?

Currently, the certificate is not a standalone program. You must be enrolled in a graduate program to be eligible for the certificate.

I’m enrolled in another certificate; can I pursue this certificate in addition?

That is dependent upon your program and your advisor. Past students have completed our certificate in conjunction with other certificates; however, this requires a strategic plan of study and is best discussed toward the beginning of your program.

I’m taking a course for my program/other certificate that is also approved for this certificate; can I count it towards both?

You can count a total of six (6) credits with another program or certificate and the Certificate in University Teaching. One course can only count for two programs or certificates. For example, if you are counting a 3-credit diversity course for your primary program and our certificate, you cannot count it toward an additional certificate.

To Apply

You must be enrolled in a graduate program and in good standing (meeting the minimum GPA for your graduate program). You may apply to enter this Certificate program at any time.

To avoid losing potential credits and to ensure that you will have a sufficient amount of time to complete the certificate, we strongly encourage you to either apply or reach out to us with your questions as soon as you think you may be interested. You can always withdraw later if needed.

To be considered for the Certificate, the following will need to be completed: