Above and Beyond

Certificate programs offer grad students a competitive edge


Whether learning to fly or mastering management skills safely on the ground, Valparaiso University’s certificate programs are opening doors for graduate students in a variety of fields.

“We have certificates that will enhance any degree and appeal to any interest,” said Jennifer Guziewicz, director of Academic Services at The Graduate School.

Designed specifically for students who have a master’s degree or are working toward one, graduate certificates allow scholars to focus on a specific area to expand on their primary field of study. Several programs, such as the management certificates and the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) are “market responsive,” Guziewicz said, meaning they were developed to prepare students for changes in the job market.

“[A certificate] makes students that much more marketable and skilled,” Guziewicz said.

Most certificate programs can be completed in 15 to 18 credit hours, providing a manageable way for students to complement or enhance their graduate work, and often about half these credits can be counted as electives toward a student's graduate degree.

From the new Certificate in Aeronautical Principles—which involves actual flying lessons at the Porter County Municipal Airport—to the Certificate in Legal Studies and Principles, offerings range from the very specific to the more general.

“Law is always helpful and beneficial no matter what field you’re in,” Guziewicz said of the Legal Studies and Principles certificate.

Below is a complete list of certificate programs The Graduate School currently offers. Click the link for more information about the program.


Actuarial Science

Aeronautical Principle

Humane Education

Legal Studies and Principles

Sports Media

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


Management certificates:

Business Management

Engineering Management

Management for Counseling

Management for Nursing

Sustainability Certificate


Post-M.A. in Liberal Studies certificates:

-          English

-          Ethics and Values

-          Gerontology

-          History

-          Human Behavior and Society

-          Theology and Ministry


Written by Derek Smith