This program is not currently accepting applications. Current students, please contact Jamie Haney or call 219-464-5313 with any questions.

Program Description

The Graduate School offers a number of certificate programs designed to serve students who could benefit from a greater understanding in specific areas of interest but who do not want to earn a full master’s degree. Most certificates are 15 credits–two require a higher number–and generally represent the equivalent of a concentration in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree program. For most certificate programs, an MALS or MA degree is assumed for admission.

For current degree-seeking students in the Graduate School, certificates may be combined with enrollment in another master’s degree program at VU. For example, an MSN or MA Counseling student may wish to enroll in a Post-Grad MALS certificate program. Concurrent enrollment may in some instances offer the advantage of allowing students the opportunity to apply coursework in the certificate program to their degree program, or vice versa.

Program Requirements

The requirements for each certificate are identical to the requirements for the corresponding concentration in the MALS program (please view the concentration websites for details). For most programs, this affords maximum flexibility, allowing the student to craft his or her own focus and direction.

When specific coursework is required, students having significant background in that area may have individual course requirements waived. However, the number of credits for the certificate does not change.

Transfer credit is generally not accepted for the graduate level certificate programs.

Concentration Requirements Credits
Ethics & Values
The concentration in Ethics & Values consists of a minimum of 15 credits of coursework. All students take one course dealing with ethical theory and principles. They then choose at least four courses that deal with the application of ethical principles to specific professions. These include, but are not limited to, law, business, mental health and counseling, medicine, communication, and general professional ethics.
15 cr
The concentration consists of five courses drawn from graduate coursework in history or related areas. Study within the concentration should comprise a coherent course of study that ensures significant in-depth exploration of history. Six credits must be taken at the 600-level.
15 cr
Human Behavior & Society
The concentration consists of five courses, usually drawn from a single discipline or several related disciplines. Classes are typically selected from Sociology, Psychology and Communication  graduate classes.  Your adviser will work with you to select the best courses.  Study within the concentration should comprise a coherent course of study that ensures significant in-depth exploration of a single field. Six credits must be taken at the 600-level.
15 cr
Five Theology courses with at least two at the 600 level.
15 cr

Completion of the Program

Most students are able to complete certificate programs in one year. However, because not all courses are offered every semester, students in the program need to plan their curriculum with an appointed graduate adviser. Many courses are convened in the evening, allowing students full or part-time employment during the day. In addition, occasional courses and seminars may be offered in conjunction with various institutes and conferences held on the Valparaiso University campus.

Upon completion of the specified course work, the student is issued a certificate, which is noted on the student’s VU transcript. If, at a later date, the student should decide to apply the certificate coursework to a full master’s degree, the degree will supersede the certificate, which will no longer be noted on the student’s transcript.

Academic Credit or CEU Options

Although students are strongly encouraged to enroll in all coursework for academic credit, and must do so if they intend to earn the certificate, any course in the program may be taken for CEU credits. However, once this option is selected, students may not retroactively apply CEU courses to the certificate. All academic certificate coursework and the certificate name itself are listed on the student’s academic transcript at VU. Courses taken for the CEU are not listed on the academic transcript without prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.

What can you expect

Advanced study at Valparaiso University requires motivation, dedication, and reflection. The involvement of master teachers ensures that courses are challenging yet rewarding. Class sizes are small, and both peer and faculty interactions contribute a critical component to the learning experience. Extensive reading, reflection, and writing are typically expected in most graduate level coursework at Valparaiso University.

Criteria for Admission

Because the certificate involves graduate level coursework, participants are expected to have adequate preparation for undertaking advanced study. Persons holding a master of arts degree in any field or an advanced professional degree (e.g., masters in divinity, masters in counseling, law degree) qualify for admission. These individuals should complete:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application
  • One letter of reference submitted on your behalf;
  • A reflective essay indicating the reasons for undertaking graduate study in the particular program you are applying for at Valparaiso University;
  • Application Fee: $30.

Persons whose highest credential is the baccalaureate degree should complete:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application;
  • Two letters of reference submitted on their behalf;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.  If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University;
  • A reflective essay indicating the reasons for undertaking graduate study in the particular program you are applying for at Valparaiso University;
  • A minimal undergraduate GPA of 3.25 (B=3.0) is preferred, although students with lower GPA’s will be considered.
  • Application Fee: $30.

This certificate program features a continuous admission process, so application materials may be submitted at any time. Once received, the admission decision normally takes 2-3 weeks.

Financial Considerations
Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University.  Please visit the Student Financial Services website for current tuition rates. Financial aid may be available for students taking 6 credits or more during fall and spring semesters.

Are you interested in learning more?
Request more information from the Office of the Graduate School.

Click here to apply online!

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