College of Letters and Sciences


The College of Letters and Sciences offers a number of certificates that will enhance your major, expand your knowledge base, or help you advance in your professional career. Explore the list of certificates below.

The Lobbying and Advocacy Certificate is designed for students who are interested in careers in a wide variety of fields. Advocacy and lobbying includes working with government and elected officials on policymaking and matters of public concern. This certificate is 18 units and it is open to all students. It includes courses in political science, ethics, and communications.

Learn more about the Lobbying and Advocacy Certificate»

The Aging and Health Certificate is designed for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in all disciplines - ranging from arts to social work and business to technology. The certificate teaches students foundational knowledge and skills needed to effectively work in careers with older adults and support their multidimensional health needs.

Upon completion of the Aging and Health Certificate students will be able to:

  • Recognize the intersection between health and aging
  • Describe the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of aging
  • Identify health and social policies that affect older adults'
  • Demonstrate skills for working with older adults

Learn more about the Aging and Health Certificate »

The Applied Research Certificate is designed to teach undergraduate students how to properly answer a question for a client, such as a university unit, non-profit organization, or government agency. With this certificate, students will be able to present their research findings to a client.

Upon completion of the Applied Research Certificate students will be able to:

  • Clearly comprehend the client/organizational need and how it fits into a larger context
  • Behave in a professional manner with a client
  • Identify and practice accurately the steps in an applied research project
  • Show basic statistical literacy
  • Demonstrate professional oral and written communication
  • Exhibit ethical behavior
  • Experience civic engagement through service to the community or business

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The Corporate Social Responsibility Certificate is designed to inform students of proper behavior to practice in the workplace. This will better prepare students to become professional leaders in business.

Upon completion of the Corporate Social Responsibility Certificate students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate how leadership in corporations act responsibly (or irresponsibly) in relationship to the environment, community, consumer, employee, government, non-government entities, and other stakeholders and members of the public
  • Describe and apply the basic ethical principles for business
  • Name and understand a number of ways individuals and organizations impact the environment
  • Implement the scientific method to solve a problem related to CSR

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The Disability Studies Certificate will allow students to expand their knowledge and experience with people with disabilities.

Upon completion of the Disability Studies Certificate students will be able to:

  • Expand their knowledge in ethical and social justice issues
  • Have the ability to serve and support all individuals with disabilities

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The Diversity Leadership Certificate provides excellent preparation for living and working in a diverse society!

Students engage in cross-disciplinary, in-depth diversity learning around issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and ability. Geared toward building responsible citizens and reflective professionals, the Diversity Leadership Certificate uses curricular and co-curricular activities to enhance knowledge, develop facilitation skills, and engage in productive collaborations across differences. Assessed through artifacts submitted to an ePortfolio, students gain skills at building inclusive environments and an ability to address complex social issues. The Certificate complements all Majors and Minors and is well suited for those who plan to work in government, nonprofit or private sectors of the economy and in the fields of business, education, health or community organizing.

To complete the certificate, students must complete the following requirements:

  • Take four diversity-related courses
  • Submit three artifacts that demonstrate Certificate learning objectives
  • Attend six diversity-themed on-campus or community events
  • Demonstrate leadership and facilitation skills or Participate in a diversity-themed conference
  • Write a final reflective essay

All work will be compiled in an ePortfolio in Canvas and assessed by members of the faculty advisory committee.

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The Film Studies Certificate will allow students to learn the analysis of cinematic language as either a supplement to their major and minor programs or as the basis for a deeper appreciation of cinema prompting lifelong learning.

Upon completion of the Film Studies Certificate students will be able to:

  • Interpret visual narratives and clearly express interpretations in conversation and writing
  • Assess the historical development of film and related types of media as evolving art forms
  • Identify the processes through which people and institutions collaborate to produce visual narratives
  • Analyze a range of cinematic visual styles, narrative conventions, and genres
  • Evaluate the ways in which representations of culture in visual narratives reflect or respond to questions of ethics and social justice

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The Forensics Science Certification will allow students to cultivate leadership skills in the application of science to the legal system, gain professional competencies developed through course work that includes presentations to moot court settings, and lab work.

Upon completion of the Forensics Science Certificate students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the criminal justice system, including its key stages and processes
  • Apply the scientific method to the collection, processing, analyses, and evaluation of evidence
  • Interpret forensic evidence and its role in the criminal justice system

Learn more about the Forensics Science Certificate »

Designed for a wide variety of majors, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate includes a suite of courses that will give students the necessary background to use GIS and apply for GIS-related jobs. Courses cover GIS basics, spatial analysis, cartography, and field mapping using global positioning systems (GPS) and drones. GIS projects span a wide range of practical applications and demonstrates an important skillset for many students at the start their professional careers. The certificate is a good match for majors in geography, environmental science, geology, biology, criminology, sociology, business, marketing, and computer science.

Once completed, students will be able to:

  • Create and manage geographic data in the most commonly used GIS software
  • Analyze geographic phenomenon in a wide variety of fields
  • Create a professional portfolio of both print and web cartography
  • Apply for jobs with GIS as a required skillset

Learn more about the Geographic Information Systems Certificate »

The Global Engagement Certificate is designed for College of Letters and Sciences undergraduate students pursuing degrees. The certificate helps develop global competencies through a combination of coursework and co-curriculum experiences.

Upon completion of the Global Engagement Certificate students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate cultural self-awareness
  • Exhibit global awareness
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of other cultures
  • Exhibit respectful consideration of multiple and conflicting global perspectives
  • Interpret an intercultural experience from multiple perspectives
  • Evaluate the different consequences of individual and collective interventions

To qualify for this certification, students must take classes recognized by this program and activities that enable global experiences before graduation and submit an e-portfolio with relevant content. The e-portfolio just needs to be written according to each requirement for the 5 objectives that students must perform.

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This 18-credit Interdisciplinary Ethics Certificate provides students a strong foundation in evaluative ethics, which seeks to reason why a given action might be right or moral. Building on that core, interdisciplinary ethics courses introduce descriptive ethics (what do people actually do in a given situation?) on a range of topics. Students can investigate the ethical dimensions of personal or career-related interests including, but not limited to health care, the environment, sexual ethics, social justice, business, and media.

Upon completion of the certificate, Students will demonstrate competence in the following learning objectives:

  • Understand and analyze distinct ethical concepts in philosophy and religious studies
  • Apply ethical concepts to changing contexts in philosophy, religious studies, and at least one other discipline
  • Present arguments in areas of applied ethics
  • Synthesize one's personal, informed view on philosophical issues.

Learn more about the Interdisciplinary Ethics Certificate »

The LGBTQ Studies Certificate program is intended for students who would benefit from a thorough introduction to LGBTQ Studies from various disciplinary perspectives. Students in the certificate program will examine how gender, gender identity, and sexuality interact with ethnicity, race, class, and ability while exploring contemporary, cross-cultural, and historical issues related to LGBTQ lives. Students will encounter such subjects as gender and sexuality as social constructions, queer theory, violence and oppression, representation, history of LGBTQ movements and activism, and intersectional alliances. We also encourage students to fulfill the certificate requirements by signing up for an internship or independent study that allows them to demonstrate their LGBTQ advocacy.

After completing the certificate, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the historical and crosscultural constructions of sexuality and gender identity
  • Detect biased thinking, particularly by deconstructing binary analytical perspectives
  • Encounter diverse narratives around gender and sexual expressions
  • Grapple with the relationship between feminist thought and LGBTQ studies

Learn more about the LGBTQ Studies Certificate »

The Paralegal Certificate is designed for students who are interested in careers as paralegals or legal assistants. This certificate is open to all students in any program including special students who are solely interested in completing the certificate requirements. It is an 18-unit certificate that includes courses in case law, legal research and writing, and a legal internship.

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The undergraduate Professional Writing and Editing Certificate helps students in all majors and with all career goals advance their abilities to write clearly and effectively. The certificate is flexible to allow a focus on writing, editing, or a mix, with electives ranging from focused language study to writing that’s targeted to specific contexts or genres. Contact the certificate coordinator to work out a plan that best fits your goals. Online majors can negotiate a plan of only online courses.

The Professional Writing and Editing certificate will advance your skills in the following:

  • Writing clearly, concisely, and coherently.
  • Adapting grammatical rules and conventions to audience and purpose.
  • Analyzing diverse rhetorical, cultural, and conventional dimensions of discourse.
  • Researching and shaping content effectively and ethically.

Learn more about the Professional Writing and Editing Certificate »

The Public History Certificate highlights for future employers that you have completed a defined set of courses, and have received specialized training in the field of Public History.

Upon completion of the Professional Writing and Publishing certificate students will be able to:

  • Set themselves apart from other job candidates
  • Gain a basic knowledge of origins, evolution and major debates in field of public history as well as goals and practices of major public history subfields—as examples, historical museums, historical societies, historic preservation.
  • The ability to articulate a basic understanding of the concept of collective memory.
  • The ability to identify, interpret and critically evaluate public reception of historical documents, sources and sites.
  • An understanding of strategies of visual display and exhibition of historical content for public audiences.
  • A grasp of editing and production skills in at least one electronic media – audio, video, or web production.

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The Substance Use Foundations Certificate will cover content areas that are infused with information and application to practice that is responsive to the characteristics of individual, group, family, and couple clients and significant others seeking substance use disorder treatment, including, but not limited to, age, gender, ability, disability, developmental level, sexual orientation, health status, ethnicity, culture, and social issues.

Learn more about the Substance Use Foundations Certificate »

The Web Site Development and Administration Certificate is a five-course (15-credit) program that teaches programming and design skills used by "full-stack" Web developers to develop or maintain websites or web apps. It is open to all students, but it is an especially good addition to a major in Computer Science, Graphic Design, or Media Arts and Game Development.

Upon completion of the Web Site Development and Administration certificate, students will be able to:

  • Design and construct websites using HTML and CSS
  • Create and use a database that can be accessed from a website
  • Use digital art software and design principles to improve the look-and-feel of a website
  • Make websites interactive using JavaScript, dynamic HTML, and server-side scripting technologies such as PHP or Node.js

Learn more about the Web Site Development and Administration Certificate »

The Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate allows students to study and question how gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, ability, and other identities to shape everyday lives, institutions, and global communities.

Upon completion of the Women’s and Gender Studies certificate students will be able to:

  • Feel empowered to become engaged citizens and self-reflective agents of social justice
  • Gain the intercultural competence to dynamic critical thinking
  • Transform their perspective into a life-long learner, with extensive experience in complex problem solving and analytical thinking.

Learn more about the Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate »

Want to learn more about earning a certificate?
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