A Graduate Certificate is a focused collection of courses, consisting of 12-18 credits, which are successfully completed by students in a given discipline or a set of related disciplines. Students that successfully complete a certificate program at the graduate level will receive a certificate of completion statement on their official transcript and a formal certificate from the NMSU Graduate School.
- A graduate certificate is not an official graduate degree of New Mexico State University.
- A student has 3 years to complete a Certificate Program.
Graduate certificate programs:
Admission to a graduate certificate program
Certificate programs are available to students who are currently enrolled as degree-seeking students and students that meet the admissions criteria but who enroll as graduate students solely to obtain a certificate.
- Students applying only to a graduate certificate program must meet the same admissions criteria as students applying into graduate degree programs of the Graduate School, which includes submitting an application, paying the $30 application fee, submitting all transcripts, and having a previous GPA (undergraduate or graduate) of 3.0. See our To Apply page for more information.
- Students applying to graduate certificate programs must also meet requirements of the department(s) offering the certificate program, which may include a 3.0 GPA, GRE or other standardized test, TOEFL, IELTS, letters of recommendation, letter of interest or intent, and work experience.
- Students who are currently enrolled in a degree program at NMSU who wish to pursue a Graduate Certificate must apply for admission to the Certificate Program prior to completing half of their required degree credits. These students must fill out a Change of Major Request form and indicate that they wish to add a Graduate Certificate Program.
- Certificate-only seeking graduate students who are not currently enrolled in either a Master’s or Doctoral degree program will be admitted into a separate classification of “graduate certificate students” for each Graduate Certificate Program.
Completion of a Graduate Certificate Program
You must meet several requirements to receive your Graduate Certificate. These requirements are listed below.
- Submit an Application for Completion of Graduate Certificate: This form is submitted directly to Graduate Student Services, along with the Application for Certificate fee of $25.
- The deadlines for submitting this form are as follows:
October 1st for December certificate
February 15th for May certificate
May 15th for August certificate
Late applications are automatically transferred to the next award period.
Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Certificate Programs
- How long do I have to finish my Certificate?
- When do I receive my Certificate?
- Can I attend the Commencement ceremony if I am only receiving a Graduate Certificate?
- What if I finish early in the semester? Can I receive a Letter of Completion?
- Will the Certificate show up on my transcripts?
- Will the credits I take for my Graduate Certificate count towards a Master's or Doctoral degree?
- Can I receive a Graduate Assistantship if I am enrolled in a Graduate Certificate Program?
- What if I need to add or drop a class, or withdraw from my classes for the semester?
- What if I started Graduate School at NMSU but didn't finish my Certificate Program. Can I come back and finish my Certificate?
How long do I have to finish my Certificate?
You have three years to complete your Graduate Certificate Program once you enroll. However, most Graduate Certificate Programs are set up in cohorts that finish together within 1-2 years.
When do I receive my Certificate?
Graduate Certificates are certified after all grades have been turned into the Registrar's office. Certificates will be mailed to the address indicated on the Application for Certificate form approximately six weeks after grades are posted by the Registrar's office. If you need a Letter of Completion, please contact us.
Can I attend the Commencement ceremony if I am only receiving a Graduate
No, you cannot attend Commencement. Check with your Graduate Certificate Program to see if the program has its own graduation or completion ceremony.
What if I finish early in the semester? Can I receive a Letter of Completion?
If you need a Letter of Completion to obtain a job or for other reasons, you need to fill out the Request for Letter of Completion form. Once you complete the form, Graduate Student Services will send it to the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will send the letter directly to you.
Will the credits I take for my Graduate Certificate count towards a Master's or
You may be able to transfer your Graduate Certificate credits into a degree program. There is no guarantee that you will be accepted into a degree program upon completion of your Graduate Certificate. You will need to check with your program and department.
What if I need to add or drop a class, or withdraw from my classes for the semester?
Students in Graduate Certificate Programs fill out the same forms as regular graduate students to add, drop, or withdraw from their classes. The add/drop forms can be found in the Graduate Student Services office, the withdrawal forms are located in the Registrar's office. You can request via email that the forms be mailed to you if you are a Distance Education student.
What if I started Graduate School at NMSU but didn't finish my Certificate
Program. Can I come back and finish my Certificate?
The time limit for completing a Graduate Certificate Program is 3 years. If it has been more than 3 years, you must speak to the Graduate Certificate Program Director and request an appeal letter to the Graduate School. The letter should indicate how the faculty will work with you to complete your Certificate Program. If a student is deployed for military duty and they present their orders to the Graduate School, they will be granted a leave of absence for the time stated on their orders. The Graduate School will do all in its power to have the time spent in military duty not count toward the 3 year time limit for Certificate completion.
- NMSU Student Affairs & Enrollment Management: University Admissions
- (575) 646-2736
- Educational Services Building, Suite G
- MSC 3G / P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001