Policy for Senate-Conferred Certificates & Diplomas, & Certificates of Language Competence

Types of Certificate and Diploma Programs in Arts and Science

The Faculty of Arts and Science offers three types of Certificate and Diploma Programs:

  1. Academic Certificates and Diploma Programs - Senate-Conferred;
  2. Certificates of Language Competence - not conferred by Senate; and
  3. Professional Certificate and Diploma Programs - not conferred by Senate.

This document presents the policies for Academic Certificates and Diplomas, and for Certificates of Language
Competence, both of which are comprised of degree-credit courses.

Certificates in place in 2013

The Faculty of Arts and Science offered three Senate-conferred Certificate Programs at the time that the new Senate Policy for Certificate and Diploma Programs was approved in 2013:

  • the Certificate in Geographic Information Science;
  • the Certificate in International Studies; and
  • the Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity.

In addition, non-Senate conferred Certificates of Language Competence in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish were also offered by departments within Arts and Science. In 2015, the Certificate in International Studies was revised to conform to the new Faculty of Arts and Science Policy for Senate-Conferred Certificates and Diplomas. The structure and status of the two remaining Senate-conferred Certificate Programs will remain exempt from the policies described below unless changes are proposed to the programs, in which case they are expected to be restructured to be consistent with these policies.

Certificates in place in 2018

In addition to the two Senate-conferred Certificate Programs above, the Faculty of Arts and Science offers 11 additional certificates that have been introduced since the Faculty Policy was approved in 2014, all of which conform to the 2014 Faculty Policy:

  • the Certificate in Academic Writing
  • the Certificate in Disability and Physical Activity
  • the Certificate in Employment Relations
  • the Certificate in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity
  • the Certificate in French for Professionals
  • the Certificate in Global Action and Engagement
  • the Certificate in Indigenous Languages and Cultures
  • the Certificate in International Studies
  • the Certificate in Media Studies
  • the Certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture
  • the Certificate in Urban Planning Studies

The structure and status of the certificates listed above will remain exempt from any changes to the Faculty of Arts and Science Policy for Senate-Conferred Certificates and Diplomas that are approved after September 2018, unless changes are proposed to the programs, in which case they are expected to be restructured to be consistent with the current policy at the time.

Academic Certificate and Diploma Programs (Senate-conferred)

On 12 February 12 2013, Queen’s Senate approved a new Policy for Certificate and Diploma Programs that superseded earlier policies.

The policy applies to all Senate-approved Undergraduate (UG) and Graduate (GRAD) Certificates and Diploma Programs, which have full academic status and when successfully completed will be noted on a student’s academic transcript as an academic credential.

An Undergraduate Certificate is a program of study coherently organized around clear learning objectives and outcomes, and typically having academic content equivalent to a minimum of half a year of full-time undergraduate study at Queen’s (15.0 units of degree-credit courses or equivalent).

An Undergraduate Diploma is a program of study that involves a significant body of academic work coherently organized around clear learning objectives and outcomes, and typically having academic content equivalent to a minimum of one year of full-time undergraduate study at Queen’s (30.0 units of degree-credit courses or equivalent).

Undergraduate Certificate and Diploma programs may be focused primarily upon academic or professional development objectives, but typically should meet these minimum criteria of academic content.

Academic Certificate and Diploma Programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science shall adhere to all the principles of the 2013 Senate document, in addition to meeting the following requirements:

  1. Certificate and Diploma Programs must be structured around a focused or coherent theme.
  2. To ensure that the highest academic standards are met, all proposed Academic Certificate and Diploma Programs shall follow the standard academic program approval processes within the Faculty of Arts and Science and the University, in accordance with the Queen’s University Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAPs). All Academic Certificates and Diplomas will be reported to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for approval or information
  3. Certificate and Diploma Programs must be able to demonstrate their financial and academic viability, and will be reviewed 5 years after first being offered.
  4. Certificate and Diploma Programs shall be available for all students who meet the criteria for admission, regardless of the Degree Program and/or Plan in which students are registered.
    1. Certificates that are comprised of online courses only will be available to all students registered in the Undergraduate and Undergraduate Online Careers.
    2. Certificates that are comprised of any combination of on-campus and online courses will be available to all students registered in the Undergraduate Career only.
  5. It shall be stipulated at the approval stage whether the Certificate or Diploma may be registered for independently of a Degree Program, or whether the Certificate must be taken together with an undergraduate Degree Program (and conferred concurrently with or after the degree).
  6. All fully-online Certificate and Diploma Programs, and all the online components of Certificate and Diploma Programs offered in part through face-to-face delivery, shall be developed and offered in partnership with Arts and Science Online, in accordance with the Faculty’s Quality Assurance standards for online learning.
  7. Academic Certificate Programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science shall consist of a minimum of 15.0 units. Diplomas shall typically consist of 30.0 units, but may comprise between 27.0 and 33.0 units.

  8. i. For students who are registered in both a Degree Program and a Certificate or Diploma Program, no more than 50% of the units required for the Certificate or Diploma Program can also be counted towards the requirements of any other academic Program or for the requirements of any Plan that is a constituent part of the Program. Similarly, no more than 50% of the units required for an academic Program or its constituent Plan(s) can be used towards a Certificate or Diploma Program.

    ii. For students who are admitted to a Certificate or Diploma Program only, all of the units required to complete the Certificate or Diploma Program may be counted towards the requirements of a Degree Program into which students are subsequently admitted.

  9. No more than 50% of the units required for a Certificate or Diploma Program may be transfer credits from outside Queen’s University.
  10. All courses created to support Senate-conferred Certificate and Diploma Programs shall be assessed and shall follow the same approval process within the Faculty of Arts and Science as courses supporting a Degree Program.
  11. Students admitted to a Senate-conferred Certificate or Diploma Program must meet the criteria for funding eligibility from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
  12. The minimum admission requirements for Certificate and Diploma Programs shall be set by the Faculty of Arts and Science at the time of their approval.
  13. Students will apply for admission to a Certificate or Diploma Program through a process determined by the Faculty of Arts and Science. Students will register in the program and courses through established registration procedures. Acceptance to a Certificate or Diploma Program does not on its own entitle a student to acceptance into a Degree Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
  14. Tuition fees, as approved by the Board of Trustees, will be assessed and collected by the Office of the University Registrar.
  15. The University will maintain the academic record for all students enrolled in Senate-conferred Certificate and Diploma Programs. The Office of the University Registrar will issue official transcripts for such students, and graduates will be invited to receive their Certificate or Diploma at convocation.