Minors, Specializations and Certificates

Please see the appropriate undergraduate or graduate tab for information regarding minors, specializations and certificates.

Undergraduate Minors, Specializations and Certificates: Definitions and Guidelines

minor provides students the opportunity to explore a secondary area of inquiry independent of the academic major. A minor requires successful completion of at least 15 semester credits in a single prescribed area of study pursued concurrently with bachelor's degree requirements.

specialization is an identified area within an undergraduate program that consists of a minimum of 15 semester credits pursued concurrently with bachelor's degree requirements. The specialization is a subset of the major, and credits earned toward a specialization are calculated in the required number of courses/credits for the earned major.

certificate represents the pursuit of applied knowledge and/or skills in a specific field of study recognized by a profession. An undergraduate certificate is a non-degree program requiring at least 15 semester credits. A student who wishes to pursue a certificate program must apply through Admissions. If a certificate student enrolls later in a degree-bearing program, the applicable courses successfully completed for the certificate program may be applied to the requirements of the student's declared program.

A micro-certificate is a non-degree credential offered to non-degree students through JWU’s College of Online Education (COE) to provide targeted instruction for industry/field specific knowledge and/or skills. Undergraduate micro-certificates are normally comprised of 12 semester credits. Graduate micro-certificates are normally comprised of 9 semester credits. Previously earned academic credits cannot be applied to micro-certificate requirements. A student who wishes to pursue a micro-certificate must apply through COE Admissions. If a micro-certificate student later enrolls in a degree-bearing program, the courses successfully completed for the micro-certificate may be applied to the requirements of the student’s declared program. 

Guidelines for Minors
  • To earn a minor, a student must complete a minimum of 15 semester credits in a single prescribed area of study concurrently with his or her bachelor’s degree requirements.
  • A student may not pursue a major and a minor in the same field of study.
  • A student may not create their own minor.
  • Credits earned in major courses cannot be applied to the minor. Courses in the A&S Core Experience, Related Professional Studies and Business Foundations may be applied to the minor. Please consult the catalog for specific course requirements for minors.
  • A student who wants to declare a minor must submit a request form to Student Academic Services no later than the start of their senior year. Students are encouraged to declare a minor as early in their academic career as possible to allow for proper planning of registration.
  • Courses offered through study abroad may apply.
  • A maximum of 6.0 credit hours of transfer credit can be applied to the attainment of a minor.
  • Some minors may require completion of prerequisite courses that extend the minor beyond 15 semester credits. Advisors must caution students that pursuing a minor may extend the amount of time needed to complete a degree program.
  • The successful completion of a minor will be recorded on the student’s academic transcript when the degree is awarded. A minor will not be applied to a student’s academic transcript after the degree has been awarded. No form of honors or grade point average will be issued for the minor. 

Graduate Concentrations and Certificate Programs: Definitions and Guidelines

concentration is an area of study within a graduate degree program that consists of a minimum of 12 semester credits. The concentration is a subset of the major, and credits earned toward a concentration are calculated in the required number of courses/credits for the earned major.

certificate program represents the pursuit of applied knowledge and/or skills in a specific field of study recognized by a profession. A graduate certificate is a non-degree program requiring at least 12 semester credits. 

Embedded certificates will be awarded only in certain areas where the credential would be recognized by a profession. 

micro-certificate is a non-degree credential offered to non-degree students through JWU’s College of Online Education (COE) to provide targeted instruction for industry/field specific knowledge and/or skills. Undergraduate micro-certificates are normally comprised of 12 semester credits. Graduate micro-certificates are normally comprised of 9 semester credits. Previously earned academic credits cannot be applied to micro-certificate requirements. A student who wishes to pursue a micro-certificate must apply through COE Admissions. If a micro-certificate student later enrolls in a degree-bearing program, the courses successfully completed for the micro-certificate may be applied to the requirements of the student’s declared program. 

Guidelines for Graduate Certificates
  • An external student who wishes to pursue a graduate certificate program must apply through JWU Admissions. If a certificate student enrolls later in a degree-bearing program, the courses successfully completed for the certificate program may be applied to the course requirements of the student’s declared program.
  • A maximum of 3.0 semester hours of transfer credit can be applied to the attainment of a graduate certificate.
  • The certificate will be awarded after the necessary courses have been successfully completed. Completion of a certificate will be recorded on the student’s academic transcript.