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Certificate Program Policies
Certificate Program Policies
Becoming a candidate
Prospective certificate candidates may declare their candidacy by submitting a completed Application for Candidacy to the Continuing Education (CE) Office at any time during the academic year. Students who wish to pursue a certificate must first enroll in a CE certificate program course. Students who take certificate courses with the intention of becoming a candidate at a later date have a one-year grace period in which to declare candidacy. Students must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent in order to pursue a certificate. The Application for Candidacy can be found on the Certificates page of ce.risd.edu
Schedule for certificate programs
The Certificate Program Curriculum Guide for each program lists the courses required to earn a certificate. Candidates must enroll in two courses per academic year, and are bound by the program requirements stated in the Certificate Program Curriculum Guide at the time candidacy is declared. Students should refer to the curriculum guide for the duration of their candidacy. Students generally take approximately two years to complete a certificate. The pace is determined by the individual student's needs and schedule, as well as course schedules and availability. Please note that most courses include homework assignments requiring significant time commitments. The course sequence shown on the curriculum guides are recommended; however, it may not always be possible to follow these exactly. Students may register for other relevant courses, provided prerequisites for those courses have been met. Note: All courses, prerequisites and schedules are subject to change without notice.
Leave of absence
Candidates unable to enroll in two courses per academic year may request a formal leave of absence, valid for one year. Candidates should send written notification and an explanation of circumstances to the Associate Director for CE Enrollment + Operations. If written notice is not on file, the student is classified as inactive if no courses were taken for one year. Students taking a leave of absence for longer than one year, as well as inactive students, are subject to curriculum requirements as stated in the Certificate Program Curriculum Guide at the time of re-enrollment in the program.
Candidates may request waivers for successful completion of a similar course taken at another institution (must include a transcript and course description), or for work experience or training (must include a job description or resume). Only Core Level courses may be waived. To waive courses, candidates should complete a Course Waiver/Course Substitution Form and submit it to the CE Office along with the above required documentation. Students may waive up to four courses. A separate form must be submitted for each waiver requested. We will review the request and grant a waiver if appropriate. Note: Concentration Level courses cannot be waived.
Candidates may request to substitute one certificate course for another, based on successful completion of a similar course taken at another institution (must include a transcript and course description), or for work experience or training (must include a job description or resume). To waive courses, candidates should complete a Course Waiver/Course Substitution Form and submit it to the CE Office, along with the above required documentation. A separate form must be submitted for each substitution requested. There is a limit of two course substitutions allowed in any certificate program. Note: Substitutions for Concentration Level courses are considered on an individual basis; no substitutions are allowed for Final Studio courses.
To graduate, candidates must complete all program requirements within six academic years, achieving a grade of C- or better (in each graded course) or Pass (in each Pass/Fail course) in order to maintain their candidacy. Candidates who fail to achieve these grades must supplement or repeat courses to fulfill program requirements.
Petition to graduate
Candidates who anticipate fulfilling all requirements for graduation must submit a Petition to Graduate to CE during the Fall registration period of the academic year in which they intend to graduate. Information concerning graduation will be emailed to eligible candidates. Failure to submit a Petition during these months may jeopardize the student's timely graduation. The Assistant Director for Advising + Registration will review the candidate's transcripts and confirm their status.
Certificate Graduate Benefits
RISD|CE certificate graduates will receive the following benefits after graduation from certificate programs:
- ID card issued by Continuing Education after graduation
- Access to the RISD Library and borrowing privileges (in person only); membership fee is required.
- Free admission to the RISD Museum
- 10% discount at RISD Works, the RISD stores and CE non-credit Extension class tuition
- Access to RISD Portfolios to post their portfolios online
- Access to RISD Career Center programs (some may have a fee)
Note: Benefits are not transferable. RISD|CE certificate graduates are not eligible for RISD email, not eligible to participate in the art sale, and cannot sell at RISDWorks.