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What is a certificate program?

A certificate program is a continuing education offering that provides the skills needed for career advancement or entering into a new field.

An introduction to certificate programs

Delivered in a series of courses, certificate programs help participants acquire and demonstrate knowledge on a specific expertise. They also:

  • Are offered in a variety of subjects across multiple industries, from business and leadership to IT.
  • Are open to entry-level and experienced professionals of varying academic levels.
  • Prepare students for professional certification.
  • Are tailored for working professionals—so courses are nearly always scheduled on weekends, nights or online.

Certificate program benefits

Aside from mastering a new topic, certificate programs help participants reach their professional and educational objectives, such as:

  • Switching careers, or finding employment without returning to school for a full-time undergraduate or graduate-level program.
  • Staying up-to-date or specializing in a certain subject in your field. In addition to the practical benefits of this new knowledge, a certificate shows commitment and builds credibility.
  • Meeting accreditation exams or state-mandated requirements for continuing education.
  • Distinguishing yourself in hiring and promotion decisions.
  • Gaining academic credit (for select programs), which can save time and money.

Designed for professionals by professionals

Highly qualified professionals and subject-matter experts with years of experience teach certificate programs. That means:

  • Instructors take examples from their professional experiences to guide you with the best strategies to excel.
  • They are selected against rigorous standards and requirements—ensuring the selection of top experts.

Getting started

California State University, Fullerton offers dozens of certificate programs, providing education in numerous fields and skillsets. Visit our Certificate Programs page for a list of all current programs.

If you have any questions about certificate programs or advancing your career through Professional Development at Cal State Fullerton, feel free to contact us anytime.