Online Certificates: FAQs
- I have never taken an online course, what is it like? Do I have to be online at a certain time?
- How many hours a week do the courses take?
- How many courses can I take each semester?
- Which courses do I have to take to complete the certificate?
- Can I transfer in a course to the certificate program?
- Can I use the credits earned from a certificate towards an MPH or other graduate-level degree?
- Can I enroll in other courses outside of the program curriculum, while enrolled in the certificate program?
- Can I enroll in the certificate or take certificate courses if I am currently a UNC degree student?
- Can I waive my application fee if I am a full-time UNC University employee?
- Can I get financial aid?
- Do students have access to online library materials?
- Will I be able to ask questions?
- I completed the certificate program, can I put some credentials (initials) after my name indicating my training?
- Will the Certificate be listed on my transcript?
- How do I get technical assistance?
I have never taken an online course, what is it like? Do I have to be online at a certain time?
No, our online certificate courses are asynchronous, meaning you do not need to be online at a certain time. There are, however, specific activities that must be completed by a certain time. Each course consists of a mix of readings, assignments and participation through a discussion forum, and audio/visual tutorials.
How many hours a week do the courses take?
Obviously, this varies from student to student. These are demanding graduate-level courses. The average number of hours per week/per course is 10-12. For some it is more and for others less.
How many courses can I take each semester?
We recommend students take only one course per semester. These are demanding graduate-level courses. These programs are designed for working professionals with full-time jobs and family responsibilities. Most courses take 10-12 hours of course work per week/per course. However, students can request to take more than one course per semester.
Which courses do I have to take to complete the certificate?
Please see the individual certificate program webpages for information about required courses and electives for the different programs.
Can I transfer in a course to the certificate program?
Transfer credit for one course may be allowed with approval by the Certificate Director. The following must be provided with the request: completed course exemption request form, course syllabus, and a copy of the transcript showing the final grade received.
Can I use the credits earned from a certificate towards an MPH or other graduate-level degree?
Credit hours earned from a UNC certificate program may be transferrable towards an MPH degree at UNC Gillings. We strongly recommend that you check with any concentration that you are interested in before beginning a certificate program.
Can I enroll in other courses outside of the program curriculum, while enrolled in the certificate program?
No, you cannot enroll in other courses while you are enrolled in the certificate program.
Can I enroll in the certificate or take certificate courses if I am currently a UNC degree student?
Unfortunately, you cannot be dually enrolled in a degree or continuing education program and a certificate program at the same time. You must complete or withdraw from your other program before beginning a certificate program.
Can I waive the application fee if I am a full-time UNC University employee?
Yes, full-time University employee can waive their application fee. You will need to submit a signed copy of the Application Fee Waiver Form (PDF) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, there is no financial aid for most certificate programs at this time. Here are a few URLs that you may be able to get information regarding scholarships and loans (please note that the following sites you’re are directed to are not UNC sites):
Do students have access to online library materials?
The UNC-CH libraries license and provide access to many electronic databases and journals for the use of UNC-CH faculty, staff, and students. Most electronic resources are accessible both on campus and from off-campus locations. The resources are accessible from on-campus computers without a login and password.
Will I be able to ask questions?
All courses have a faculty member and teaching assistants that are very accessible via discussion boards, phone or email.
I completed the certificate program; can I put some credentials (initials) after my name indicating my training?
The short answer to this question is no. UNC does not confer a degree nor national certification on certificate graduates, but rather a Certificate. The Certificate should be included on your resume/CV as part of your education and training, since it is a program you have completed and training/expertise you have developed. In general credentials or initials after one’s name are reserved for nationally-recognized and standardized academic programs for which there is often a common exam. Nationally, certificate programs vary widely in the type of training, number of hours, whether graduate credit is offered, etc., therefore there are no universally recognized and accepted initials which are appropriate to signify the completion of a certificate program.
Will the certificate be listed on my transcript?
Yes, after you complete the program, your transcripts will indicate not just your completed course work but also that you have earned this certificate. It is an impressive accomplishment of which you should be very proud. We are pleased that UNC will similarly acknowledge your accomplishment on your transcripts. Transcripts can be ordered online by current students and alumni of the University. Online transcript ordering is convenient, can be done from any location 24/7, and provides emails to inform students/alumni on the status of their request.
How do I get technical assistance?
Technical assistance is available through the University’s ATN department at 919-962-HELP or go to help.unc.edu to use live chat support or to submit a support request online. You can also go through the course faculty and teaching assistants.