UCLA Extension

Certificate Program FAQs and Policies

Why choose a Certificate over another degree?

Certificates are ideal if you want specific, practical knowledge in a particular field. They offer a focused course of study balancing theory and practice with an emphasis on real-world experience.

By contrast, many graduate degrees focus on theory. Because completing a certificate program can take less time and significantly less money than a graduate degree, it’s also an ideal way to quickly improve your professional skills, gain practical training, or explore alternate careers.

In addition, most of UCLA Extension’s certificate programs offer open enrollment, meaning you will not have to take preliminary standardized tests, compete for enrollment, or have a certain GPA for admission.

How do employers perceive UCLA Extension’s Certificates?

Employers worldwide recognize the value of ongoing training and up-to-date skills. Certificate programs—focused study sequences that combine theory with practical knowledge—are typically very well received by employers, and can be a significant consideration for hiring and promotion. In addition, because certificate program curriculum is reviewed at least every 5 years, and frequently developed by accredited professional organizations, state commissions and board, employers can rest assured of relevant, current topic coverage in the classroom.

I’m an international student; can I enroll in a certificate program?

Yes, many of our certificate programs are suitable for international students, who can study here while on an F-1 visa. For details, see our International Students section here.

When and how do I enroll in classes?

There is no application or formal paperwork that is required to start the certificate program. You simply sign up for classes based on the order outlined in the Quarterly Curriculum Sequence. Use this chart to map out which classes you should be enrolling in per quarter in order to efficiently progress through the program. All Arc+ID classes are offered every quarter (except for the History classes, see chart for details) so you can start the program at any quarter! Registration usually begins a month and a half before the quarter starts. Check the Academic Calendar for important quarter and registration start dates. For instructions on how to enroll in classes, click here.

Once I’m enrolled in classes, am I automatically eligible to receive my Certificate?

Not quite. You must establish Candidacy in the Interior Design Certificate program first.

Students can take up to 5 classes in the Arc+ID program before they establish Candidacy. The Interior Design Candidacy Fee is $250, non-refundable, non-transferable. To establish Candidacy, click here and select “Apply Now.” Please note: International Students must establish Candidacy before starting classes. To apply for Candidacy as an International Student, click here. For more information, please visit the International Student Office or call (310) 825-9351.

We suggest you first try a couple of program courses; however we encourage you establish your Candidacy as soon as you have decided to pursue the program.

In addition, candidate students will have exclusive access to a set of resources & benefits including:

  • Full-Time Counselor dedicated to working individually with each student.
  • Priority spot on waitlists over non-candidate students.
  • Access to the Job + Internship listings as a benefit just for Certificate students.
  • BruinCard available for a $10 fee, for the duration of the program.

How many courses can I take a quarter?

3 classes per quarter is considered a full-time student load. Those that take classes part-time usually take 1-2 classes per quarter.

Can I take certificate courses if I haven’t filed for candidacy?

In general, yes. There are some exceptions such as courses and internships reserved exclusively for our Certificate Candidates; check individual course listings for exceptions.

I’ve taken similar courses elsewhere—can they apply toward my certificate?

If you’ve completed courses at an accredited U.S. college that seem to be equivalent, you can petition to apply your prior coursework towards your Certificate. Upon acceptance of your petition, an amount up to a maximum of 25% of the unit in your program may be advanced, and specific required courses may also be waived. Petitions for advanced standing and course waivers must be made within the first quarter of the Certificate Program. Once you have established Candidacy and have started the program, all remaining required courses must be completed at UCLA Extension; courses taken at other institutions will not be accepted. Click here to contact our Program Advisor for more details.

Since I never went to college will I be able to handle the course work?

You do not need a college (bachelor’s) degree to enroll in the Interior Design Certificate Program. Most Certificate Program courses are at the academic level of post-baccalaureate (college/bachelor’s degree) or some may be at the level of undergraduate major sequences. While most advanced courses typically have prerequisites, we usually offer introductory courses you can take if you’re at a beginning level or need to refresh your knowledge.

Can I take courses towards my certificate on a passed/not passed status?

No. All courses taken for the Certificate Program must be taken for a letter grade. A grade of “C-” or better is required for the course to count towards the Certificate. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required to earn the Certificate of Interior Design. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required in the Foundation Level is required for eligibility for the Master of Interior Architecture degree program (in addition to a 3.0 GPA minimum in the undergraduate level of studies).