Apr 21, 2024  
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Individualized Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

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Individualized study for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree.

UMass Dartmouth offers those who already hold a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to meet new career or work demands, or to satisfy personal goals through an Individualized Post-Baccalaureate Program (IPBC). In special student status, these students pursue non-degree study leading to a certificate without receiving formal admission to a master’s degree program. The IPBC candidate receives the advantages of program planning with an advisor, a departmental commitment and favorable timing for class registration. Depending on one’s qualifications, courses in an individual’s IPBC may be at the graduate or undergraduate levels or a combination the two.

After forming general plans about the program of studies desired, the student applies to the academic department in which the principal studies are to be pursued. There her/his needs are discussed and qualifications reviewed and a program of specific courses is selected. A IPBC may be pursued in any academic department of the university that chooses to participate, and interdepartmental programs may also be proposed. Some departments will prepare “packages” of courses designed to meet known needs; others will rely on separate course selections to meet each candidate’s needs individually. In the process of formulating a student’s IPBC, the advisor must consider the availability of course offerings, in terms of both anticipated scheduling and the likelihood of space being available; when more than one department is involved, the chairperson of the other department will be consulted.

The number of courses in a IPBC is generally more than three but fewer than in a regular undergraduate minor. Students working toward IPBC certification must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the listed courses, and the department is free to establish a higher minimum level of performance. The listing of courses for the IPBC will be maintained in the student’s registrar’s office file. The department will indicate official completion of the IPBC, which will be recorded on the transcript, and a letter of verification will be issued.

The IPBC is not a means of pursuing a formal graduate degree, a second undergraduate major or an undergraduate minor, which are available through the regular admission/re-admission programs of the university.

Those interested may request a IPBC packet at the office of Graduate Admissions, the Registrar, or an academic department. The packet describes the program and enrollment processes, indicates the documentation required from the applicant and includes all necessary forms. Officers in Graduate Admissions can provide advice and assistance to those making initial inquiries.

Prospective IPBC students will bring the completed form to the department involved, along with their college/university transcripts showing courses and grades and completion of a baccalaureate degree (departments might require other forms of documentation at their discretion). If agreement is reached to establish a IPBC for an applicant, its specific courses and requirements will be recorded on a second form and the department chairperson’s approval will be obtained (and Dean’s if so stipulated by that College). The IPBC thus serves like a contract between the student and the department, establishing courses to be completed and other terms for the completion of the program and the awarding of the post-baccalaureate certificate.

If a IPBC is not agreed upon, the prospective student can return to the Graduate Studies Office for additional guidance.

IPBC students may register during the previous semester, along with current juniors. As a condition, IPBC students must receive timely departmental approval prior to each registration in order to insure that advising and progress-monitoring occur. Without this approval, they must register along with other special students just before the beginning of the semester and will receive no priority of access to registration.

IPBC students will pay the fees appropriate for non-degree status. Those who register during the prior semester must pay their fees at the time of registration.

Note: Regulations indicate that most forms of financial aid are not available for this program because of its individualized, variable curriculum.

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