Certificate Program Requirements

Required Units

Credit-bearing courses carry a unit value. You must enroll in at least 12 academic units in your program by the first day of each quarter to maintain your student visa status. At least 8 units must be in the classroom and no more than one online class.

We recommend you enroll early. Courses fill quickly and if you are unable to get into the required minimum of 12 units, you jeopardize your F-1 visa status. 

All courses must be taken ‘For Credit/Letter Grade’ to count towards the 12 units required to maintain F-1 visa status.

Advanced Standing and Course Waivers

In your first quarter, you can petition to have required or elective courses waived if you have completed the coursework elsewhere. You must submit certified academic transcripts to your academic advisor. If a waiver is granted, you will be credited with units of advanced standing allowing you to finish your program sooner. You will be able to discuss advanced standing and course waivers with your certificate program advisor.

Required Grades—Grade Point Average (GPA)

Certificate students must pass all required courses and maintain a minimum GPA as required by your certificate program. The minimum GPA varies for each program. Contact the certificate program advisor for the GPA you need to maintain in your program or view the grading details on the Grading Scale.

Earned F grades do not count toward your GPA so you must re-take any course in which you get a grade of F. Your allotted time for study remains the same. So, you may have to skip a vacation quarter to complete your program on time and bring your GPA up to the required minimum.

Supplemental English Courses

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting the minimum TOEFL, IELTS or iTEP test score required by their certificate program.

Admitted international students whose test scores are below 100 on TOEFL iBT, 7.0 on the IELTS Academic, or 5.1 on the iTEP Academic-Plus will be required to take one or two supplemental English for International Students courses based upon the following:

Test Score

Required English Course(s)


IELTS Academic
6.5 with 6.0 or below in writing

iTEP Academic-Plus

ESL X 433B and ESL X 433C


IELTS Academic
6.5 with 6.5 or above in writing

iTEP Academic-Plus

ESL X 433C

100 or above

IELTS Academic
7.0 or above

iTEP Academic-Plus
5.1 or above

None required

Each English course counts toward the 12 units of courses that you are required to take each quarter as an F-1 student. English courses are worth four units each. You may enroll in one English course per quarter plus two certificate program courses. For further inquiry about supplemental English courses, contact the American Language Center (ALC) at alc@uclaextension.edu or (310) 794-3252.

English Language Requirement Waivers

International applicants may be exempt from the English language proficiency test requirement if one of the following criteria are met:

  • Are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or English-speaking Canada, and English is your native language
  • Have studied for a minimum of four years at a high school, college, or university in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or English-speaking Canada
  • Have earned a graduate level degree from a college or university in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or English-speaking Canada
  • Have completed UCLA Extension's Academic Intensive English Program (AIEP) Level 107 (or higher) with earned grades of A- (or higher) in the two core subjects, and will complete ESL X 433C as required*

Eligible applicants may request a waiver of the English language proficiency requirement by submitting a completed waiver request form and supporting evidence, if applicable.

*UCLA Extension policy allows some students from our Academic Intensive English Program (AIEP) to request a waiver from providing an English language test for admission into some UCLA Extension certificate programs; however, an additional course (ESL X 433C) is required. This test waiver applies solely to UCLA Extension certificate programs requiring TOEFL scores 83-89 or IELTS Academic score 6.5 or iTEP Academic score 4.5-4.9. It does not apply to certificate programs requiring 90 (or higher) on the TOEFL or 7.0 (or higher) on the IELTS Academic or 5.0 (or higher) on the iTEP Academic. This test waiver does not apply to the following programs: Landscape Architecture, Paralegal Studies, Journalism, Human Resources Management, Fitness Instruction, Screenwriting: Film and TV, Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classics. 

Learn more about our international programs.


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