Certification of Professional Achievement

Some schools offer programs consisting of credit-bearing courses that do not require a sufficient number of points to qualify for a certificate.  To recognize student participation in those programs, the University offers a Certification of Professional Achievement (CPA).

A program leading to a CPA offers an organized, stand-alone curriculum of a minimum of four credit-bearing courses, totaling 12 points, taken for a letter grade.  Students may not receive a CPA for completing a major, minor or concentration or for taking courses that count toward a degree or certificate.

To request approval for a Certification of Professional Achievement (CPA), schools should complete a New Program Proposal Application. Applications for new programs are processed through the Academic Program Approval System (APAS). Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP) at ovpap@columbia.edu or (212) 854-2691 for access to APAS. Before entering a new program into APAS, schools should complete the New Program Proposal Pre-APAS Worksheet

After completing internal Provostial reviews, including a decanal review of the proposal, the Vice Provost will forward it to the Education Committee of the University Senate.  The Committee provides the final authorization for new Certifications of Professional Achievement.  They do not need the approval of the full University Senate or the University Trustees.  They are not registered with the New York State Department of Education, nor is it necessary to send them to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for review.