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School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Getting Started with Credit Certificate Programs

Are you a prospective student interested in pursuing a credit certificate program?  If so, please request more information about our certificate programs.

Certificates are awarded after successful completion of all required courses.  Completion generally takes between 4 and 6 semesters, depending on course availability, the certificate and the rate at which you take courses.  Note that some programs have courses with prerequisites, which require the student to have taken courses that are not actually a part of the certificate program, or have knowledge & experience in the prerequisite area that allows the Chairperson to waive the prerequisites.  Additionally, all clothing construction & sewing certificates require strong sewing skills.


 Entering a Certificate Program at FIT is a two step process:

  1. Register for classes
    There is no need for an application or any other process to begin a certificate.  Simply register for classes in-person or through web registration.
  2. Complete the Online Certificate Declaration**
    Once you have registered and received your student ID number, complete the Online Certificate Declaration form to ensure we know you plan to pursue the certificate and can update you on course offerings and program information.  To do so:
    • Log into MyFIT
    • Click the "Student" tab
    • Click the "Online Information System"
    • Click the "Student" link
    • Click the "Online Certificate Declaration" link, then follow the instructions.

After successful completion of all required courses, you may apply to receive your certificate at the Registrar's Office (C158) by filling out the Application for Certificate form.

**The Retail Management Certificate and Sustainable Packaging Design Certificate require an application process.  See their respective pages for details.


Frequently Asked Questions on Credit Certificate Programs:

How do I start a certificate program?
Just follow the two steps above.  There is no application process and no portfolio required for most certificates, with the exception of the Retail Management Certificate.

When are courses offered?
You can view current and upcoming courses offerings on our site.  Virtually all certificate courses are offered on evenings and weekends, with a small number offered online in the CAD for Fashion Design-Art program.  Courses are usually offered once per year, so you need to register for them as they come available.

Is Financial Aid available?
No, the federal government requires that a student be in their first degree granting program to receive financial aid, and a certificate is not considered a degree program.

How long does it take to complete a certificate program?
This depends on several factors, including the rate at which you take the classes and when they are offered.  Most certificates are designed to be taken in a fairly sequential manner, so the average student can expect 4-5 terms at a minimum.  Note that some programs have courses with prerequisites, which require the student to have taken courses that are not actually a part of the certificate program, or have knowledge & experience in the prerequisite area that allows the Chairperson to waive the prerequisites.  Additionally, all clothing construction & sewing certificates require strong sewing skills.

Should I do a degree program or a certificate program?
A certificate is not a substitute for a degree program, it is an additional credential that demonstrates expertise in a given field.  However, some students may do a certificate program instead of a degree, depending on their personal goals and interests.

How much will it cost?
Take a look at the website for your certificate program of choice to determine how many credits you will need to take, then multiple by the appropriate tuition rate and add in fees to get an idea of what the cost will be for you.  Credit certificate courses are considered associate or bachelor level courses for the purposes of tuition.

Do I need prior experience in the area before taking the certificate program?  
With the exception of Millinery and Performance Athletic Footwear, all certificate programs assume a significant knowledge of the subject area.  Most of them are designed for someone who already possesses a degree in Fashion Design and want to augment or enhance their proficiency in a specific area.  For all clothing construction & sewing certificates, the students should have strong sewing skills prior to enrolling in the certificate program.

What is the curriculum or the course descriptions?
You will find the curriculum and course descriptions linked from each certificate program's page.

Is a portfolio required to start the program?
No, though visiting a faculty member during one of our Advisement & Registration Sessions to discuss your experience and show them your work could be valuable.

Can I get a student visa by doing a certificate program?  Do I need a visa?
To study credit courses in the United States, a student must have a visa that allows credit study, which does not include tourist visas.  However, FIT is only able to assist a student in obtaining a visa if they apply and are accepted to a degree program.  Certificate programs are not degree programs.  Read more about International Students and visas.
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