Getting Started with a Noncredit Certificate Program

Noncredit professional development certificate programs are designed for students seeking to elevate their career and pursue new opportunities. An FIT/SUNY certificate is an excellent addition to a resume, setting you apart from other candidates. Upon successful completion of all required courses, students will receive an official FIT certificate and may request a formal transcript from the college. 

How to Enter a Multiple Course Noncredit Certificate Program

Entering a multiple course noncredit certificate program at FIT is a three-step process:

1. Register for Classes

There is no application or admissions process for noncredit classes. Simply register for courses in person or through web registration. You can register for as many classes as you like, just be advised that courses with prerequisites must be completed in order.

2. Successfully complete all required courses within 24 months. Noncredit courses are graded on a pass/WD basis, and students are expected to attend all sessions of classes and certificates. Students taking classes or certificate in which instructors have different attendance expectations will be notified in advance of the first class. 

3. Submit Your Completion Form

When you have completed all of your courses, you must submit a Notification of Completion form either electronically or in the office at 236 West 27th storefront. Students will not receive a certificate until all requirements have been successfully completed and an application request has been submitted. 

**Please note that effective January 1, 2020 students no longer need to file an affidavit or declaration form to pursue a certificate. Students should simply follow the outline on the website for their chosen program and complete all courses listed. Once you are complete with all of your courses you can submit a completion form as linked above.

How to Enter a Single Course Noncredit Certificate Program

Entering a single course noncredit certificate program at FIT is a three-step process:
**Please note these steps are only for students in the single course format certificate programs listed below: 
3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Browzwear, Color Art and Design for Fashion-Related Products, Motion Graphics, Omni-Channel Management, User Interface (UI) Design, User Experience (UX) Design

1. Register for Classes

There is no application or admissions process for noncredit classes. Simply register for courses in person or through web registration.

2. Complete your course with a passing grade. Please note that different programs have different attendance requirements based on length of the particular program. Students must attend the required number of courses and satisfactorily complete all assignments in order to receive a passing grade.

3. Students who successfully complete their certificate program will receive their certificate on the last night of the course. If you are unable to attend that evening, please contact our office to arrange pick-up or mailing of your certificate. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Noncredit Certificate Programs

How do I start a certificate program?
Just follow the steps above. There is no application process and no portfolio required for noncredit certificate programs.

Do I need previous experience?
Our programs are open to adults 18 years of age and up and prior experience is not required for most of our programs. We highly recommend that students interested in any of the Product Development certificates have industry experience: knowledge of construction techniques and sewing is crucial as the courses involve a high level of technical information. For students without this experience, we recommend contacting the office to discuss preparatory course options. 

Do I need to apply to FIT to pursue a noncredit certificate?
No, our programs are open to the general public. You are welcome to contact the office for any specific questions or concerns. Also consider attending one of our Advisement & Registration Sessions to learn more about program options.

What is the difference between credit and noncredit?
Credit and noncredit courses differ in terms of length, cost, and subject matter.

Credit classes are a full 15 week semester long course. These classes receive college credit that may be applied towards a degree or credit certificate. The credits can also potentially be transferred to another institution. Credit courses receive letter grades: A, B, C, etc. Certain credit classes at the college may be taken as a non-degree student.

The noncredit programs are unique offerings that focus on a specific area or skill set not traditionally offered in a formal degree program. These are short intensive programs, typically between 1-8 sessions per course, and are graded on a pass/fail basis. These classes do not carry college credits, meaning they cannot be transferred to another college or counted towards a degree program at FIT. Noncredit classes may be applied to one of our many noncredit certificates, but only if the course is part of the curriculum for a given program.

When are courses offered?
You can view current and upcoming courses offerings on our site. Courses are typically offered on evenings and weekends or online. Note that in the summer term and on occasion classes will be offered during the daytime hours. Our courses are designed for working professionals in mind, so we make every effort to accommodate scheduling conflicts or issues. Not every course is offered every semester and some final capstone classes run only once or twice a year.

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. Noncredit courses are not eligible for any type of financial aid and payment is due in full at the time of registration.

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 as well as the particular program of choice. Most certificates of completion are designed to be taken in a fairly sequential manner, so the average student can expect a minimum of 6-12 months. Some of the certificates are short programs that can be completed in as little as 2-3 months. The maximum time permitted to complete any certificate is 24 months. Note that some programs have courses with prerequisites, which require the student to complete courses in a specific order. 

Should I pursue a degree program or a certificate program?
A noncredit 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 classes you will need to take. Because noncredit classes vary in length and content, you will notice that cost per class varies as well. Cost per class can be found on our registration website. Noncredit courses are the same price regardless of residency.

Can I get a student visa by doing a noncredit certificate program?  Do I need a visa? What type?
At FIT students in B-1/B-2 (tourist/visitor) status may only register for the noncredit Hot Topics courses and seminars, as long as the classes begin and end within the period of stay authorized by the immigration service. These courses do not carry college credits and are only graded on a pass/fail basis.

FIT is only able to assist a student in obtaining a visa if they apply and are accepted to a full-time degree program.  Noncredit certificate programs are not degree programs and also are not a course of full-time study, so students in this program are not eligible for a student visa or an I-20.

Read more about International Students and visas.

What if I only take a few noncredit classes at FIT? Can I still get a certificate or can I design my own course of study?
For students who take individual classes outside a certificate program we are happy to issue a letter of completion. This is an official FIT document that verifies that a student has completed coursework in the noncredit programs. Please note that in order to be eligible for a letter of completion all courses must be completed with a passing grade. You can request a letter of completion here. Students are also welcome to request a formal transcript from the Registrar’s office.

Students cannot design their own certificate programs and FIT will not issue any type of certificate until all program requirements have been met.

 **Note that students must complete all assignments and attend all sessions of a course in order to receive a passing grade. All noncredit courses are graded on a pass/WD basis and only courses completed with a passing grade can be counted towards completion of a chosen program.