About Our Credentials

At UBC Extended Learning (ExL), you can earn a certificate, award of achievement or micro-certificate. Designed with adult learners in mind, these programs offer you a focused yet flexible path for you to upskill or reskill, or explore new directions for your career.

Discover programs that are thought-provoking,  relevant and ever-evolving, with content that bridges real-world practice and theory, at one of Canada’s top universities. Demonstrate to employers and colleagues your commitment to your personal and professional development.

Our Programs At-a-Glance

Credential Type Approximate Number
of Courses
Minimum Hours of Learning Activities
UBC Certificate 4-6 150 hours
UBC Award of Achievement 4-6 120 hours
UBC Micro-certificate 1-3 50 hours

Certificate Programs

If you want to reskill to position yourself for a new career or future educational or accreditation opportunities, consider a UBC Certificate. Learn in-depth about a topic or discipline over 150 hours or more of learning activities. UBC Certificates are approved by the UBC Senate, and are held to the same standards as degrees, specializations and courses.

Some certificate programs accept one group of students at the start of the program (called a cohort) that progresses through the program together, which affords you an opportunity to forge professional connections and friendships. To be awarded a UBC Certificate, a student must demonstrate proficiency in the certificate’s learning outcomes and meet attendance and participation requirements.

For some certificate programs, you apply and are accepted into the program. For others, you register and successfully complete courses one-by-one that can be applied toward a certificate. Most of our certificates are part-time.


Award of Achievement Programs

UBC Award of Achievement programs are shorter than certificates, and comprise a series of courses that deepen your skills in one subject area. Programs are designed to be flexible – in most (but not all) of our award of achievement programs, you can take courses in any order and choose from a group of electives. Some require an application or a letter of intent.


Micro-certificate Programs

UBC Micro-certificates comprise short-duration, competency-based learning opportunities that align with labour market or community needs and can be assessed and recognized for employment or further learning opportunities.  Through 1-2 integrated courses (or more), micro-certificates can be taken as a standalone credential or, depending on the program, can be stacked into more comprehensive learning opportunities. You don’t need to apply to a micro-certificate program – simply register for the courses.


Are your courses and programs for credit?

Like many other continuing education and continuing studies and university extension programs, ExL courses and programs are non-credit. This means that, at this time, ExL courses cannot be applied toward a UBC degree or for-credit programs.

If you’re applying for credit programs at other universities or colleges, institutions may consider your non-credit ExL courses in assessing your educational background. UBC Certificate, Micro-certificate and Award of Achievement programs can equip you with the skills and knowledge – and confidence – to apply for such programs.