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Professional Development Certificates - Frequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of the questions we get most often. Have additional questions or concerns? Give us a call at 612-624-4000 or send us an email.

General Certificate Questions

Online PD Certificate Courses - What to Expect

Many of our professional development courses are now available in an online format, as a response to the suspension of in-person instruction. Virtual options for courses that were previously held on campus will be synchronous, instructor-led sessions. See the online PD course FAQ page for details.

What is a certificate program?

Professional development certificate programs offer a cluster of courses that provide knowledge and training in a specific competency. The knowledge and skills you gain can be used immediately in the workplace and offer you:

  • applied knowledge to help you stay current
  • information to help you be an effective manager and leader
  • preparation for a new field or career
  • skills that position you for advancement

Completion of a certificate demonstrates:

  • commitment to master a specific body of knowledge or set of skills
  • breadth and depth of skill and understanding that comes from planned learning
  • dedication to professional advancement

How long do I have to complete a certificate program?

Participants have four years from the date of the first course to complete a professional development certificate, after which you will need to reenroll.

Will I receive an actual certificate?

Yes. Upon completion of each course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Once you have completed all of the courses required for the certificate program, you will receive a formal certificate from the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing and Professional Studies. You can also request that an official notification letter of completion be sent to an identified employer, supervisor, personnel manager, or association.

Will I receive a digital credential?

Yes. Certificate completers will earn a digital badge to display in your email signature and on your website, blog, and LinkedIn account as verification of your accomplishment to employers and peers.

How do I get a transcript of the courses I've taken?

You can receive a PDF transcript of the professional development courses you've taken by emailing ccapspdp@umn.edu.

Is there a fee to enroll in a certificate program?

There is no enrollment fee for these certificates.

Can I bring your courses to my organization?

Yes. We can bring the expertise of the U of M directly to your workplace with over 90 individual professional development courses and 14 certificate options for you, whether in-person or virtually, via Zoom. More information is available on our Contract Training website.

What type of credit is available?

A variety of professional credits is awarded for successfully completing the entire course.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU)
    The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement awarded to participants in a qualifying noncredit continuing education program. One CEU is defined as 10 contact hours. Six-contact-hour courses earn 0.6 CEUs.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) 
    Continuing professional education credits are frequently needed by accountants, finance professionals, and others. One CPE is awarded for every 50 minutes of instruction. Six-contact-hour courses award 7.2 CPEs.
  • Professional Development Units (PDU) 
    These are required for certified project managers, business analysts, and others. One PDU is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact-hour courses earn six PDUs.
  • Professional Development Hours (PDH) 
    These are awarded to engineers, architects, surveyors, and related professionals. One PDH is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact-hour courses earn six PDHs.

How can I access my course records, request a schedule change, and see announcements?

  1. Go to learning.umn.edu (works best in Firefox or Chrome)
  2. Click on the login button in the upper right corner and choose learner log-in. You might need to update your password or create a guest account. If you have an account already, click on 'continue' under 'I have a University Internet Account'. Otherwise, go to 'I am new to the University' and click 'continue.' If you have issues resetting a password or with access please call UMN IT at 612-301-4357 and explain that you are having issues with a guest account.
  3. Once you are logged in use the navigation tools on the left-hand side of the page, under Learner Profile:
Tab
What you can do there
My Profile
Manage or update your contact information
My Enrollment History
See all the classes you are enrolled in, and have completed or dropped. to drop or transfer a class, click "Request [Drop or Transfer]." It may take 24 hour business hours before your change is confirmed.
My Course Schedule
See a calendar of your upcoming courses
My Applications
See any program applications you've completed
My Certificates & Badges
View your certificate progress
My Account History
Overview of transactions
My Saved Items
Overview of courses saved in your cart
Forms & Policies
Check registration, cancellation, and privacy policies
Announcements
View announcements about changes to learning.umn.edu
Help
If you have issues with learning.umn.edu, enrolling, transferring, or cancelling courses, or need any other assistance, please use the Help tab to reach out for support

 

Agile Certificate

What are the qualifications of your instructors?

Instructors come from industries with considerable experience in the Agile philosophy. All have earned their Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) credential and several have the Certified Scrum Training® (CST®) credential.

Do the courses have to be completed in a certain order?

No, although it is best to begin with Agile Fundamentals.

How is the Agile Certificate different from the Certified ScrumMaster course?

The CSM is an test preparation course for anyone wishing to earn the CSM credential. It focuses on Scrum values, practices and applications, and processes for organizing, planning, and executing a Scrum IT project. The Agile Certificate provides a broader study of the Agile methodology as it is adopted by an organization.

If I have completed the Certified ScrumMaster course, can I skip any of the Agile courses?

Possibly. If you complete our Certified ScrumMaster course and our Introduction to Agile course, you can skip the two-day Agile Fundamentals course.

Are classes offered at night?

Not at this time. The Agile Certificate is offered only during the day.

Didn't see an answer to your question? Try looking here.

Business Analysis

Do the courses need to be completed in a certain order?

If you are new to business analysis, yes. Each required course builds on the topics addressed in the previous class. Courses are listed in recommended sequence on the Business Analysis Certificate page

If you are an experienced business analyst, the order is less critical. The elective course can be taken at any time.

If I complete this certificate, will I be ready to sit for the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) exam?

No. The CBAP exam is a rigorous test of your knowledge of the contents of the Guide to Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK™), requiring concentrated study. Our program provides practical skills that BAs can put into practice immediately. Earning the CBAP credential could be the next step in your BA journey.

Are classes offered at night?

Not at this time. The business analysis classes are currently offered only during the day.

Is this program recognized by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)?

Yes. All our courses are reviewed for alignment with the current version of BABOK™. We are an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) with the IIBA.

Didn't see an answer to your question? Try looking here.

Business Process Improvement Questions

Why is your program 48 hours?

Improving organizational processes requires both an understanding of the tools needed to identify existing processes (current state) and make improvements (future state), and the soft skills necessary to implement the organizational changes that will be required.

About how long will it take to complete the certificate?

The four courses are delivered approximately one month apart, so you should be able to finish in four months. If you miss a class, you can take it the next time it is offered. The certificate is offered twice each year (fall and spring).

Are classes offered at night?

Not at this time. The Business Process Improvement program is offered only during the day.

Is attendance mandatory?

Absolutely. If you miss a class session or a portion of a class that is greater than one hour, you will be required to repeat it. If you miss less than an hour of a class, you can talk with the instructor about making up the content you missed.

Didn't see an answer to your question? Try looking here.

Certified ScrumMaster® and Certified Scrum Product Owner®


What is Scrum?

Scrum is the leading Agile product development framework. It provides a foundation and path to delivering business goals in a collaborative, sane, and enjoyable manner. Scrum was created with software development in mind, but many other industries apply this framework to their own worlds. In fact, education, marketing, operations, and more are adopting Scrum and enjoying the benefits it brings them.

What is the difference between Certified ScrumMaster® certification and CertifiedScrum Product Owner® certification?

The Certified ScrumMaster® certification is geared toward getting an immersion into the Scrum framework and, as such, demonstrating proficiency as a Scrum Master.

The  CertifiedScrum Product Owner® certification focuses on training Agile Product Owners who give Scrum Development Team work direction, manage stakeholders, determine scope and schedule, and own the budget.

Can I just study for the Certified ScrumMaster test and bypass the course?

No. The Scrum Alliance® requires students to first complete the two-day ScrumMaster course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®). Full participation in the course is required to gain access to the online CSM® test. Your instructor certifies your attendance and participation and enrolls you as a member of the Alliance, which provides access to the test.

Is there a test requirement for the Certified Scrum Product Owner?

No, there is no test requirement.

What is included in the cost of the course?

In addition to two days of expert instruction, students are enrolled in the Scrum Alliance, with access to the online test. 

What is the format of the test?

The test consists of 50 questions. A passing score of 37 correct in 60 minutes or less is required. You’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding of key Scrum elements, including:

  • General Scrum knowledge
  • Scrum roles
  • Scrum meetings
  • Scrum artifacts 

What if I fail the test?

You will have two attempts within 90 days after you receive your welcome email to pass the test at no cost. After two attempts or 90 days, you will be charged $25 for each additional attempt.

What is the fee to become a member of the Scrum Alliance?

There is no additional fee; it is part of the course registration cost.

Does the course instructor need any special qualifications?

Yes. The Scrum Alliance only permits individuals holding the Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) credential to serve as the CSM instructor. There are fewer than 160 CST credential holders in the world.

Once the two-day CSM course is completed, how do I go about taking the test?

After completing your CSM course, you’ll receive an email from Scrum Alliance that includes a link to create your login credentials. The first step will be to take the test. Once the test is complete, you will be asked to accept a license agreement and set up your online profile. It may take up to two weeks after course completion to receive your welcome email.

Is there a test after the CSPO course?

No.

How soon after my course do I have to complete the test?

After receiving your membership email, you have 90 days to complete the test.

Can PMPs earn PDUs (Professional Development Units) by taking the course?

Yes.

Will I receive an actual "certificate"?

Yes. Upon completion of each course, you will receive a certificate of completion. Once you have completed all of the courses required for the certificate program, you will receive a formal certificate from the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing and Professional Studies. You can also request that an official notification letter of completion be sent to an identified employer, supervisor, personnel manager, or association.

Will I receive a digital credential?

Yes. Those who complete the certificate will earn a digital badge to display in their email signature, website, blog, and LinkedIn account as verification of this accomplishment to employers and peers.

How do I get a transcript of the courses I've taken?

You can receive an unofficial transcript of the professional development courses you've taken via email or postal mail. Contact an enrollment advisor at 612-624-4000 or via contact form at ccapsinfo@umn.edu. For an official University of Minnesota transcript, send a written request with a check for $5 made payable to the University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies Information Center, 20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Can these courses be delivered to my organization?

Yes. We can conduct any of our existing certificate programs on site, at your location. More information is available on our Contract Training website.

What type of credit is available?

A variety of professional credits is awarded for successfully completing the entire course.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEU). The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement awarded to participants in a qualifying noncredit continuing education program. One CEU is defined as 10 contact hours. Six contact-hour courses earn 0.6 CEUs.
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE). Continuing professional education credits are frequently needed by accountants, finance professionals, and others. One CPE is awarded for every 50 minutes of instruction. Six contact-hour courses award 7.2 CPEs.
  • Professional Development Units (PDU). These are required for certified project managers, business analysts, and others. One PDU is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact hour courses earn six PDUs.
  • Professional Development Hours (PDH). These are awarded to engineers, architects, surveyors, and related professionals. One PDH is awarded for every hour of instruction. Six-contact hour courses earn six PDHs.

Instructional Design for eLearning

How should I register for the certificate?

Participants should register themselves in online registration.

How do I log in to the online program?

A week before the start date you will receive a username and password to use throughout the program that will give you access to the site and tools.

How long does it take to complete this certificate program?

You have ten weeks from the listed start date to complete this certificate. Program content is broken into weeklong segments, identified above. 
 

Project Management

What are the qualifications of your instructors?

Instructors come from industries with considerable experience managing projects. Those who teach required courses typically have earned their PMP credential. They represent a variety of industries and disciplines, which we feel helps the student gain a broad perspective of how to apply project management principles in practical situations.

Do the courses have to be completed in a certain order?

Sequence is important for the required courses, but not for the electives. Of the required courses, the most important to take in order are: 1) Initiation, 2) Planning, 3) Risk and 4) Execution, Monitoring & Control.

If you are new to project management, starting with the Foundations course is recommended but not required.

If I complete this certificate, will I be ready to sit for the PMP exam?

No. The PMP exam is a rigorous test of your knowledge of the contents of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK™). We do offer a separate PMP Exam Preparation course for those who are qualified.

Are classes offered at night?

Not at this time. The project management classes are currently offered only during the day.

Didn't see an answer to your question? Try looking here.

Cancellation Policy

If We Cancel

All courses need to meet a minimum enrollment to be held. If we have to cancel your course because of insufficient enrollment, you will receive a full refund, made to the original method of payment. If you are enrolled in the discount option and the a course is cancelled because of insufficient enrollment, we will work with you to transfer you into the next upcoming course at no charge.

If You Cancel

Please notify us before the start of the course. You may cancel your enrollment via:


or by mail: 
University of Minnesota College of Continuing and Professional Studies
Information Center
353 Ruttan Hall 
1994 Buford Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Cancellation and transfer requests received after the scheduled course date will not be eligible for a refund or transfer.