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10 Best Post-Graduate Degree Programs

Many masters' degree programs today offer optional additional education in the form of certificates, or some form of additional credential based on a small group of highly focused classes. Our inventory of post-graduate programs includes examples of online options for these types of educational enhancements offered for the most popular master's degrees and for professionals who need training in a specific area. Today's graduate level education programs incorporate thousands of people who are retraining themselves for career changes, along with the traditional graduate students who are putting in the five or six years to complete a master's degree while still in college. A graduate certificate program is one way to achieve focused professional specialization quickly.

1. Military Social Work Program is a sub-concentration offered at the University of Southern California - Social Work as an optional addition to any of the online Master of Social work degrees offered through MSW@USC. This five course program includes a 600 hour field work internship at a VA center, military hospital, or military base near the student's community.

2. Project Management Certificate is available at the Keller Graduate School of Management and several other business schools as an enhancement for the MBA. You can obtain a Master in Business Administration and choose an area of concentration that suits your career interests such as Finance or Human Resources. To that you can add a Certificate in Project Management that will qualify you for a senior role in internal change management.

3. Postsecondary Literary Instruction Certificate is offered by the University of Cincinnati as an online option for professionals working as instructors in community colleges or adult education programs. Course materials cover developmental reading and basic writing course design, and the program includes a practicum at a location convenient to the student.

4. Entrepreneurship Certificate is available from Boston University as a four course program in the conceptualization and implementation of a new business or new business model. This educational option is available to students who do not have a MBA degree, but applicants must have an existing business or a viable concept for a new venture that can be applied to the coursework in the program.

5. Professional Counseling Certificate is offered by Capella University as one of the human services specialties that students can zero in on through a four course, sixteen credit program that can be completed in as little as two semesters - the pace is up to you. Courses include an Introduction to Mental Health Counseling, Principles of Psychopathology Diagnosis and Treatment, Theories of Personality, and Ethics.

6. Cybersecurity Certificates from the University of Maryland University College are being introduced in the Spring 2011 semester. There are three programmatic options: Foundations of Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Technology, and Foundations of Cybersecurity. Each certificate is designed to meet specific professional needs of professionals who want to develop a level of expertise in a rapidly growing field.

7. Health Care Management Certificate is an option at both the undergraduate and graduate level as offered by the University of St. Mary. The graduate level option has five courses of advanced training in Leadership, Communication & Relationship Building, Health Care Business Skills, Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Care, and general Topics in Health Care Management.

8. Forensic Nursing Certificate is available online from the University of Illinois/Chicago to applicants who have completed an advanced practice nursing degree (MSN). The four course program can be completed in four semesters of part time study. Focus is on utilizing nursing skills to help victims of violent crimes in urban, rural, and medically underserved areas. Many forensic nurses also develop careers as legal consultants.

9. Emergency Services/Disaster Management Certificate is one of the online options offered by the University of Florida for working professionals who are employed in a field where expertise in emergency management may be required and who have both an undergraduate degree and at least two years' supervisory experience. The four course program requires a capstone project for completion.

10. Leadership Development Certificate as offered by Gonzaga University is a four course program that has been designed with some unique elements based on the academic design of the Master in Organizational Development program. This concentrated academic option includes courses in Organizational Ethics, Organizational Leadership, Leadership & Diversity, and Leadership & Justice.

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