Continuing Education (CE) hour
A nationally recognized way of recording your participation in noncredit professional development. One hour of continuing education instruction equals 0.1 CEUs. Ten continuing education hours equal 1 CEU.
Continuing Education Unit (CEU)
A nationally recognized way of recording your participation in noncredit professional development. One hour of continuing education instruction equals 0.1 CEUs. A six-hour workshop equals 0.6 CEUs.
A class or program that is delivered at a faster pace and in a shorter amount of time than the traditional version. Accelerated classes or programs have a higher course load to condense the time to completion.
An in-person class or program that meets only in the evenings and/or on weekends. Unless otherwise noted, evening and weekend classes take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.
A class or program that is delivered entirely or mostly face-to-face. Unless otherwise noted, our in-person classes take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.
A class or program that is delivered via both face-to-face and online formats. Unless otherwise noted, our face-to-face classes and programs take place on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The online portion may be delivered in real-time or self-paced format.
A class or program that is delivered completely online. There are multiple types of online classes:
Live online — A class or program that is delivered online, with real-time lectures, lessons and discussions presented via web conferencing or virtual classroom software. Assignments and projects may be scheduled for completion outside of class.
Interactive online — The same as a live online class or program, these classes meet the designation for “interactive, live online class” required for continuing education in certain professions. Content is delivered in real-time; assignments and projects may be scheduled for completion outside of class.
Self-paced online — A class or program that is delivered online, with no class meetings or fixed deadlines. These programs may be started anytime, with a completion time that may vary anywhere between one month and two years (see course description for specific completion requirements). Students work independently through a web-based learning management system to complete lessons and assignments and to interact with instructors.
Group-paced online — A class or program that is delivered online with the same group of students, with no or very few real-time class meetings. Students work through a web-based learning management system to complete lessons, with set due dates for assignments and frequent opportunities to interact with instructors and other students.
A degree awarded upon the completion of an academic program that requires four to five years of full-time equivalent preparation. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for acceptance into a graduate program.
The highest level of academic degree, awarded upon the completion of a PhD program, which takes, on average, four to seven years to complete. A doctorate degree is typically a basic threshold for certain professional roles, including the licensed practice of medical care, professorship or professional research.
Graduate-level certificates, called capstone certificates at UW–Madison, generally focus on professional skills and certification in a particular discipline, and typically take a year to complete. This type of certificate helps individuals advance in their current field or obtain an advanced position in another field.
A degree awarded upon the completion of a graduate program where students specialize in an area of study; typically takes one to two years to complete. Depending on the field, graduates may qualify for work in an advanced or executive-level position.
A specialist degree is an advanced graduate degree that provides deeper education and training in a particular area of study. Traditionally earned after a master’s degree but before or in lieu of a doctorate, a specialist degree may include practical field work or an internship.
Courses, badges and certificates
Courses, badges and certificates are used to demonstrate acquired training and knowledge in a specific area to employers, professional organizations, peers and others. Each course, badge or certificate awards a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs); these are noted on each class page.
At UW–Madison Continuing Studies, how you earn a course completion, badge or certificate varies by program. In some cases, you may earn a badge or certificate by completing a single course; in other cases, you must take a series of courses — or “stack” courses — to earn a badge or certificate. Please see your program of interest for more information.
A course provides information and/or skills in a particular area(s) and may be used to demonstrate specific training or knowledge. Course completion varies by program; see your program of interest for more information.
A badge is a uniquely valuable digital credential that demonstrates a learner’s mastery of a particular set of knowledge or skills through evaluation by a qualified professional. How you earn a badge varies by program; see your program of interest for more information.
Certificates can be earned through the successful completion of one comprehensive program or a collection of courses or badges that demonstrate your mastery of skills and knowledge. How you earn a certificate varies by program; see your program of interest for more information.