ACE: Certificate Program FAQ

How much does a noncredit certificate program cost?

There is a $100 nonrefundable fee to join a certificate program and you will pay the tuition and fees for the 6 classes as you register for them. This means that the full tuition for a certificate program is not due at the outset of joining the program, but rather is paid incrementally as you register for your courses. 

The tuition for a single certificate course ranges from $625-750, meaning the total cost for certificate program tuition plus the nonrefundable fee will range from $3,850-$4,600 depending on which courses you enroll in as you progress through the program. 

How long will it take me to complete a noncredit certificate?

Your availability and the availability of the courses being offered will impact your progress. Courses are scheduled based on demand, and not all requirements are offered every term.

Requirements can be completed in one year at a rate of two courses per semester. Taking more than two courses per semester is not recommended.

Do I need to take the required courses in a certain order?

Some courses are meant to be taken in sequence and have a prerequisite course or other requirement deemed necessary to ensure the greatest likelihood for student success. It is your responsibility to be aware of and meet any course prerequisite(s) prior to registration.

If you do not meet the prerequisite(s) for a specific course but feel that you are academically prepared to take the course, you can request permission from the Adult Continuing Education program.

You may not enroll in a course and its prerequisite(s) in the same semester.

Which Adult Continuing Education courses count towards my certificate requirements?

Each certificate program requires the equivalent of six 30-hour courses. Coursework requirements can be found on individual program pages by selecting from the list below.

Where do I find a list of the course offerings?

All current Adult Continuing Education course offerings can be found at

If the course(s) I need to complete my certificate are not being offered this semester, can I still complete my certificate?

All certificate program requirements will be offered at least once each academic year in fall, spring, or summer. Many are offered in two or more semesters. Visit and select Noncredit Courses to peruse current and future semester offerings, or contact Continuing Studies for suggestions on organizing your course sequence.

All 30-hour Adult Continuing Education courses are eligible electives for all certificate programs.

Are scholarships or financial aid available for Adult Continuing Education noncredit courses and certificates?

Financial assistance is available in the form of the need- and merit-based Madeleine Stanley-Jossem scholarship and remission for employees, Art Education student teacher supervisors, and Art Therapy fieldwork supervisors. Scholarships and remission are awarded for individual courses and not certificate programs. Learn more.

What is a portfolio, and what is the purpose of the required portfolio review?

A portfolio is a living document that changes over time. It is a collection of ideas, work, and other materials that represent you as a creative thinker and maker; tangible evidence of skills and abilities that support credentials on your resume; and a useful tool in marketing yourself to clients and employers, colleges and universities, funders and galleries.

The portfolio review is an opportunity for you to reflect on your artistic development, obtain substantive feedback, and exchange information about you and your practice to inform the next steps in your evolution as an artist, designer, and scholar. It is also a requirement for the completion of all ACE noncredit certificates. 

How do I become a certificate student?

Start your noncredit certificate today - visit Select Certificate Programs under the heading Adult Continuing Education in the left column and pay the nonrefundable $100 fee. 

You must register for at least one Adult Continuing Education course at the time of application and also have the option to transfer in one SAIC course (Adult Continuing Education, degree program, Ox-Bow) completed in the past year.

If you are unable to apply online, please contact us at or 312.629.6170.

Note: Students need not be enrolled in a certificate program to register for Adult Continuing Education classes.