Graduate Academic Certificates

Graduate Academic Certificates


Graduate Academic Certificates (GACs) are open to current students enrolled in a graduate degree program. A GAC is a structured sequence of courses and requirements that focus on a specialty or area of expertise not offered by a regular graduate degree program. GACs are administered by a UC Davis instructional unit (professional school, department, graduate group or a designated emphasis program), and are an additional sequence of training and expertise for graduate students. GACs consist of a minimum of 12 units of graduate level instruction, and are recognized by transcript notation and an official certificate issued by UC Davis with the gold seal of the University of California. A list of GACs can be found on this page. Contact the GAC program for more information on participating.

Conservation Management

Program Contact: Dr. Mark Schwartz, GAC Chair, Environmental Science and Policy, (530) 752-0671,

The GAC in Conservation Management provides students with the opportunity to undergo rigorous training in order to demonstrate marketable skills for students desiring a career in conservation management. Students will take courses in conservation decision-making using state-of-the-art protocols used leading conservation organizations (e.g., Open Standards Practices, Miradi, Conservation Evidence). Students will work in small groups in collaboration with conservation organizations on targeted group projects. Students are expected to establish a thesis/dissertation project in collaboration with a conservation partner to answer mission-directed questions of management relevance.

Development Practice

Program Contact: Dr. Kate Scow, GAC Chair, International Agricultural Development, (530) 752-4632,

The GAC in Development Practice program positions graduates competitively in the international development community. Students in international agricultural development, engineering, public health, and other areas with a substantial commitment to development practice will be motivated to complete the curriculum. The curriculum is based on the recommendations of the MacArthur Foundation International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, which requires training across a range of disciplines. These include: health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and management, and intensive field training experiences. Specific course requirements include agronomy, climate science, economics, energy, management and public health. Participation in two Agricultural Practicum courses is required.

Second Language Acquisition

Program Contact: Dr. Robert Blake, GAC Chair, Spanish, (530) 754-7153,

The GAC in Second Language Acquisition provides students with both a theoretical and practical knowledge of language acquisition. Choosing the GAC in SLA gives graduate students the opportunity to integrate theory with the methods they use in the classroom and to move beyond being a well-trained teacher, to understanding curricular choices in language education. Similar to the Designated Emphasis in Second Language Acquisition, the only difference in the GAC is that there are no requirements related to a student's dissertation.