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Online Education, AGC

"As the number of students & lifelong learners engaging in and requesting anytime, anywhere learning experiences continues to “grow rapidly, far outpacing on-campus learners, so too does the need for professionals to administer & develop programs."
Rovai and Downey

The Online Education Advanced Graduate Certificate program is designed for anyone interested in the field of online education.

On this page:

Program Overview

Online education is the fastest growing education delivery model today. This worldwide trend spans industry, the military and government agencies, higher education from community colleges through doctoral degrees, as well as K-12.

Whether you are looking to enhance your current position or prepare yourself for the 21st century workforce, your knowledge in the area of Online Education could be the key to your next promotion or job offer.

The 15 credit-hour Online Education AGC program is delivered part-time and completely online. The program can be completed in one year; however, students may choose to register for only one course per semester and complete the program over a two-year period. The Advanced Graduate Certificate in Online Education is comprised of five courses. 

Program Grads Will...

  • Create 21st century learning spaces (e.g., online courses, presentations, webinars, etc.) for any setting such as k-12, colleges and university, corporate trainings, consulting or sales presentations, government, small business, etc., while gaining an understanding of new learning tools and enviornments such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Educational Resource Spaces (e.g., free access to thousands of learning modules, photos, videos, templates, etc.), Word Clouds, and Infographs.
  • Differentiate your content and teaching through the use of contemporary pedagogical models and an understanding of the needs of your audience.
  • Grow your knowledge base through the review of current research in Online Education, as well as considering your own contributions to the field as a thought leader (e.g., journals from all fields including medicine, business, education, etc. are seeking current research in online education).
  • Lead with expertise in program planning and an understanding of today’s current policies and practices in Online Education (e.g. state regulations/reciprocity, American Disabilities Act, etc.).
  • Share your growing expertise through an electronic portfolio developed during your time in the program and through a culminating project chosen based on your needs, such as developing an online course or training module, a business/education/technology plan, or a research paper.

Did You Know?

Did you know?  
There are more than 7.1 million students taking at least one online class as well as countless online lifelong learners engaging in informal and/or professional development learning experience (e.g., Khan Acadamey, Ted Talks, Massive Open Online Courses (Mooc’s), ABCmouse, etc.).

Of approximately 4,400 higher education institutions, 3,800 are delivering some form of online offerings  This doesn’t include the numerous government agencies, private companies, and K-12 institutions developing content for their own employees and/or constituents.

As the number of students and lifelong learners engaging in and requesting anytime, anywhere learning experiences continues to “grow rapidly, far outpacing on-campus learners”, so too does the need for professionals to administer and develop programs delivered via alternative multi-modal formats, such as interactive, web-based educational experiences.

Application Requirements

Students are admitted on a rolling basis and may start coursework in either the fall or spring semester. The Online Education program has a preferred* deadline of February 1st for fall admission and November 1st for spring admission. After the preferred deadline has passed, admission is rolling. (Rolling admission only applies to domestic students)

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate students with a 3.0 or higher GPA, senior status, and a letter from their undergraduate advisor (from an accredited institution) approving program participation are also encouraged to apply.

Apply as soon as possible as we have a limited number of spaces available. Once spaces are filled, the remaining applicants who are accepted into the program will be placed on a waiting list.

Applicants must submit:

  • An online application
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system
  • Transcripts of previous academic work. Applicants who are currently at UB or have studied at or graduated from UB do not need to request an official UB transcript. GSE's Office of Admissions can download and print the transcript.
  • Three professional reference contacts

Former/Maiden Name: The Graduate School of Education must be made aware if applicants have ever changed their name.  If this is the case, be sure to ask the institution sending your transcripts to indicate your current name and any former or maiden names.

You should apply if you are a master’s, post-master’s, and non degree student who is interested solely in earning an Advanced Graduate certificate in Online Education. Students are accepted into the program and may start coursework in either the fall or spring semester.

*Submitting your application by the preferred deadline ensures application review in a timely manner enabling you to have more time to plan for the beginning of the semester, obtain financial aid in a timely manner and register for courses quickly before they are at capacity and perhaps even get a head start and take classes in the summer. 

Supporting Documentation

All supporting documents must be uploaded and attached to your online application. This includes unofficial copies of your transcripts and any other documents required for review.


Recommendation Letters:

If your program requires letters of recommendation, you will be asked to provide contact information about each individual providing a recommendation. Please note that your recommenders will receive the electronic request to provide a recommendation letter only after you "formally submit" the application.

Program Requirements

Fall 2015

LAI 640: Designing Course Content Using Digital Resources​
This course examines strategies for developing effective online course content. A systematic approach to the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of instruction for online learners is emphasized. Students will be introduced to instructional design strategies and research findings pertaining to online teaching and learning, and will apply this information through the development of online instructional materials. Special attention is given to courseware development using web tools and learning management systems. 

LAI 647: Online Educational Research
Knowledge and appreciation of scientific inquiry in online education; illustration of various strategies through study of online education research reports; technical aspects of the online education research process, including a review of common research strategies, conceptual and operational definitions of variables, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

Spring 2016

ELP 537: Educational Technology-Policy and Planning
Institutions of higher education are some of the oldest in western society, with organizational structures and traditions dating back almost 1,000 years. As with any old, large complex institution change is often difficult and sometimes even shunned. Yet within the span of a single generation, ours, technologies have been introduced and incorporated into these institutions to the point where their very mission is coming into question. This course will investigate the various educational technologies currently in use, the policies that define their abuse, guide their use and finally the strategic planning methodologies used to incorporate future change.

CEP 560: Psychology of Learning and Instruction
This course typically deals with teaching and learning, including such topics as emotions, behavior, social processes, motivation, discipline, and classroom management; cognitive and intellectual processes and their implications for curriculum; and objectives, methods of teaching, expanding the repertoire of instructional strategies, and issues of grading. With some variation due to instructor and text, there is little emphasis on diagnosing disabilities and remediation, though general principles of normal and at-risk processes are covered.

Summer 2016

LAI 700: Capstone Event
The Capstone for this program will be the successful completion of a culminating project determined between the instructor and the student.


Learn More

The Online Education Advanced Graduate Certificate program is just one of many programs in the Department of Learning and Instruction, in the Graduate School of Education, at the University at Buffalo.

University Computing Standards

All students are required to have access to an adequately equipped computer that meets the University computing standards as well as daily access to a reliable broadband  connection (i.e., DSL or cable). Students are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning their course work.