Non-Credit Certificate Terms

Non-credit certificate programs at Tombolo Institute at Bellevue College represent programs of study in specific content areas. Advisory Committees comprised of working professionals, faculty, and administrators have provided input on the classes and skill areas required for certificate programs. Classes within certificates are typically skill-acquisition oriented rather than theoretical. A non-credit certificate program typically consists of a number of required (core) courses and some elective courses. Many certificates culminate in a final capstone or practicum course. You will not earn academic credit in a non-credit certificate program and the courses cannot be transferred towards an academic degree.

The following terms relate to non-credit certificate programs at Tombolo Institute and do not apply to credit certificates:


There is no formal entry requirement or admissions process for non-credit certificate programs; students are not required to declare their intent to complete a particular certificate program, and are charged on a per-class basis—not for the entire certificate program up front. Students may simply enroll in any of the required or elective courses in a particular program of study

Completion requirements

Each certificate program is comprised of required and elective classes that must be completed. Please refer to specific program requirements and course descriptions found elsewhere on this website. To successfully complete a course, participants must attend at least 70% of class sessions and satisfy any additional requirements specified in the course syllabus. Participants who register for a course but do not meet attendance and any other specified course requirements will not receive a certificate of completion. To earn a certificate of completion, participants will need to retake the entire course and pay the full course fee. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances for an exception to this policy, you may follow an Appeal process. Call Customer Service at 425 564-2263 to request a form.

Time limits

Students have 13 quarters to complete a certificate. The period begins the quarter of the first class. To receive a certificate, students must submit a request within one year of program completion.

Awarding certificates

Students must satisfy all requirements of a particular non-credit certificate program that were in place when they began the program before a certificate will be awarded. When a change is made to a certificate program (such as courses deleted, new courses added, courses modified, or a change in number of hours), students have the option to either complete the program they began (with substitution courses if the one or more of the originals are not available) or move to and complete all requirements of the new program. Regardless of the program the student decides to follow, the total number of class hours required in that program must be met.


Program administrators, at their sole discretion, may allow substitutions of required or elective courses.

Transfer of classes from other institutions

Prior experience or classes that are not Tombolo Institute courses may not be used as required or elective classes in certificate programs.

Student certificate completion

The student name on the certificate must match the name of all classes on the student’s transcript.

Policy exceptions

Approval for exceptions to any of the above requirements must be obtained in writing from the program administrator. Please refer to specific certificate requirements and course descriptions found elsewhere on this website.

Every effort is made to ensure that class information and fees are accurate. However, changes, corrections or cancellations of courses, and changes in course fees may occur. Tombolo Institute reserves the right to cancel any class.