Frequently Asked Questions for SAS Certificates


Are there any prerequisites that I need before applying?

Yes, you need an introductory statistics course such as STA2023 or STA2122 offered at FSU.  This can be an intro course taken at a different institution, a course with a significant statistics component in another discipline (e.g., economics or sociology), or a probability/mathematical statistics course.


Are any classes offered online?  Or do you need to be present on campus?

Unfortunately, our program is not fully online at this point.  Currently there are no online undergraduate certificate courses.  For the graduate certificate, STA5066 and STA5067 usually have an online option and there may be one online elective class offered in the near term; however, the other elective courses would need to be taken on campus.


What is the cost for the certificate program?

It depends on your cost per credit.  There is a difference for in-state vs. out-of-state residency and a difference per credit-hour between the undergraduate and graduate certificate.  The program is 12 credit-hours long so find your cost per credit-hour on the main campus on this table:    and multiply by 12.  There is also a small fee to register as a non-degree student:


If I complete this program will I be a certified SAS programmer?

No, what you earn through FSU is a "certificate" and although our program is sponsored by SAS, it is not considered a "certification" by them.  A Certified Base SAS Programmer designation can only be gotten through examination and is only administered by SAS.  The only way to receive a certification ID number is by examination through SAS.


I am a State of Florida employee.  Are the SAS certificate courses covered under the State Employee Waiver?

Courses should be eligible for the waiver as we have had several state employees in the past complete the certificate in this fashion.  You should contact your supervisor and/or the registrar for details.  If you are not currently in a degree program, you will need to register as a non-degree student:


Is there anything tangible that I will receive or proof of certificate once I earned the SAS certificate? 

Yes, you will receive a thick paper certificate suitable for framing as well as it being posted to your transcript.



Coursework and Program Progression

What is the estimated duration of the program?

Four semesters if taken at a one course per semester pace.  Two semesters at a two-course per term pace.


What is the minimum number of semesters in which the certificate can be completed?

If courses are available, all courses can be taken and the certificate finished in one semester.  However, we would not advise doing this in most cases.


Is there a time limit for completion of the certificate?

No, currently there is no time limit.  As long as you are in good standing with the university and have an active transcript (either a current degree-seeking or non-degree student), you are free to stretch out your program as needed.


Is there a specific order in which to take the classes?

We strongly suggest that you take the core course first (STA3024 for undergraduates and STA5066 for graduate students) as those skills will be useful in subsequent courses.  However, if your schedule does not permit, an elective may be taken first as long as you have necessary prerequisites.


Are all the classes offered every semester and is there a minimum amount of hours permitted each semester?

For courses in the undergraduate certificate STA3024 and STA3064 are both offered in the fall and spring.  There are elective courses offered every semester but they vary.  For courses in the graduate certificate, STA5066 is typically taught in the fall and STA5067 in the spring.  Usually, graduate certificate elective courses are offered every semester but vary.  If you have non-degree seeking status, there is no minimum required.


I have completed all of the courses for the SAS certificate this semester, however, I will won't graduate until next semester. Is it necessary for me to complete my portfolio by this semester’s deadline or can I wait until next term to submit my portfolio as I will still be enrolled at FSU?

You can complete the portfolio in the following semester.  Just let the program director know so that your name can be officially moved to the list for the following completion term.


I have taken a course similar to one of the certificate courses at another university.  May I use that course as one that is counted toward the certificate requirements?

Based on FSU policy and our partnership agreement with SAS, all course must be taken at FSU in order for the certificate to be granted.


I made one of my SAS classes a pass/fail class, am I still eligible for the certificate?

No, all courses for the certificate need to be for a letter grade.


Is there a minimum grade requirement for courses used to complete the certificate requirements?

Yes, each class in the program must be completed with a B- or higher.


Graduate Specific

How does the graduate certificate compare to SAS other certifications (for example, business analyst, base, or advance programmer)?

The curriculum is such that the core course, STA5066, goes over most of the material covered on the base programmer exam and a bit on the advanced programmer exam.  Students can take an elective course, STA5067, which covers much of the remaining material on the advanced programmer exam.  Specific applied courses that can be taken as electives could help you in preparing for the business analyst exam.  For example, you could take courses in regression, ANOVA, and logistic regression as your electives which would cover the majority of that exam’s body of knowledge.


I'm a graduate student in another department at FSU.  Am I eligible to apply for the SAS undergraduate certificate?  Even though these are undergraduate classes, they seem like very marketable tools for my discipline.  Or would I have to apply to the graduate certificate program?

Since the certificates are not degrees, you would be eligible for either one.  As long as your FSU student status remains active and you are in good academic standing, you are eligible to pursue the certificate that you feel is the best fit for you.  We suggest, however, that you do check with your home department for any restrictions your current program may have.


Undergraduate Specific

What are the differences between the undergraduate honors and regular certificate program?

The two main differences between the regular and honors certificate are that you take a different core course for honors (either STA5066 or an approved honors augmented course) and you need to do a bit more writing (such as including written reflections and summaries) in your portfolio for the honors certificate program.


Is it true that by earning the undergraduate certificate, I also meet the requirements for a minor in statistics?

Yes, the four courses taken for the undergraduate certificate would qualify you for the minor in statistics.



How do I apply?

All applications must be completed online (paper applications no longer accepted) at the following link:


When should I apply?

University policy states that you need to submit an application and be approved before the completion of your second course in the program.  No exceptions!

Do I have to be a student at FSU to enroll in this certificate program?

Yes, you need to be enrolled at FSU before you can apply.  If you are not currently enrolled in a degree program, you can register at FSU as a non-degree student.  More information can be found at


I previously submitted the application listing the four SAS courses I had planned to take.  However, since that time, I have taken a different course that I want to use instead for the certificate.  Do I need to fill out a new application?

No, there is no need to resubmit the application.  Just inform the program director of the substitution.



What is the portfolio requirement?

In addition to the certificate program courses, participants must complete a portfolio of SAS programs, output, and interpretations that showcase their abilities.  Skills in programming, data management, statistical modeling, and report generation should be demonstrated.  The portfolio will be based on work taken from the four certificate courses and will be submitted in a physical binder to be evaluated by the program director.


How do I put together the portfolio?

You should save all assignments and projects from the four certificate courses.  You will select one to two key assignments or project from each course to include in the portfolio.  The work will be compiled in a binder that includes four tabbed sections.  Each section will contain the work from one specific course. At least one tabbed section must contain a course project illustrating an extensive application of the SAS system and that demonstrates several dimensions of SAS skills that are deemed valuable to outside organizations.  All four courses in the certificate program must be represented in the binder. 


How are the portfolios evaluated?  Will I get mine back?

The program director will review and provide an evaluation of all submitted portfolios.  Evaluation is based on portfolio presentation, organization, breadth of material, and depth of material.  Students will receive their binder back and may find that it useful for demonstrating their skills to potential employers.


When is the portfolio due?

Generally, the portfolio is due before the last week of classes, usually in Week 14 of the semester.  If your name is on the list for anticipated completion by the end of the current semester, you should receive an email with the specific due date for that semester.  Contact the program director if you have not received the due date message.  Anticipated due dates for upcoming semesters are listed in the following table:



Portfolio Due Date

Fall 18

November 30, 2018

Spring 19

April 19, 2019

Summer 19

July 26, 2019

Fall 19

November 26, 2019

Spring 20

April 17, 2020

Summer 20

July 24, 2020