9. Pursuing Certificates

You can earn a certificate for a course by upgrading to the verified track in a course, and passing the course. To earn a certificate for a program, you must upgrade to the verified track for all the courses in the program, and pass all the courses.

This topic describes how to enroll in or upgrade to the verified track for a course or program, and how to verify your identify for certificates.

For more information about enrollment tracks, see What Enrollment Tracks Does a Course Offer?.

9.1. Upgrading to the Verified Track

If you enroll in the audit track for a course on the edx.org website, and then decide to pursue a verified certificate, you can upgrade to the verified track at any time, until the course deadline for upgrading has passed. The deadline for upgrading to the verified track is usually about two weeks after the course start date.

9.1.1. Find the Deadline for Verified Enrollment

To find out the deadline for upgrading to the verified track for a course, follow these steps.

  1. Sign in to edx.org.
  2. On your dashboard, locate the course for which you want to find the upgrade deadline, and then select View Course.
  3. Select Course.
  4. Under Important Course Dates in the sidebar, look for the Verification Upgrade Deadline.
    • The date of the upgrade deadline is shown under the Verification Upgrade Deadline heading.
    • If you do not see this heading, either the course does not offer a verified certificate, or the verification deadline has passed.

9.1.2. Upgrade to the Verified Track

Upgrading to the verified track requires two tasks.

  • You pay to upgrade to the verified track.
  • You complete the ID verification process using a webcam and a photo ID that has your photo and full name on the same side.

To upgrade to the verified track, follow these steps.

  1. On the edx.org website, select your username in the top corner of the page.

    Your dashboard opens with a list of your courses.

  2. For the course for which you want to upgrade to the verified track, select Upgrade to Verified Track.

    If there is no Upgrade to Verified Track option, the enrollment deadline for the verified track has passed.

  3. Follow the instructions to pay the verified track fee and verify your identity. For more information, see Enroll in the Verified Track for a Course.

After you submit your payment, you can view information about that payment at any time. For more information, see Verify a Payment.

For more information about enrollment tracks, see What Enrollment Tracks Does a Course Offer?.

9.2. Managing Certificate Payments

After you pay to enroll in the verified track for a course, you can review information about your payment. Within the deadline period, you can also get a refund.

9.2.1. Verify a Payment

To verify a payment or review information about payments you have made on edx.org, follow these steps.

  1. On the edx.org website, select the dropdown menu next to your username.

  2. Select Account.

    The dropdown menu that appears when you select the icon next to your username, with the Account option circled.
  3. Select Order History.

  4. To view information about a specific purchase, locate the transaction that you want, and then select Order Details.

    The following information displays for each of your edX purchases.

    • The edX order number.
    • The date you placed your order.
    • The name of the course.
    • The price of each item.
    • The total cost of your order.

If you have a question or an issue with your payment, contact edX at billing@edx.org. Include your order number, but do not include your credit card information.

9.2.2. Get a Refund

Important

You can receive a refund for a certificate fee up to 14 days after your payment or 14 days after the course start date, whichever is later. After these dates pass, edX cannot provide a refund.

To get a refund for a certificate fee within the refund period, follow the steps described in Unenroll from a Course.

After you unenroll, the edX support team will contact you with information about receiving your refund.

Optionally, after you unenroll from the verified track in your course, you can re-enroll in the audit track for the course, to take the course without a certificate option.

If you have questions about changing your enrollment track, contact the edX support team at technical@edx.org.

9.3. Verifying Your Identity

When you enroll in the verified track for a course, you must use a webcam to take a photograph of yourself and of a photo ID that has your photo and full name on the same side.

You do not have to verify your identity immediately, but you must do so before the course ID verification deadline. The deadline appears below the name of the course on your dashboard.

To verify your identity, you use a webcam to take a photo of yourself and of a photo ID that has your photo and full name on the same side. EdX encrypts your photos and uses the highest levels of security available to protect your data.

When you verify your identity on edx.org, that verification is effective for one year, for all courses.

  • If you enroll in the verified track for another course, you pay for that course’s certificate, but you do not have to verify your identify again.
  • If you enroll in a course that offers academic credit, you might have to verify your identity periodically during the course. For more information, see Taking a Course for Academic Credit.

9.3.1. Preparing to Verify Your Identity

When you enroll in the verified track for a course, you must use a webcam to take a photograph of yourself and of a photo ID that has your photo and name on the same side. Before you begin the identity verification process, follow these recommendations to make the process as straightforward as possible.

  • Make sure that you have access to a webcam.

    If your computer does not have a webcam, edX recommends that you find out if your local library has a webcam that you can use, or that you borrow a friend’s webcam. If you have a smartphone that has a camera, you can also verify your identity by visiting the following page in the smartphone’s browser.

    https://courses.edx.org/verify_student/reverify

    You can sign in to one computer or smartphone to verify your identity, and then sign in to the computer that you typically use to complete the course. If you do not use a webcam to verify your identity, you cannot receive a verified certificate.

  • Compare the name on your photo ID card to the full name you use in your edX account. Both names must match, including the type of characters used (Roman or non-Roman), accented characters, initials, and spelling.

    If necessary, you can update your edX account name at any time on the edX account settings page. You also have the opportunity to change your edX account name during the identity verification process.

  • Make sure that your name is legible, and that your name and photo are visible together on the same side of the card.

    If your name and your photo are on two different pages, or on the front and back of a single page, you can copy both pages onto a single piece of paper. Make sure that your name is legible in the copy.

  • Make sure that you can adjust the lighting for the photographs.

    For the webcam to focus, there needs to be enough light on your face and your ID. You might need to change the position or brightness of a lamp, or change your position, to improve the lighting for the photographs.

9.3.2. Verify Your Identity

To verify your identity, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure that you have a webcam and a photo ID available.

  2. Start the verification process by completing one of the following actions.

    • If you have not yet enrolled in the course, enroll in the verified track, submit your payment information, and then select Verify Now on the payment confirmation page.
    • If you enrolled in the audit track of the course, upgrade to the verified track.
    • If you enrolled in the verified track and submitted payment but you have not yet verified your identity, on your dashboard of courses select Verify Now next to the course.
  3. At the top of your browser window, a message asks you to share the camera with edx.org. To see and respond to this message every time you take or retake a photograph for the verification process, select Share Selected Device. To share the webcam throughout the process select Always Share.

  4. On the Take Your Photo page, select the camera icon to take a photo of your face.

    For information about how to take a good photo, review the To take a successful photo guidelines beside your image.

  5. Review your photo to make sure that it is well-lit and fills the available space.

    • If you are not satisfied with the photo, select Retake Photo.
    • When you are satisfied with the photo, select Next: Take a photo of your ID.
  6. On the Take a Photo of Your ID page, hold your photo ID up to the webcam on your computer. Make sure that the image of your ID is legible, and then select the camera icon to take a photo of your ID.

  7. Review the photo of your ID to make sure that it is well-lit and fills the available space.

    • If you are not satisfied with the photo, select Retake Photo.
    • When you are satisfied with the photo, select Next: Review your Info.
  8. On the Review Your Photos page, review the photos of your face and of your ID. Make sure that the photos meet all of the requirements listed under Photo requirements.

    If the name on your ID is different from your edX account name, select Edit Your Name. You must edit your edX account name to exactly match the name on your ID.

    The Review Your Photos page with a photo of an ID with non-Roman characters and a callout indicating where the learner enters his full name.

    For example, if your ID shows your name in Chinese characters, but your edX account name appears in Roman characters, you must update your edX account name to match the name on your ID.

  9. After you make sure that your photos meet all of the requirements listed under Photo requirements select Confirm.

    A message confirms that you have submitted your photos.

After edX’s authorization service examines your photos, a message on your dashboard informs you whether the verification process was successful. If the verification process was not successful, you must submit new verification photos. You can begin the verification process again by selecting Verify Your Identity.

9.3.3. Check Your ID Verification Status

If you have enrolled in the verified certificate track for a course, your dashboard provides the status of your ID verification.

On your dashboard, locate the course.

Your ID verification status appears with the course image for that course. For more information, see Verifying Your Identity.

9.3.4. Troubleshooting the Identity Verification Process

If you have a problem during the identity verification process, these suggestions might help you find a resolution.

  • Make sure that you are using a supported browser.

    You can also switch from one browser, such as Internet Explorer or Safari, to another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.

  • To take photographs, the webcam uses Adobe Flash Player. You might need to install this application or update to the latest version.