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View a complete listing of our certificates.

Employers today are demanding more education from their employees than ever before. A certificate in a specialized area indicates to an employer that you have gained new knowledge, skills, and competencies. By 2018, the nation will need 4.7 million new workers with post-secondary certifications. Therefore, obtaining a certificate is a great way to enhance your professional skillset.

What is a certificate program?

A certificate program is a sequence of credit classes that provides you with core competencies in a specific area.  Certificate programs are designed as flexible, convenient opportunities for self-enhancement, higher education, and professional development.

Why pursue a certificate program?

  • If you are seeking a college degree, the certificate program credits can usually be applied toward an associate or baccalaureate degree. Because the majority of the certificate programs require only 12 and 18 credits for completion, you are able to earn a Penn State credential in a relatively short time.
  • If you already have a college degree, you can enroll in a certificate program to gain additional knowledge in a new subject area, stay current with developments in your field, acquire new skills, or learn the latest technology.
  • If you are a recent college graduate who is about to enter the full-time workforce for the first time, or if you are looking to reenter the workforce after an absence, a certificate program can provide you with a recent educational credential to add to your resume. 

Who teaches the certificate programs?

Penn State faculty and seasoned professionals teach the courses. The certificate program instructors bring real-world experience into the classroom and are up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields.

How long does it take to complete a certificate program?

This varies with each program and depends on your pacing and the time required for taking each course. Please note that Federal Financial Aid is not available for certificate programs (except for the one-year medical sciences certificate program). Please contact the Financial Aid Office for a list of private loan providers.

How can I apply for a certificate program?

To apply for all certificate programs, you need to complete the undergraduate nondegree enrollment form on the Penn State Registrar's student forms page.  Please visit the program pages for each particular certificate program to view additional specific requirements.


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Continuing Education
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