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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Gretchen A. Kuldau
321 Buckhout Laboratory
Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
Telephone: 814-863-7232
Fax: 814-863-7217

This 12-credit graduate certificate program is designed to provide students with broad training in the field of agricultural biosecurity. Courses cover animal and plant health, and food defense aspects of agricultural biosecurity and food defense. Content is both theoretical and applied but with an emphasis on practical application of knowledge gained. A distance education format is used to accommodate the needs of professionals already active in this area.

The certificate program is an attractive option for those who desire advanced graduate training but do not require the full Master's degree program. It is also ideal for students who wish to move into the degree program once all admissions requirements are fulfilled (e.g.,GRE); however, successful completion of a certificate program neither implies nor guarantees admission to a graduate degree program at Penn State.


An applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, and must have a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade point average. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.



520. Agricultural Biosecurity (3)
521. Food Defense (3)
801. Veterinary Infectious Disease Diagnostic and Surveillance Systems (3)
802. Plant Protection (3)

Effective Date: Fall Semester 2012
Expiration Date: Fall Semester 2017

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2012

Blue Sheet Item #: 41-04-148

Review Date: 01/15/2013



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