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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Project Management

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Dr. Jeffrey K. Pinto, Professor of Management
Sam and Irene Black School of Business
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
5101 Jordan Road
Erie, PA 16563-1400
Fax: 814-898-6223

Delivering complex projects on time and under budget is a daily challenge for most corporations. More organizations now use project-based methods to accomplish such tasks, resulting in increased demand for project managers. The online Graduate Certificate in Project Management is an interdisciplinary, 12-credit program that uses problem-based learning to provide a strong foundation in project management theory and practice. The program is offered by the AACSB Accredited Sam and Irene Black School of Business and Penn State is a Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P), making this certificate a well-respected credential. In addition to being an excellent stand-alone credential, all of the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Project Management can be applied toward the Master of Project Management degree program also offered through Penn State’s World Campus; however, successful completion of the certificate neither guarantees nor implies acceptance into any graduate program at Penn State. Approval to apply nondegree graduate credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School. A maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree student may be applied to a degree program.

Admission Requirements

Only candidates who demonstrate high promise of success for graduate work are admitted to the program. All applicants must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degere 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. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. Admission decisions are based on:

  1. Undergraduate grad-point average
  2. A personal essay
  3. Two submitted letters of recommendation

The applicant's cumulative undergraduate grade-point average or the junior/senior grade-point average is required to be a 3.0 or better. The MPM program emphasizes application of course concepts to actual project management opportunities and problems. Therefore, students who currently are, or previously were, employed as project managers or project team members will derive the greatest benefit from the program. All applicants must provide evidence of sufficient current or previous work experience that will enable them to successfully complete course assignments requiring the application of course concepts to real project management situations. This evidence may be provided in either the form of two letters of recommendation from individuals who know the applicant in a professional capacity or through nomination to participate in the program by an appropriate official within the applicant's employing organization. Those who write letters of recommendation or submit nominations on behalf of the candidate will be asked to attest to the nominee's suitability for the program of study considering factors such as the applicant's length of employment, level and areas of work responsibility, personal qualities, career goals, maturity of purpose, and program requirements to apply course concepts to work-related issues. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the program chair concerning the suitability of their work experiences in relationship to program requirements.

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, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum 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.

All students must be computer literate and have ready and reliable access to a computer and the Internet to successfully complete the MPM program. They must know how to use word processing software, log on to an Internet provider, and use e-mail. Additionally, MPM students will use Microsoft Office in their coursework that will require they have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Power Point, and Access. Access to fax facilities may be needed as an additional form of communication between student and instructor or between students.


Students complete MANGT 510, Project Management (3), in their first semester of study and three additional courses from the following list for a total of 12 credits:


  • 515. Cost and Value Management (3)
  • 520. Planning and Resource Management (3)
  • 525. Commercial and Procurement (3)
  • 531. Organizations (3)
  • 535. Interpersonal and Group Behavior (3)
  • 540. Strategy: Corporate, Business and Project (3)

MANGT 515 through 540 may be taken either concurrently or subsequently with MANGT 510.

Effective Date: Fall Semester 2012
Expiration Date: Fall Semester 2020

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2011

Blue Sheet Item #: 40-04-198

Review Date: 01/10/2012


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