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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Solar Energy

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Seth Blumsack, Ph.D.
115 Hosler Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-7597

The graduate certificate in Solar Energy is designed for current and aspiring practitioners seeking advanced skills in resource assessment, project development, and system design for solar thermal and solar electric systems. The program is offered by the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering through Penn State’s World Campus. Certificate students earn the certificate and 12 graduate credits by successfully completing each of four 3-credit, instructor-led online courses with a grade of C or better.  Courses taken in the certificate program may be applied toward the Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS) if the student has earned a B- or better in each course, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer of Nondegree and Certificate Graduate Credits . Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards the M.P.S. in RESS must apply and be admitted to that degree program. Admission to the RESS graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed.


Applicants must apply for admission to the certificate program via the Graduate School application for admission . Admission requirements are stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin . International applicants must satisfy the English proficiency requirement . This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. A background in systems science, engineering, or physics is strongly recommended.

List of Courses Included in the Certificate:
Required (6 credits):
E M E 810. Solar Resource Assessment and Economics (3)
A E 878. Solar Project Development and Finance (3)

Electives (6 credits):
E M E 811. Solar Thermal Energy for Utilities and Industry (3)
E M E 812. Utility Solar Power and Concentration (3)
A E 862. Distributed Energy Planning and Management (3)
A E 868. Commercial Solar Electric Systems (3)

Effective Semester: Summer 2018
Expiration Semester: Summer 2023



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