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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Solar Energy

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Jeffrey R. S. Brownson
265 MRL Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-867-4227

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.  Credits earned in this program may be applied to the intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (iMPS-RESS) program if a student is subsequently admitted to that program and has earned a B- or better in each course; however, successful completion of the certificate neither implies nor guarantees admission into a graduate degree program at Penn State.


For admission to the Graduate School, 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. 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.

The student must be admitted to (1) Penn State's Graduate School, and (2) the graduate certificate in Solar Energy offered by the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. To apply, the student completes a single online application that provides the necessary information to each organization.

Students interested in applying for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy should go to the World Campus web site: The Solar Energy Graduate Certificate Program Admissions Committee reviews and ranks applications as they are received.

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: Fall 2013
Expiration Semester: Summer 2018



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