Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Certificate Programs

An undergraduate certificate, a formal award showing the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary educational curriculum, is designed primarily for students who are typically beyond the compulsory age for high school.

Certificates are awarded in academic, vocational, and continuing professional education. Penn State does not offer certificates for avocational and adult basic education. Certificates are not certifications. Certifications are awarded by governmental and professional agencies.

Certificates reflect emerging academic areas, necessary professional development requirements, or requirements that do not constitute a degree program. They may be supplements or enhancements to existing degree programs or may be stand-alone. For credit, certificates often provide "step-up" opportunities to degree programs allowing for milestones of progress.

Credit or noncredit certificates are offered. A certificate consists of a group of courses, typically 9-15 credits, developed, supervised, and evaluated by the offering academic unit(s). At least two-thirds (2/3) of the credits used to complete a certificate must be earned at Penn State. In exceptional circumstances, a certificate may have fewer than 9 credits or more than 15 credits, provided adequate justification is given to explain why. Credit courses offered for a certificate require a grade of C or higher. Noncredit courses require satisfactory completion, as defined by the unit offering the certificate.

Requirements for a certificate may be completed at any campus location offering the specified courses for the certificate. All students who enroll in certificates must be defined as Penn State students.

For more information, see policy M-12 at:




Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
  2. General Education: United States Cultures and International Cultures
  3. Course Index
  4. Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin
  5. General Education: Arts
  6. General Education: Humanities
  7. General Education: Health and Physical Activity
  8. General Education: Natural Sciences
  9. General Education: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  10. General Education: Writing/Speaking