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What is a certificate program?

A certificate program is a sequence of credit classes that provides you with core competencies in a specific area. With careful planning, the credits can usually be applied toward an associate or baccalaureate degree. Because certificate programs usually require only between 12 and 25 credits for completion, you are able to earn this Penn State credential in a relatively short time. Certificates are available in just about every field, including health care, business, human development and family services, education and engineering technologies---just to name a few.

What advantages are associated with certificate programs?

Certificate programs are ideal for people who want to set smaller, more immediate goals and work up to meeting larger ones. In fact, a certificate program can be the gateway to a college degree. You start by completing the credit courses and earning the certificate, and you apply those courses toward a degree now or in the future.

There are dozens of other advantages, too.

Perhaps you have a college degree. Certificate programs offer advantages for people like you, too. You can gain knowledge in a new subject area, stay current with developments in your field, acquire new skills or learn the latest technology.

Employers today are demanding more education from their employees than ever before. A certificate in a specialized area represents knowledge, accomplishments and competencies. What better way is there to position yourself for advancement in your career or to prepare for a new one?

Who teaches the certificate programs?

Penn State faculty and seasoned professionals teach the courses. They bring real-world experience into the classroom and are up-to-date on the latest developments in their fields.

How long does it take to complete a certificate program?

This varies with each program and depends on your pacing and the time required for taking each course.

Let your employer know this:

We offer a wide variety of certificate programs designed by university and business experts in response to the needs of businesses and organizations throughout Pennsylvania. We can deliver the programs at your site or ours, at times that suit your workplace schedule. These high-quality education programs are affordably priced and are backed by Penn State's reputation.

Make a certificate program your starting point.

Many of the classes in the credit certificate programs can be applied toward your associate or degree. All of the programs are designed as flexible, convenient opportunities for self-enhancement, higher education, and professional development.