Renewable energy certificate programs now available at Penn State World Campus

June 05, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — By 2040, 63 percent of the nation’s electricity will be generated by lower-carbon options, including 16 percent from renewables, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports. This shift will result in double-digit demand for environmental engineers, industrial ecologists, regulatory affairs specialists, sustainability specialists, urban and regional planners, and other workers, according to U.S. Department of Labor projections. Penn State is launching four graduate certificate programs in bioenergy, solar energy, wind energy, and sustainability management and policy, delivered online by Penn State World Campus, to prepare adults for these jobs.

“Penn State’s programs are designed to provide working professionals with the latest knowledge and skills needed for success in the renewable energy field,” said Daniel Ciolkosz, academic program coordinator for Penn State’s online intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (iMPS-RESS). “Students can start with a certificate and continue in the master’s program or, if they have a master’s degree, they can use the certificate as a stand-alone educational credential.”

These online programs are part of the iMPS-RESS, and all courses in the certificate programs can be applied toward the iMPS-RESS, which has four options.

The certificates are aligned with the green energy and sustainability management sector, which needs professionals with a broad skill set focused on sustainability, as well as technical capabilities. The certificates can help adults build additional skills in such areas as project development, sustainability assessment, systems engineering and strategic planning.

Students who enroll in an online certificate will interact with other students and faculty online, gaining valuable knowledge and expertise and making connections that can benefit them in the future, Ciolkosz said.

Penn State academic units involved in these programs include the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering and the Liberal Arts; and the departments of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Ecosystem Science and Management, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Marketing, and Plant Science.

Applications are now being accepted for Penn State’s online renewable energy and sustainability systems graduate certificate programs. Inquiries also may be sent by email to

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Last Updated June 05, 2014