Program Summary

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Highly qualified science teachers are in demand in school systems across the country. Dedicated educational professionals who look for new ways to continue their own learning and incorporate the latest information into their classrooms are the ones who can have the biggest impact and stand out among others on the career ladder.

The Graduate Certificate in Earth Science Education can expand your subject matter knowledge in Earth sciences and help you pass along the knowledge that can make a difference in the lives of your students or perhaps encourage some positive change in the world.

Why an Online Graduate Certificate in Earth Science Education from Penn State?

Established Curriculum — The courses in this graduate certificate will help to better prepare you to teach topics in the Earth sciences, particularly in scientific critical thinking, solid Earth science, plate tectonic theory, Earth surface processes in the Critical Zone, and oceanography. You'll have the opportunity to learn new material that you can put to use immediately in your classroom lessons.

Flexibility — As an already-busy teacher, you can take the completely online courses that provide the flexibility and convenience you need to study around your schedule. Skip the lengthy commute time without sacrificing beneficial interactions with your knowledgeable faculty. Learn from the experiences of your fellow classmates without ever leaving the comfort of your preferred study location.

Step-Up Approach — The certificate is designed as a "stand-alone" certificate or can serve as a "step up" into the Master of Education in Earth Sciences degree. When you have successfully completed our certificate program in Earth Sciences, you may be able to apply the credits toward the master's degree, if granted admission to enter the highly competitive program.

Act 48 Approved

Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the Graduate Certificate in Earth Science Education may count toward professional development hours.

Who Should Apply?

The online Graduate Certificate in Earth Science Education was designed for you if you are currently a secondary science teacher who is looking to expand your subject matter knowledge in the Earth sciences.

This program is also an ideal choice for you if you are a professional in a science education-related occupation and are looking for a way to gain complementary skills for additional career opportunities.

Please note that this program does not lead to initial teacher certification. However, this program may help you to renew your certification. Check with your state's Department of Education for exact requirements for recertification.

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions. 

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.