Credits and costs
Children's Literature is Key to Their Success
K–12 teaching professionals, librarians, children's writers, and illustrators all have a vested interest in the study of children's literature. Teachers and librarians are looking to increase their abilities to engage children in reading, and aspiring children’s writers and illustrators want to hone their craft.
To help professionals lead with confidence in children’s literature, Penn State World Campus and Penn State’s College of Education have partnered to offer an online Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature.
Study Children's Literature at Penn State
Penn State’s online Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature program explores the classic works of children’s literature, presents the best works by modern-day authors, and encourages professionals to learn about the use of picturebooks, folklore, and myths while requiring no residencies or visits to campus to complete the program. You can learn about imagination and its role in the lives of children, and you will interpret picturebooks as an active, creative process that is socially, culturally, and historically situated. We will also discuss the diverse and popular Harry Potter series, along with other children’s literature topics.
Penn State's College of Education is regularly ranked among the nation’s best graduate schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, and this online graduate program is taught by the same nationally recognized faculty.
Choose the Online Children's Literature Graduate Program That Is Right for You
In addition to our graduate certificate, we also offer a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. If you are a teacher or librarian who wants to improve your strategies for encouraging students to master their reading skills, this program is for you.
And with proper advanced planning, the credits you earn in the certificate program may count for up to half the required credits in our online master's degree in curriculum and instruction.
Let your passion for children’s literature become the focus of your professional development plan.
Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider for Pennsylvania educators, so the courses for the graduate certificate in children's literature may count toward professional development hours.
Who Should Apply?
Whether you are, or aspire to become, a teacher, librarian, children’s writer, or illustrator, Penn State's online program in children's literature can give you the skills to transform the lives of your readers and advance your career goals.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than two decades 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.
Penn State's online Graduate Certificate in Children's Literature program is designed for teachers, school librarians, and aspiring authors and illustrators who want to help children discover the joys of reading.
In the courses in this program, you will:
- explore classic works of children's literature
- study the best works by modern-day authors
- learn more about the use of picturebooks, folklore, and myths
Potential for Growth
All credits earned in this 15-credit graduate certificate program (with the advanced assistance from an academic adviser) may be applied toward the online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree program. Completion of the certificate program does not guarantee admission into the master's program. Please contact an academic adviser at the start of your certificate program for more information about the master's program and your interest in transferring credits.
Convenient and Flexible
Each course is taught using a blend of web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility while maintaining teacher and student interaction. As a Penn State World Campus student, you have the opportunity to learn when and where it's most convenient for you.
Required Course (3 credits)
Electives (select 12 credits)
Note: Only two of the four elective courses can be at the 400 level.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||Cost|
|11 or fewer||$1,007 per credit|
|12 or more||$12,082 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
Paying for Your Certificate
Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.
Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.
Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your certificate application, including receipt of all transcripts, should be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Summer Deadline: Apply by April 1 to start May 15
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by November 1 to start January 8
If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.
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.
To enroll in graduate-level courses, or to earn the graduate certificate in children's literature, you must have a baccalaureate degree.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following as part of your application:
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
Begin the graduate school application
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Children's Literature" as the certificate
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
Review the technical requirements for this program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Children's Literature, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Education, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
The Pennsylvania State University
143 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802
DegreePh.D., Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, University of Hawaii
DegreeM.Ed., Clinical Mental Health, Penn State
DegreeCalifornia Clear Teaching Certificate, Mills College
DegreeMTS, Religion and Society, Harvard University
DegreeB.A., Psychology, Trinity College
Dr. Gail Boldt has taught Teaching Reading in Elementary Classrooms, Teaching Writing in Elementary Classrooms, Theories of Childhood, Theories of Identity, and Foucault and Education. Her research interests include psychoanalytic analyses of child development, parenting, teaching and learning; literacies in elementary and early childhood education; identity (including gender, sexuality, and race) and schooling; childhood studies; cultural studies; and disability studies.
DegreePh.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Penn State
DegreeM.A., English, Florida State University
DegreeB.A., English, College of William and Mary
Dr. Elisa Hopkins is an associate teaching professor of education specializing in literature for children and adolescents. She is lead faculty for the Penn State World Campus children's literature program. Her research interests include multicultural poetry, the development of critical consciousness, fairy-tale studies, and nonfiction literature for children and adolescents.