Credits and costs
Online Certificate in Ecosystem Measurements and Data Analysis
Natural resources management increasingly requires an interdisciplinary and data-driven approach. To thrive in this environment, ecosystem managers must be familiar with methods of measuring and monitoring diverse ecosystem conditions and processes, and they must be comfortable working with spatial information. In addition to providing a means to combine diverse types of information from multiple sources, spatial information is critical for understanding interactions among ecosystem components and processes.
The Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Measurements and Data Analysis, offered online through Penn State World Campus, can provide ecosystem managers with this necessary background in ecosystem measurement and monitoring methods and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial analyses of natural resources systems.
As a student in the Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Measurements and Data Analysis program, you can develop the ability to apply quantitative tools — such as statistics and geographic information systems — to managing and addressing natural resource problems and issues.
You will have the opportunity to apply specific sampling, measurement, and data analysis methods for monitoring vegetation, wildlife, water quantity and quality, and soils, and you will gain a statistical foundation for evaluating and working with the various types of data that are collected.
Course topics include:
- spatial data and the use of geographic information management systems
- how ecosystems are inventoried and monitored
- how to analyze common natural resource data sets to support decision-making
Who Should Apply?
Whether you simply strive to keep learning or are ready to embark on the next phase of your ecosystem management career, this certificate program can provide you with the ability to apply a quantitative approach to the monitoring of ecosystems by learning about ecosystem monitoring, sampling designs, and specific measurement methods used to assess a variety of ecosystem attributes. The certificate program can also provide you with basic tools for working with spatial data and for using spatial data to support decision-making.
In addition, all of the credits in this graduate certificate can be applied toward the Master of Professional Studies in Ecosystem Management, if you apply to and are granted admission into the degree program.
As a complement to the challenging, but rewarding, curriculum, the online courses give you the flexibility and convenience to study around your own schedule without sacrificing quality. You can skip the commute and prepare for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving the comfort of your home.
The Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Measurements and Data Analysis is a 9-credit online program offering a strong foundation in quantitative and spatial data analysis as it specifically relates to the monitoring of ecosystems.
Required Courses (9 credits)
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, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Summer Deadline: Apply by April 15 to start May 15
- Fall Deadline: Apply by July 15 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by December 5, 2023, to start January 8, 2024
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.
Specifically, as an applicant to Penn State's online Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Measurements and Data Analysis program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in an ecosystem management–related field, such as forestry, wildlife or fisheries management, soils or water management, natural resources management, environmental science, or ecology.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA and Test Scores — postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required. Applicants should have a minimum overall grade-point average of 2.75.
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
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 degree 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.
For general questions about Penn State World Campus or how to apply contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
Marc E. McDill, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Forest Management
310 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802-4301
Email: [email protected]