electrical engineer

Postbaccalaureate Certificate in
Electrical Engineering

Program summary

Obtain skills and knowledge that can support your work as an engineer that designs electrical devices and systems that usher in the future. Courses with grades of ‘B’ or better from this 9-credit certificate can be applied to the World Campus Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering.

Application deadline

Apply by December 20 to start January 8

Credits and costs

9 Credits $1,017 per credit

Earn a Penn State Electrical Engineering Postbaccalaureate Certificate — 100% Online

As technology and its integration into society continue to advance at an unprecedented rate and the energy industry strives to meet ever-increasing demand, skilled electrical engineers will be needed to pioneer the design of electrical devices and systems that usher in the future. This 9-credit certificate can help you become one of those pioneers and has been designed for working engineers who are interested in transitioning to electrical engineering or electrical engineers looking to advance in the field.

Your Electrical Engineering Online Courses

This electrical engineering certificate is offered online through Penn State World Campus and can provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to conceptualize, evaluate, and formulate electrical engineering solutions as well as perform the deep analyses required for defining and solving electrical problems. You can select courses from disciplines including electronic communication systems, control systems, signal processing, and power systems.

Why Pursue a Penn State Certificate Online?

Penn State World Campus offers a flexible, online platform that allows you to learn electrical engineering from a world-class institution while you continue to gain valuable work experience. Our College of Engineering is consistently ranked among the nation's best engineering schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. And when you graduate, you'll receive a certificate identical to those earned by students at one of our physical campuses.

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, and application instructions.


Penn State's 9-credit online electrical engineering postbaccalaureate program offers a broad range of courses to help you expand your knowledge base or focus on a specific interest. All courses in this self-paced program are delivered asynchronously, meaning you are not required to log in at a particular time, but must meet weekly deadlines. You can complete your graduate certificate online on a part-time basis.

Required Courses (select 9 credits)

  • 3

    Provides detailed performance analysis of communications systems first studied in introductory communications courses such as EE 360 or EE 461.

  • 3

    The major topics covered in this course include Signals and Systems representations, classifications, and analysis using; Difference and Differential Equations, Laplace Transform, Z-Transform, Fourier series, Fourier Transform, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), Discrete-Time Fourier Transform (DTFT) and Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT).

  • 3

    Fundamentals, power transformers, transmission lines, power flow, fault calculations, power system controls.

  • 3

    Electromagnetic field theory fundamentals with application to transmission lines, waveguides, cavities, antennas, radar, and radio propagation.

  • 3

    Parametric modeling, spectral estimation, efficient transforms and convolution algorithms, multirate processing, and selected applications involving non-linear and time-variant filters.

  • 3

    Review of probability theory and random variables; mathematical description of random signals; linear system response; Wiener, Kalman, and other filtering.

    • Prerequisite

      EE 350, STAT 418

  • 3

    Continuous and discrete-time linear control systems; state variable models; analytical design for deterministic and random inputs; time-varying systems and stability.

  • 3

    Variational methods in control system design; classical calculus of variations, dynamic programming, maximum principle; optimal digital control systems; state estimation.

    • Prerequisite

      EE 580

  • 3

    Steady-state and dynamic model of synchronous machines, excitation systems, unit commitment, control of generation, optimal power flow.

    • Prerequisite

      EE 488

  • 3

    Covers the application of advanced power electronics in power apparatus.

  • 3

    Topics for the electrical engineer include the advanced treatment of analysis and solution techniques for dynamic systems, both in the time and frequency domains, with higher order systems of ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, complex analysis, numeric analysis, probability, and statistics.

  • 3

    Tools to analyze and design discrete time (digital) control hardware and software systems; advantages of discrete time control, including increased flexibility in control modification and tuning, improved system reliability, easier system integration, and reduced design time.

  • 3

    Sensors and Detection Systems with a focus in Homeland Security; includes terminology, visualizations, processes, and technical knowledge in the art of sensor and detection system design, analog and digital signals, field equipment used to measure signals, microcontrollers and embedded systems, electrical communication systems, system requirements and design, countermeasures/vulnerabilities.

Course Availability

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

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.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,017 per credit
12 or more $12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester? Cost
11 or fewer $1,027 per credit
12 or more $12,325 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 degree application, including receipt of all materials, must be received by the dates below to be considered complete. You may apply several months in advance and indicate your planned semester start date in the application. 

  • Spring DeadlineApply by December 20 to start January 8
  • Summer DeadlineApply by May 3 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by August 3, 2024, to start August 26, 2024

Admissions Help

Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines. 


It is expected that students have an ABET accredited Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) with a GPA of at least 3.0 in the final two years of school. Admission decisions will also be based on relevant transcripts, personal statement, work experience, and recommendation letters.     

Those applying for admission as a candidate for the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Electrical Engineering without an ABET accredited electrical engineering bachelor's degree may be admitted with a strong background in mathematics and evidence that they meet the prerequisites to selected certificate courses. The online electrical engineering postbaccalaureate certificate program does not offer online prerequisite courses.

Prerequisite math courses for students who have not earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree are: Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (Multivariate calculus), Differential Equations, Complex Numbers, and Probability/Statistics. Evidence to meet certificate prerequisite courses may include: Electromagnetics, Electrical Communications, Control System Design, Digital Signal Processing, Power/Machines, Signal and Systems (Fourier and Laplace transforms), Physics (Calculus based), Computer Programming (C,C++ or equivalent), Electrical Circuits (Calculus based) and Electronic Circuits. It is also very helpful to have some experience in MATLAB programming.

The program contains many courses requiring a solid background in mathematics with at least three semesters of calculus including multivariate calculus, differential equations and probability/statistics. Students with a strong background in mathematics may apply. The admissions committee will consider the academic background, as evidenced by the transcript, as part of the overall application. All applicants are expected to have earned a junior/senior grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Note: Technology degrees in electrical engineering are generally not equivalent to an electrical engineering bachelor's degree and therefore not accepted; applicants with a technology degree must meet all requirements and prerequisites to be considered.

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 — All applicants are expected to have earned a junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

GRE or GMAT scores are NOT required for admission but will be considered if provided.

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.

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.  

Statement of Purpose — Provide a one-page written statement of intent, highlighting academic background, work experience, skills, strengths, academic interests, and professional goals.

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. 

Ready to Learn More?

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.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by December 20 to start January 8. How to Apply

Start or Advance Your Career

Two engineers review blueprints and working at a computer

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.

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Program Related to This Certificate

Some or all credits earned for this certificate can be applied to the following Penn State World Campus degree program:

Prepare for a broad range of electrical engineering careers by focusing on practical, hands-on course work developed by experts in the field. This online master's degree program does not require GREs or a thesis.

Learn more about the Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering  

Contact Us

To learn more about the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Electrical Engineering, offered in partnership the Penn State Harrisburg School of Science, Engineering, and Technology and the Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering, please contact:

For general questions about the program:
Dr. Robert A. Gray, Professor-in-Charge
Phone: 717-948-4349
Email: [email protected]

For general questions about Penn State World Campus:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]


  • Robert A. Gray

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Ohio University
    • Degree
      M.S.E.E., Air Force Institute of Technology
    • Degree
      B.S.E.E., Ohio University

    Dr. Robert A. Gray is the professor-in-charge for the Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering. He teaches courses in embedded systems and systems engineering, reliability engineering, information systems, electronic navigation systems (GPS, inertial navigation, MEMs), digital systems, intelligent vehicle systems, Kalman filtering, wireless communications, electromagnetics and radar, electric circuits, and microcontrollers. Dr. Gray's research interests include applied research, embedded systems, medical devices, intelligent vehicle systems, and systems engineering.

  • Peter Idowu

    Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, The University of Toledo

    Dr. Peter Idowu’s research interests include hardware-based microgrid test beds, MAS control of microgrids, induction motor current signature analysis, adaptive stabilizers for multimachine power systems, and power engineering education.  Dr. Idowu teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in power systems analysis and operation and control of power systems.  He manages the PPL Electric Utilities Power Lab research facility at Penn State Harrisburg.

  • David J. Miller

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
    • Degree
      M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      B.Sc. E., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Princeton University

    Dr. David J. Miller's research interests include machine learning, source coding, network security, and bioinformatics. Dr. Miller is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Conference Board and a member of the Machine Learning for Signal Processing (MLSP) Technical Committee; he was the chair of the committee from 2007–2009. He was general chair for the 2001 IEEE Workshop on Neural Networks for Signal Processing. From 2004–2007, he was associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1996.

  • Aldo Morales

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo
    • Degree
      M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo
    • Degree
      B.Sc. E. E., Northern University (Now University of Tarapaca), Arica, Chile
    • Degree
      Thesis: “Discriminator for Telemetry”

    Dr. Aldo Morales' research interests include signal integrity, FPGA implementation for high-speed applications, communications, digital signal, image and video processing, wavelets, mathematical morphology and nonlinear signal processing, and neural networks. He teaches courses in digital signal processing, topics in digital signal processing, random variables and stochastic processes, wavelets, signal and systems, neural networks (undergraduate), and communications.

  • Victor P. Pasko

    Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

    Dr. Victor P. Pasko's research interests include atmospheric electrodynamics, atmospheric acoustic-gravity waves, gas discharge phenomena, computational plasma physics, and electromagnetics. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of engineering electromagnetics, plasmas, and plasma-assisted materials processing. From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Pasko served as chair of Atmospheric and Space Electricity Focus Group of American Geophysical Union. He served as a chair of U.S. Commission of International Union of Radio Science from 2011 to 2014.

  • Mohammad-Reza Tofighi

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Electrophysics, Drexel University
    • Degree
      M.S., Electrical Engineering, Communications, Iran University of Science and Technology
    • Degree
      B.S., Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Sharif University of Technology

    Dr. Mohammad-Reza Tofighi’s research interests are in radio frequency (RF) and microwave technology. A member of Penn State Harrisburg’s electrical engineering faculty since 2004, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on RF and microwave engineering, engineering electromagnetics, antennas, communication systems, and electronics.

  • Scott van Tonningen

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado
    • Degree
      M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois
    • Degree
      B.S., Electrical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy

    Dr. Scott van Tonningen teaches courses in the areas of electrical power, control systems, optimal control, linear signals and systems, and electronics. His research interests include the areas of optimal control, numerical methods, and nonlinear systems.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by December 20 to start January 8. How to Apply