Credits and costs
Earn a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management
The 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management, offered online by Penn State World Campus in partnership with Penn State's College of Engineering, highlights the changing nature of the field of engineering, which is being impacted by globalization, the growing demand for corporate innovation, and the need for skilled engineers.
The primary goal of the engineering leadership and innovation management certificate program is to provide professionals with knowledge and skills in the key aspects of engineering business: leading teams, identifying new business opportunities, working across international and cultural boundaries, effectively managing projects, and championing internal innovation. These areas of leadership and innovation set engineers apart and prepare them to be future global leaders.
Upon completion of the certificate, students should have developed attributes required by today's successful engineering executives. Specifically, these include improved ability to lead technical teams and expanded professional skills in leadership, intercultural competence, and innovation management within the engineering profession.
The Penn State Difference
This program combines a highly focused curriculum with a flexible, convenient online format, allowing you to maintain your professional commitments as you acquire a valued credential. You will learn from faculty who have expertise in engineering, project management, innovation, and leadership, as well as extensive experience teaching in online education.
Your Course Work
The focus of the curriculum is to help engineers become well-versed beyond their technical engineering skills, expanding into areas such as communication, ethics, entrepreneurial thinking, and professionalism. The courses can help develop the abilities you need to effectively create and lead impactful contributions to your team and organization.
You may also be able to apply some of the credits you earn for this certificate toward a Master of Engineering Management, Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design, Master's in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Master of Professional Studies in Organization Development and Change, or Master of Project Management, if you apply and are accepted into the program.
Who Should Apply?
The certificate was designed for working professionals — with a bachelor's degree and some relevant work experience in engineering, science, or a related discipline — who are looking for career development opportunities. As a student, you can enhance your knowledge and skill sets in identifying new business opportunities, gathering support from within your organization, managing projects, and working across multidisciplinary and cultural teams.
The Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management comprises four courses totaling 12 credits.
Required Courses (12 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
To be considered for admission, you must submit your completed application portfolio by the deadlines below. Please note that applications received after the deadline may be considered for the upcoming semester, but admission is not guaranteed and may need to be pushed to the following semester.
- Summer Deadline: Apply by April 1 to start May 15
- Fall Deadline: Apply by July 15 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by December 1, 2023, to start January 8, 2024
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.
Admissions decisions for this program are based on the quality of the applicant's credentials and review of the complete application portfolio. During the admission process, students who appear to be better suited for another graduate-level program will be encouraged to apply to the appropriate program.
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 — For admission to the certificate program, a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) is needed. Exceptions to the minimum 3.0 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. A minimum of one year of relevant work experience is recommended.
GRE scores are not required.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions. Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page.
References (2) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of two references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.
Personal Statement — a 2- to 3-page essay demonstrating your written communication skills, which includes the following information:
- Statement of purpose (career and educational goals).
- Narrative describing your professional experience in an engineering position (or equivalent) to meet the one-year requirement. Students wishing to enter the program directly from an undergraduate degree can fulfill the one-year requirement for engineering experience through internships, employment, or co-op experiences plus additional experience within professional societies.
- Narrative describing your leadership and innovation experiences through internships, employment, co-op experiences, community engagement, professional societies, etc.
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 "Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management" 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 general 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 Penn State World Campus Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Engineering, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
College of Engineering
School of Engineering Design and Innovation
213G Hammond Building
University Park, PA 16802
Wesley E. Donahue, PE, PMP
DegreePh.D., Workforce Education, Penn State
DegreeMBA, Clarion University
DegreeB.S., Civil Engineering, Penn State
Dr. Wesley E. Donahue is the coordinator of the online Master of Professional Studies in Organization Development and Change and an instructor of related courses and programs. An experienced researcher, developer, and leadership consultant, he has an extensive manufacturing, engineering, sales, and management background, having started and operated businesses for more than 30 years. Dr. Donahue is a registered professional engineer, six-sigma black belt, and author of a host of education and training materials.
Meg HandleyDegreePh.D., Workforce Education, Penn State
Dr. Meg Handley, associate director for Engineering Leadership Outreach at Penn State, teaches in the engineering leadership program. Previously, she served as the director of the Career and Corporate Connection's office at the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Dr. Handley’s dissertation focused on interpersonal behaviors and their impact on engineering leadership potential.
DegreePh.D., Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Penn State
DegreeMBA, Johns Hopkins University
DegreeB.S., Mechanical Engineering, West Virginia University
Dr. Dena Lang is associate director of Engineering Leadership Research. Her professional experiences and research interests range from facilities design to research that applied engineering and molecular biology approaches to study the skeletal response to mechanical loading. Additional research interests have included the investigation of relationships among the indoor environment, occupants, and energy usage. Dr. Lang's current research interests focus on identifying, assessing, and developing key skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for engineers to effectively lead others.
DegreePh.D., Workforce Education and Development, Clarion University
DegreeMBA, Clarion University
DegreeB.S., Psychology, Clarion University
Dr. Maria Spencer is a business consultant with Penn State's Small Business Development Center, specializing in research and technology commercialization, strategic planning, human resource development, and export trade. She has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs on business start-up, expansion, and new product development initiatives. Dr. Spencer's research focuses on facilitating change in organizations, with a specific focus on business models and the organizational impacts of continuous reconfiguration.