engineer working

Graduate Certificate in
Financial Engineering

Program summary

This online financial engineering certificate can help you apply knowledge of finance, economics, statistics, and data analysis to make sound financial decisions and develop the acumen to design innovative financial instruments and risk management strategies.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

9 Credits $1,017 per credit

Work at the Intersection of Finance and Data with a Certificate in Financial Engineering

By earning a Graduate Certificate in Financial Engineering, you can learn to analyze data using econometric software, gauge financial risk, and make critical decisions that can positively impact an organization's bottom line. This financial engineering program is offered in a 100% online format and is designed to improve your critical thinking skills and build the technical expertise you need to specialize in this emerging multidisciplinary field.

You can complete the certificate program on a part-time basis in as little as 12 months.

What You Can Expect to Learn Online

This 9-credit graduate program helps you develop foundational knowledge as a financial "quant" with course work that focuses on econometric analysis, derivative securities, and financial modeling. You can gain marketable skills as you:

  • use financial modeling tools to predict market performance and improve investment decisions
  • perform empirical analyses using econometric software
  • examine financial characteristics of derivative securities such as swaps, forward, futures, and options contracts
  • gain insight into the theoretical arbitrage relationships that form the basis of all derivative pricing
  • explore how derivative securities play a vital role in managing individual and corporate risk
  • learn to design financial instruments and devise data-driven risk management strategies

Our financial engineering courses also integrate real-world case studies, giving you hands-on experience analyzing situations associated with corporate finance, portfolio theory, financial derivatives, and more. You'll benefit from a rich learning experience that is both practical and engaging.

The Penn State Difference

Flexible and Convenient — 100% online courses provide you with the flexibility to study around your own schedule without sacrificing quality. You can prepare for more rewarding career opportunities while you continue to gain valuable work experience.

Reputation for Excellence — With its 20-year history serving adult learners, Penn State World Campus is consistently ranked among top online institutions by U.S. News & World Report. You can feel confident that you will receive a world-class education that will be widely recognized by hiring managers.

Who Should Apply?

This graduate program is ideal for professionals with strong quantitative skills and a background in finance. Applicants typically have a bachelor's degree in business, economics, engineering, computer science, data analytics, applied mathematics, or another STEM–related field. Previous programming experience is not required.

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.


The Graduate Certificate in Financial Engineering is a 9-credit online program offering a strong foundation in financial theory and econometric modeling tools with the goal to improve financial decision-making.

All courses are asynchronous, meaning you are not required to log in at a particular time each week.

Courses are structured to allow you to complete weekly assignments when and where it's most convenient for you. While courses are autonomous, you will have the opportunity to interact and engage with your classmates through integrated experiences. This peer-to-peer interaction enhances your learning experience while strengthening your professional network on a global scale.

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • 3

    Introduces the student to the major derivative securities that are the tools in the management of financial risk: futures, forwards, swaps, and options. The course will expose students to potential critiques of traditional financial theory based on recent empirical results, including the global financial crisis of 2007­–2009.

  • 3

    Aims to develop the basic econometric estimation and hypothesis testing tools necessary to analyze and interpret the empirical relevance of financial and other economic data; focuses on the theoretical foundations of econometric analysis and strategies for applying these basic econometric methods in empirical finance research.

  • 3

    Focuses primarily on developing spreadsheet applications and using the case method to apply decision-making procedures to real-world problems in finance areas; exposes students to topics such as financial ratio analysis, financial forecast, regression analysis, portfolio management, asset valuation, risk management, and more.

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

This program is now accepting applications. Your application will be reviewed when all of your portfolio items have been submitted. Materials must be received by:

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 17, 2024, to start August 26, 2024

Admissions Help

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.

Applicants will likely have a bachelor's degree in a business or STEM–related discipline and demonstrate a fundamental competence in finance.

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:

GRE and GMAT test scores are NOT required.

English Proficiency, if applicable — 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 “Financial Engineering” as the certificate program

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.

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 March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply

Start or Advance Your Career

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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.

Finance Careers for Quantitative Analysts

You can pursue a specialized career in the investment, insurance, or banking sector as a:

  • financial engineer
  • financial investment manager
  • investment banker
  • portfolio manager
  • trading strategist
  • risk manager

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 toward the financial engineering concentration offered in the following Penn State World Campus degree program:

Learn to strategically manage high-performance teams and solve complex, real-world business challenges. With more than 25 concentrations to choose from, you can customize this highly ranked online MBA to suit your unique career goals.

Learn more about the Master of Business Administration  

Contact Us

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Financial Engineering, offered in partnership with the Penn State Erie Black School of Business (AACSB–accredited), please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Jessica Zhao, Ph.D.
Samuel P. Black III Professor of Finance
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
286 Burke Research Center
Erie, PA 16563
Email: [email protected]


  • Tim Krause

    • Degree
      Ph. D., Financial Economics, University of Texas at San Antonio
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance, Georgetown University
    • Degree
      A.B., Government, Georgetown University

    Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Tim Krause spent twenty years in the financial services industry as an investment professional and held senior management positions. He is the director of the Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund at the Black School of Business, a student-run investment fund. He teaches Portfolio Management and Analysis, Advanced Energy Finance, Derivative Securities, and Fixed Income Securities. Dr. Krause's research and teaching interests include investments, derivatives, risk management, and financial institutions and markets.

  • Xin (Jessica) Zhao

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Finance, State University of New York at Buffalo
    • Degree
      M.A., International Trade, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
    • Degree
      B.A., English, Tianjin University for Science and Technology

    Dr. Xin (Jessica) Zhao received her Ph.D. in finance at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Zhao teaches international finance and corporate finance for both undergraduate and graduate students as a professor at Penn State Behrend. Dr. Zhao's research interests include market microstructure, event studies, financial markets, and asset pricing. Her research in these areas has been published in both academic and practitioner journals. Dr. Zhao has working experience in Da Hua CPA and China Petrochemical Corporation prior to joining Penn State Behrend.

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

Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply