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Graduate Certificate inFinancial 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 design innovative financial instruments and risk management strategies.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

9 Credits$1,017 per credit

Gain Skills to Work at the Intersection of Finance and Data

  • Use financial modeling tools to predict market performance and improve investment decisions

  • Perform empirical analyses using econometric software and techniques

  • 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

Online Financial Engineering Courses

This 9-credit certificate program helps you develop foundational knowledge as a financial quantitative analyst (or "quant") with courses that focuses on econometric analysis, derivative securities, and financial modeling with the goal to improve financial decision-making.

Coursework is designed to improve your critical thinking skills and build the technical expertise you need to specialize in this emerging multidisciplinary field. 

Our financial engineering courses 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.

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    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
    credits

    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
    credits

    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.

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

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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 

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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Learn more about this program

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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 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

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.

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

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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 available, you can customize this top-ranked online MBA to suit your unique career goals.

Learn more about the Master of Business Administration

Who Should Apply?

This 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. Programming experience is not required.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Certificate in Less than a Year

  • Take 1–2 courses each semester

To Finish Your Certificate in One Year

  • Take 1 course each semester

 

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

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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.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by June 17 to start August 26

Steps to Apply

  1. 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.

  2. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

    Test Scores — 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.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. 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.

    • 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. 

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this program.

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

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Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Financial Engineering, 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]

Learn from the Best

This program is AACSB Accredited

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Engineering is offered in partnership with the Penn State Erie Black School of Business, which is AACSB–accredited and consistently recognized by employers for having outstanding graduates.

Faculty

  • 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