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Graduate Certificate inFoundations of Artificial Intelligence

Program summary

This 12-credit online graduate certificate program focuses on the foundations of artificial intelligence, including intelligent agents, search and planning, machine learning, and predictive analytics. The certificate is embedded within the artificial intelligence master's program.

100% Online

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

Application deadline

Apply by July 15 to start August 26

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,056 per credit

Stackable Credentials

This program is embedded within the Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence.

Gain Practical Skills Needed in the Field of Artificial Intelligence

  • Understand the core concepts of AI, including intelligent agents, knowledge and reasoning, reinforcement learning, planning and acting, belief networks, computational learning, Markov decision process, and more.

  • Design AI–based solutions using deep learning, statistical machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, search and planning, intelligent agent systems, and reinforcement learning techniques.

  • Use Python programming language and toolkits to manipulate, analyze, and visualize complex data sets.

  • Build and train machine learning models on large data sets to perform tasks such as classification, prediction, forecasting, object detection, automation, and self-adaptation.

  • Establish standards and parameters to ensure transparency, fairness, and ethical behavior in AI systems.

Foundational AI Courses

This certificate provides a foundation of disciplines within the expansive AI landscape, exploring concepts and methods for modeling, designing, developing, and testing data-centric AI systems.

  • 3

    This course will teach the foundations of AI and give students a practical understanding of the field. This course gives an overview of the core concepts of AI, including the intelligent agents, knowledge and reasoning, reinforcement learning, planning and acting, belief networks, computational learning, Markov decision process, and more.

  • 3

    This course will explore the development of analytics systems and the application of best practices and established software design principles using the Python programming language and its several toolkits.

  • 3

    Survey course on the key topics in predictive analytics. Students will learn methods associated with data analytics techniques and apply them to real examples using the R statistical system.

  • 3

    Descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, power, estimation, confidence intervals, regression, one- and 2-way ANOVA, Chi-square tests, diagnostics.

The courses required for this certificate can also be applied to a Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence if you apply and are accepted into the program. Students in the Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Artificial Intelligence program will not be charged a fee to apply for the Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence program.

All courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C or better and an overall GPA of 3.0.

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.

Start or Advance Your Career

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The Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Artificial Intelligence can prepare you for leadership roles as an AI engineer, AI researcher, data scientist, quantitative analyst, and data analyst.

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 July 15 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

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

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$1,056 per credit
12 or more$12,678 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$1,067 per credit
12 or more$12,805 per semester


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.

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.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

Earn Stackable Credentials on the Way to a Master's Degree

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This certificate can serve as a stand-alone credential and as a step on your journey toward a Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence. Stackable credentials recognize your new skills and knowledge while you work toward your master's degree — with no additional application fees.

Earning graduate certificates from Penn State World Campus is a great way to gain new skills and quickly add valuable credentials to your résumé.

This graduate certificate’s courses satisfy requirements toward the following degree(s):

This 33-credit artificial intelligence master's degree will help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to develop intelligent systems and explore new frontiers in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, reinforcement learning, and computer vision.

Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence

Show Your Progress with a Digital Badge

Upon completion of this program, Penn State awards you a graduate certificate and a digital badge from Credly.

Penn State Great Valley Graduate Certificate Credly Badge

Certificate earners are awarded a digital badge for each certificate they complete as part of this stackable credentials group. Badges can be displayed digitally to recognize your accomplishment of attaining a new level of knowledge.

Finish Your Certificate in Less Than One Year

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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.

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.

Note: This program is under review for GI Bill® eligibility, and you may experience delays attempting to use GI Bill benefits toward this program until it has been officially approved.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by July 15 to start August 26

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.

  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by July 15 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by November 15 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15, 2025, to start May 19, 2025

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.

    Students should hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or mathematics to be considered for admission to the program. Students from other disciplines will be considered based on prior course work (including the entrance requirements for mathematics and programming) and standardized test scores. Students should have earned at least a 3.00 junior/senior GPA (on a 4.00 scale) in their baccalaureate program. 

    Mathematics Requirement

    Applicants must complete Calculus I (equivalent to Penn State's MATH 140), 1 semester of probability or statistics, and 1 semester of linear algebra.

    Programming Requirement

    Applicants must complete two introductory-level programming courses where both courses used the same language. If an applicant believes his/her work experience satisfies the background, he/she should include a recommendation letter from a technical colleague describing the applicant’s coding contributions at work.

  2. 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.

    GRE or GMAT — Scores are NOT required and will not be accepted.

    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.

  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. Stackable Credentials Application Fee Waiver

    If you have been previously accepted to a program with stackable credentials, you will not be charged an additional application fee for any associated programs.

    Associated programs in the artificial intelligence stack:


      • Graduate Certificate in Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
      • Graduate Certificate in Natural Language Processing
      • Graduate Certificate in Computer Vision


      • Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence

      If you begin with a certificate and are interested in pursuing the Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence, work with your adviser while completing your first certificate to determine which program to apply to next.

      Up to 15 credits earned in any of these certificate programs may be transferred to the Master of Professional Studies in Artificial Intelligence program, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit.

    • 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.

    • 6. Complete the application.

    Admissions Help

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

    Current Penn State students should contact [email protected] with questions and for assistance.

    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 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, offered in partnership with the Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, please contact:

    For general questions about the program:
    Dr. Amanda Neill
    [email protected]

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

    Learn from the Best

    Penn State World Campus offers a flexible, online platform that allows you to pursue a world-class education while you continue to gain valuable work experience. You will receive the same education as a Penn State student on campus, and your courses will be taught by the same graduate faculty who are active in research and experts in their fields.


    • Raghu Garud

      Ph. D., Strategic Management and Organization, University of Minnesota

      Raghu Garud is the Farrell Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a professor of management and organization at Penn State. His research explores the emergence and adoption of novelty. Raghu was recognized by the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management as its distinguished scholar for 2020. In addition to many journal articles, Raghu has co-edited or co-authored several books.  

      He has served on the faculty at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Raghu also has been a Fellow of the Sydney Sussex College, the University of Cambridge, a visiting scholar at VU Amsterdam, the Copenhagen Business School, the University of Bologna, the University of St. Gallen, The Indian School of Business, and the Singapore Management University.

    • Hajime Shimao

      • Degree
        Ph.D., Economics, Purdue University
      • Degree
        B.A., Psychology, University of Tokyo

      Hajime Shimao is an interdisciplinary social scientist who explores unique applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in a wide range of domains, including economics, management, finance, law, history, and art. His research aims to unify views and methodologies from traditional disciplines with the cutting-edge technologies to develop novel research frameworks in social science.

    • Chengfei Wang

      • Degree
        Ph.D., Computer Science, Auburn University
      • Degree
        M.S., Computer Science, Auburn University
      • Degree
        M.S., Biophysics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
      • Degree
        B.S., Biotechnology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

      Dr. Chengfei Wang is an assistant professor of artificial intelligence. He teaches courses in foundations of AI and analytics programming in Python. His research interests include the robustness problem of deep learning models applied in life-critical missions and business intelligence based on natural language analysis of customer reviews on social media. His research on the robustness of the computer vision model was published at top-tier AI conference Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Conference.

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

    Apply by July 15 to start August 26. How to Apply