Organizational Communication students

Undergraduate Certificate inOrganizational Communication

Program summary

Gain practical skills to improve communications with peers, supervisors, customers, and others in your organization to create a productive and positive work environment with this online certificate program.

100% Online

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

Application deadline

Apply by August 18 to start August 26

Credits and costs

12 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Gain Communication Skills to Succeed in Large and Small Organizations

  • Write and present organizational messages appropriate to your audience, purpose, and context.

  • Use industry theory and methods to communicate efficiently and effectively.

  • Make practical improvements in communication across all aspects of your organization.

  • Improve internal and external communication in your current and future roles.

Courses That Are Relevant to Your Career

The online organizational communication certificate program is a 4-course, 12-credit program of study. To earn this certificate, you must successfully complete 6 credits of required courses and 6 credits of related electives.

Upon successful completion of the program, a Certificate of Academic Accomplishment is awarded. The certificate program in organizational communication is an outreach service of Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts.

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to communication technology and information management; intended for students in the liberal arts.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the function and structure of communication in both formal and informal situations.

Elective Courses (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and strategies important for conceptualizing, developing, and managing conflict negotiation, mediation, and third-party intervention.

    • Prerequisite

      6 credits of CAS

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the nature and functions of communication in organizations, with emphasis on concepts, tools, and skills for effective management of communication.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 202 or CAS 252

  • 3
    credits

    History and criticism of public discourse; intensive analysis of selected public addresses and social movements.

    • Prerequisite

      6 credits of CAS

  • 3
    credits

    Preparing and editing reports and presentations common to business, industry, and government.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 202A, ENGL 202B, ENGL 202C, ENGL 202D

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

A team of business professionals listening to a woman speak in a meeting

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 or to move on to an online graduate certificate or master’s degree program, 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 

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.

required
Form step 1 of 3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

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

Apply by August 18 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.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

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?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

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?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

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.

A Head Start toward a Bachelor’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 bachelor’s degree.

Degree Programs Related to This Certificate

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

Learn to express ideas orally and in writing while gaining a broad foundation in the liberal arts. Credits earned in this online associate degree program may be applied toward a wide variety of more advanced degrees.

Learn more about the Associate in Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies

Embrace deeper learning as you build connections between subjects that excite you. This online bachelor’s degree program is a student-designed, theme-oriented major that can be customized to fit your unique interests and career goals.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

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 One Year

  • Take 2 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Certificate in Two Years

  • 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

Penn State students wearing caps and gowns at their commencement ceremony

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.

How to Apply to Penn State

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

Apply by August 18 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 August 18 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by December 22 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by May 5, 2025, to start May 11, 2025

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

  2. 2. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, email [email protected] or call 814-865-1146.

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

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

For questions about admissions and applications, please contact World Campus Central:

World Campus Central
Phone: 814-865-1146
Email: [email protected]

Learn from the Best

One of the primary reasons Penn State is recognized around the globe as a distinguished university is its faculty. As a World Campus student, you will have the opportunity to learn from the same instructors who teach traditional, face-to-face classes on Penn State's campuses across Pennsylvania.

Faculty

  • Kurt Braddock

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Communication, University of Delaware
    • Degree
      B.A., Business Management, The College of New Jersey

    Dr. Kurt Braddock is an assistant teaching professor of communication arts and sciences and homeland security. His research centers on the persuasive tactics employed by terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit fighters, as well as how persuasion strategies can be used for counter-radicalization. He teaches Violence and Threats; Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization, and De-radicalization; Disaster Communication; and Effective Speech: Group Communication.

  • Kristin Mathe Coletta

    Kristin Mathe Coletta studies the rhetorical dynamics and techniques that bring certain social policies into being. Her research focuses on social movements of homeless and working-class individuals. She approaches these movements by looking at the perspectives of participants, leaders within movements, and policy makers. Her dissertation considered to what extent democratic practices can extend into the workplace without undermining the stability of government. She considered historical moments in which the rights of public workers to organize, strike, and/or bargain collectively were called into question.

  • Lyn Freymiller

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

    Dr. Lyn Freymiller is particularly interested in studying media portrayals of underrepresented or socially stigmatized populations, both in terms of the portrayals themselves and the cultural impacts of such representation. His research involves rhetorical analysis of texts (most notably television programs) and qualitative research methods such as interviewing. Dr. Freymiller has presented his research at professional conventions across the country and is also represented in publications. He has received formal recognition on several occasions for teaching excellence and his contributions to the education of undergraduates at Penn State.

  • Amanda Goodwin

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Maine
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Connecticut

    Dr. Amanda Goodwin is a communication scientist with expertise in the area of interpersonal communication. She teaches courses on interpersonal communication (CAS 203), human communication (CAS 101), conflict resolution (CAS 404), effective speech (CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100A for engineers), small group communication (CAS 100B, CAS 250), and organizational communication (CAS 352).

  • Christopher Kroft

    • Degree
      D.Ed. course work, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.L.A., Johns Hopkins University
    • Degree
      B.A., York College of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Christopher Kroft studies the communication experiences of adults with mood disorders. He is particularly interested in how adults with bipolar spectrum disorder communicate during euthymic mood states. His research also investigates the ways in which students with cognitive disabilities approach higher education courses in communication. He has previously worked within the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and he volunteers his time with Consumer Satisfaction Services of Harrisburg, an organization that studies relapse among patients receiving mental health treatment.

  • Matthew Lamb

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Bowling Green State University
    • Degree
      M.A., Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
    • Degree
      B.A., Purdue University

    Dr. Matthew Lamb conducts research at the intersections of urban communication, architectural theory and criticism, performance studies, cultural studies, and philosophies centering on the production of space. Primarily, his research focuses on architecture's place in communication processes, which produce understandings of how to use and efforts to control and frame interpretations of the moving body in city space. Dr. Lamb’s work has been featured in Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Communication and Sport, and others. He is also a regular attendee and active participant with the Urban Communication Foundation.

  • Erina MacGeorge

    • Degree
      Ph.D., University of Illinois
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Alaska

    Dr. Erina MacGeorge is a social scientist specializing in interpersonal and health communication. Her research examines social support and social influence, with a particular focus on advice. Her work includes the development of Advice Response Theory, which explains advice outcomes for recipients as a function of message, adviser, situation, and recipient characteristics. Recent research examines advice between doctors and parents about childhood antibiotic use, breast cancer patients making surgical decisions with input from their social network, and college student friends coping with everyday problems.

  • Ines Meyer-Hoess

    • Degree
      M.A., American University, School of International Service
    • Degree
      M.A., Boise State University
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Vienna

    Ines Meyer-Hoess is the lead faculty and organizer of the department's study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. She worked as a political consultant before attending the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., where she focused on international politics and international communication. What she finds most rewarding is the opportunity to connect with the many dedicated, hardworking Penn State students she teaches online, on campus, and abroad.

  • Marcy Milhomme

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Suffolk University
    • Degree
      B.A., Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Marcy Milhomme's pedagogy is largely informed by an epistemological underpinning of sociological factors that powerfully shape and affect civil discourse. In the classroom, students are encouraged to contextualize communication based on the probable needs of one's audience, appropriate problem-solving strategies, identification of policy instruments, and the ethics of deliberative speaking. She integrates classical rhetorical strategies, such as Aristotle's Appeals, historically significant rhetorical events, and contemporary phenomena like that found in "hashtag activism." Her passion for teaching relies upon high levels of student engagement and student growth as consumers and technicians of the rhetorical situation.

  • Elizabeth Mills

    • Degree
      M.A., Ball State University
    • Degree
      B.A., Ball State University

    Elizabeth "Betsy" Mills' teaching interests center on making her classroom a welcoming and productive space for students, reaching them across the globe through Penn State World Campus, and raising their sense of civic duty, both during the semester and beyond it. She also serves as an affiliate member on the Penn State President's Commission for LGBTQ Equity.

  • Peter Miraldi

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Kent State University
    • Degree
      M.A.C.T.M., Cleveland State University
    • Degree
      B.A., Cleveland State University

    Dr. Peter Miraldi has been teaching communication, conflict management (e.g., CAS 404), and presentation skills (e.g., CAS 100) for more than 15 years at colleges and universities. Dr. Miraldi has taught several courses and workshops on public speaking, group communication, mediation, and technical presentation. In addition, he has served as a judge for several public speaking competitions, including the Speak for Peace: MLK Oratorical Contest and the New York Times’ Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest. He serves as the lead speaker consultant for TEDxPSU.

  • Karen Peters

    Degree
    Ph.D., Penn State
  • Robert Richards

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      J.D., University of Virginia
    • Degree
      M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Iowa
    • Degree
      B.A., Yale University

    Dr. Robert Richards studies legal and political communication and information. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, he conducts research on ordinary citizens' legal communication, legal information intermediaries such as lawyers and legal journalists, and legal information systems. He also studies deliberative democratic theory. His dissertation concerns how legal information about ballot initiatives is communicated to voters.

  • Denise Solomon

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Northwestern University
    • Degree
      M.A., Northwestern University
    • Degree
      B.A., Lewis & Clark College

    Dr. Denise Solomon is a communication scientist with expertise in interpersonal communication. Her research focuses on communication experiences in personal relationships, such as support and conflict, which enhance or erode well-being. Dr. Solomon developed the relational turbulence model, which describes how transitions in romantic relationships promote relationship qualities that polarize cognitive, emotional, and communicative reactions to both ordinary and extraordinary experiences. The relational turbulence model has been used to gain insight into how people experience breast cancer survivorship, cope with infertility, and navigate post-deployment military family life.

  • Ellen Taricani

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      Master's Certificate, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Ellen Taricani’s scholarly explorations include a capacious range of topics related to learning and communication integration. Many of the publications relate to topics ranging from connected life online to cognitive mapping and to learning design, as well as social media applications and influence. She is interested in finding ways to capture structural knowledge and making connections both online and face-to-face.

  • Tara Traeder

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Emerson College
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    Dr. Tara Traeder has been studying and practicing health communication for more than a decade. Her research has predominantly focused on cancer communication, with specific focus on disparities in cancer prevention rates and breast cancer communication with nurse navigators. She is a supporting author on two publications in the Journal of Health Communication and Health Communication, both of which consider genetic determinism in single-gene disorders. Future research endeavors will consider the use of technology as a tool for discharge planning in hospitalized heart disease patients, with a focus on reducing readmission rates.

  • Amber Walker Jackson

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Arkansas
    • Degree
      B.A., Columbus State University

    Dr. Amber Walker Jackson studies family and relational communication, focusing primarily on parent-child communication. She often teaches courses in public speaking (CAS 100), communication and technology (CAS 283), and communication and conflict (CAS 404). She is a recipient of the Cynthia Finch Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to teaching and scholarship, Dr. Jackson is involved in the oversight of Penn State World Campus courses and degree programs for the department.


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

Apply by August 18 to start August 26. How to Apply