skiers and snowboarders on a snowy mountain

Undergraduate Certificate inProfessional Snowsports Education

Program summary

Prepare for a career as a snowsports instructor and leader in collaboration with the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI). Earn a Penn State certificate while completing the most highly regarded snowsports industry certifications.

Application deadline

Apply by August 18 to start August 26

Credits and costs

9 Credits$626/$671 per credit


Designed in collaboration with the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors

Learn How to Become a Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructor

  • Study the fundamentals of snowsports instruction — people, teaching, and technical skills — to prepare to teach beginner skiers and snowboarders.

  • Prepare for and complete your PSIA-AASI Level I Instructor certification in alpine skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing, or cross-country skiing.

  • Learn leadership responsibilities and skills associated with working at ski resorts and in winter environments.

  • Develop an understanding of leisure and the role it plays in people’s lives.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of different parts of the snowsports industry and the ways in which they complement each other to enhance the guest experience.

Gain a Valuable Credential through Online Courses

This 9-credit program is a well-rounded learning experience that combines theoretical knowledge with practical application, ultimately helping you prepare to teach beginners in snowsports with a focus on safety, inspiration, and enjoyment.

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • 3

    Leadership Development in Snowsports develops students' understanding and skills in becoming a Snowsports industry professional.

  • 3

    Leisure from historical and contemporary perspectives, including forces shaping leisure behavior, and relationships among leisure, the environment, and social institutions.

  • 3

    Snowsports Education is designed to guide students to become a certified snowsports educator. Students will need to join PSIA-AASI and pay for their level I assessment in addition to tuition fees.

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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Penn State’s Undergraduate Certificate in Professional Snowsports Education can help you acquire practical skills and gain formal recognition for your efforts, making you stand out within the snowsports industry. You will have the opportunity to expand your professional network and make connections with other classmates, instructors, and potential employers.

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 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.

Students in the professional snowsports education program will also be required to join PSIA-AASI and pay for the Level 1 assessment event, which occurs at different snowsports resorts.

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

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Not only can this program help create opportunities in your snowsports instruction career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a bachelor’s degree in recreation, park, and tourism management.

Programs Related to This Certificate

As a graduate of this certificate program, you can apply the credits you’ve earned to the following Penn State World Campus programs:

Learn to support and develop opportunities for recreation management and tourism management that benefit the economy and environment as well as the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of people and communities with this online degree program.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Who Should Apply?

Those wanting to build a career in snowsports education — including snowsports enthusiasts, new instructors, and uncertified instructors who are seeking an education to support their advancement in the industry — are encouraged to apply. Students in the program are expected to have a relationship with a local snowsports area.

Earn Your Level I Snowsports Instructor Certification


Earn your certificate at a snowsports area near you. The online certificate program allows you to earn 9 credits and your PSIA-AASI Level I certification anywhere in the United States, giving you the opportunity to integrate your online learning experience with your professional development as a snowsports instructor at a snowsports area near you. 

How Long to Complete This Program?

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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.

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification for employment. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map for more information.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by August 18 to start August 26

Application Instructions

Steps to Apply

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

  2. After completing your application, you will be asked to provide more information about your snowsports experience and plans.

    1. At which snowsports area will you be working or volunteering this season?
    2. In which skiing or riding discipline (e.g., alpine, snowboard, cross country, or telemark) do you have experience, and how would you describe your ability? What kinds of runs can you comfortably complete?
    3. Which assessment do you intend to take (resort and dates)? Note that you can search for assessments on the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors website.
  3. 3. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

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

Contact Us

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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]

For specific inquiries about the professional snowsports education program, contact:

Pete Allison
Program Director
Penn State Professional Snowsports Education Program
Email: [email protected]

Learn from the Best

This program is offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Health and Human Development and has been designed in collaboration with the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI). Courses are taught by leading snowsports educators, coaches, and researchers.

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

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