Project Managers in a meeting

Graduate Certificate inProject Management

Program summary

Customize your courses to tailor your certificate to your personal career goals. This AACSB–accredited program uses problem-based learning to provide a strong foundation in project management and take students one step closer to PMP certification.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,017 per credit

The Importance of Project Management Credentials

Delivering complex projects on time and under budget is a daily challenge for most corporations. More organizations now use project-based methods to accomplish such tasks, so the demand for project managers is on the rise. This increased job competition means that you need additional credentials or certifications to stand out in the job market. A graduate certificate in project management can help you add an important credential to your résumé — as you acquire a skill set valued in virtually any industry.

Why a Certificate in Project Management at Penn State?

This program is AACSB Accredited

The Penn State World Campus online Graduate Certificate in Project Management is an interdisciplinary, 12-credit program that uses problem-based learning to provide a strong foundation in project management theory and practice. The program is AACSB–accredited, so your certificate will be a well-respected credential.

As a student in the program, you can learn project management fundamentals from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc. (2013), as well as the European model (APM).

After completing an introductory project management course taught by renowned industry professional Dr. Jeffrey Pinto, you can customize your certificate to suit your personal career goals, choosing from the following topics:

  • cost and value management
  • planning and resource management
  • commercial law and project procurement
  • organization theory
  • interpersonal and group behavior
  • corporate, business, and project strategy

Who Should Apply?

Whether you are in project, program, or portfolio management; construction management; or project execution, this could be an ideal program for you if you are looking for career development opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skill sets in managing large, complex projects.

Courses

You will take one required course and choose three elective courses to obtain the 12-credit certificate in project management. Courses are based on real-world business needs and are taught by industry-respected faculty. Because you can continue working in your current position while you study, the knowledge you attain can be immediately applied to your career and situations you face in your workplace. You can acquire expertise in:

  • planning
  • cost and value management
  • project control
  • workforce issues
  • strategic issues

Required Course (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    A problem-based, interdisciplinary course in project management skills and techniques needed to manage projects in a modern business environment.

    • Prerequisite

      graduate standing

Electives (select 9 credits)

Prerequisites as listed may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency.

  • 3
    credits

    A problem-based course that emphasizes project cost control and teaches students to apply techniques to control projects in business.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      MANGT 510

  • 3
    credits

    A problem-based course that addresses techniques for planning the project development process, including securing resources and resource management.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      MANGT 510

  • 3
    credits

    An examination of organizational theories and processes of organizational behavior.

  • 3
    credits

    A human relations–based course that identifies the significant challenges that managing individuals on project teams represents.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      MANGT 510

  • 3
    credits

    A problem-based course that focuses on linking projects to overall corporate strategy.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      MANGT 510

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.

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

Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, should be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete:

  • Summer DeadlineApply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by June 15 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by November 15, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements

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.

The 12-credit graduate certificate in project management is embedded in the master's degree program, sharing the same course offerings and tuition rates. If you apply and are accepted into the Master of Project Management program, the 12 credits you earn toward this certificate may be applied to the master's program.

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:

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. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GPA and Test Scores — Postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required.

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.

References (2) — Each applicant is required to provide recommendations from academic or professional sources. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment to success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.  

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Statement of Purpose — The statement should be one to two pages and answer the following questions:

  • Why have you chosen to participate in Penn State's project management program? Describe how your previous or current work experience will enable you to apply course concepts to project management situations you have experienced.
  • How will these studies help you attain your career goals?
  • How will your participation contribute to the program?

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 "Project Management" as the certificate

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.

Ready to Learn More?

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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.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

Because project managers are in high demand in numerous industries, a graduate certificate in project management can help prepare you for a variety of positions, including:

  • project manager or assistant project manager
  • project management associate
  • project coordinator
  • project planner
  • project change management analyst

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 to the following Penn State World Campus degree program:

Gain a thorough understanding of all aspects of project management theory and practice in this interdisciplinary online project management program that incorporates problem-based learning.

Learn more about the Master of Project Management

Contact Us

For questions regarding how to apply, contact:

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

For academic and curriculum questions, contact:

Project Management Administrative Office
[email protected]
Phone: 814-898-6200

For questions regarding your submitted application, contact:

[email protected]

Faculty

  • Richard Peng

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Management Science, The University of North Texas
    • Degree
      MBA, Operations Management & Supply Chain Management, The University of Texas at Dallas
    • Degree
      B.E., Information Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    Dr. Richard Peng is an associate professor of project and supply chain management at Penn State Behrend. His research articles have been published in journals includingIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Cleaner Production, Quality Management Journal, and Resources, Conservation & Recycling. His research and teaching interests include health care operations, operations management, project management, quality management, supply chain management, and technology management.

  • Jeffrey K. Pinto

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Organization Theory, University of Pittsburgh
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance, University of Pittsburgh
    • Degree
      B.S., Business, University of Maryland
    • Degree
      B.A., History, University of Maryland

    Dr. Jeffrey K. Pinto is professor and Andrew Morrow and Elizabeth Lee Black Chair in the Management of Technology at Penn State. He has been the program chair for Penn State's Master of Project Management program since its inception in 2002. An internationally renowned scholar in project management, Dr. Pinto is the author of 28 books and 150 research papers, principally on project management topics. Among his honors, he has received research achievement awards from the Project Management Institute (2009) and the International Project Management Association (2017).

  • B.C. Kim

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Construction Management in Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
    • Degree
      M.S, Civil Engineering, Seoul National University
    • Degree
      B.S., Civil Engineering, Seoul National University

    Dr. B.C. Kim is an associate professor in project and supply chain management. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and a registered structural engineer in South Korea. He has authored a book on project management and published research articles in European Journal of Operational Research, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Production Planning & Control, and Journal of Management in Engineering. His primary research interests include project analytics with an emphasis on probabilistic project control, forecasting, and risk analysis.

  • Joongseo Kim

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Business Administration, Oklahoma State University
    • Degree
      M.S., Management, University of Colorado at Denver
    • Degree
      B.A., Business Administration, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

    Dr. Joongseo Kim is an assistant professor of management at Penn State Behrend. His research interests include culture, deviance, and behavioral ethics. His research has appeared in top journals, including Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (PSPB), Harvard Business Review, and Human Relations. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Kim worked in the U.S. Army as a training noncommissioned officer.

  • Diane H. Parente

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Management Science and Systems, University at Buffalo
    • Degree
      MBA, Management and Accounting, Canisius College
    • Degree
      B.A., Physics, Wilson College

    Dr. Diane H. Parente is the Samuel A. and Elizabeth B. Breene Professor of Business at Penn State Behrend. She is widely published in various fields, including management information systems, marketing and operations management, online auctions, and simulations in education. She has two books (Project Strategy and Strategic Portfolio Management: A Primer and Best Practices for Online Procurement Auctions) and a project management simulation (Sim4Projects™). She has been named a 2021 Fellow in the Midwest Decision Science Institute.

  • Peerasit Patanakul

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Systems Science/Engineering Management, Portland State University
    • Degree
      M.S., Engineering Management, Portland State University

    Dr. Peerasit Patanakul is a professor of management at Penn State Behrend. His research interests include project portfolio management, managing multiple projects, human aspects of project management, and managing government programs. He has published three books and multiple book chapters. His works also appear in Journal of Product Innovation Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, International Journal of Project Management, and Project Management Journal. He has received several research grants from the Project Management Institute.

  • Ray Venkataraman

    Degree
    Ph.D., Management Science, Illinois Institute of Technology

    Dr. Ray Venkataraman is a professor and department chair of project and supply chain management and marketing at Penn State Behrend. He has more than forty years of teaching experience and has taught a variety of courses in project management and supply chain management. He has several research publications in top-tier operations and supply chain management journals and has co-authored four books.

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

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