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Students in a sensory consumer science lab
Graduate Certificate in
Sensory and Consumer Science

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your certificate application, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

  • Spring DeadlineApply by November 15 to start January 9
  • Summer DeadlineApply by April 15 to start May 15
  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 15, 2023, to start August 21, 2023

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.

Most applicants will have an undergraduate degree in food science, nutrition, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, engineering, biopsychology, or other scientific discipline. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-science area (e.g., marketing, consumer behavior) are also welcome to apply, provided they have completed 15 credits of science and quantitative course work before applying. For questions regarding this prerequisite, please email the sensory and consumer science program team at [email protected].

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following 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. There is no minimum grade point average required, but prior experiences should demonstrate academic readiness to complete graduate-level work in quantitative courses.

Recent GRE scores (last five years) are required for most applicants, but GRE waivers are available for applicants with one or more of following:

  1. four or more years of professional/industrial work experience in a related industry
  2. an advanced degree (M.S., M.A., Ph.D., MBA) in a related area
  3. other prior experience that demonstrates an ability to complete graduate-level course work, including quantitative ability and advanced analytical reasoning skills

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.

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 "Certificate Admission" as the enrollment type
  • 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 degree program.

Penn State World Campus Student and Family

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