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


The Graduate Certificate in Sensory and Consumer Science is a 12-credit online program offering a formal education to sensory and consumer professionals as well as those who wish to enter the field. Most courses within the sensory and consumer science program are also available as individual courses for those looking to fulfill continuing professional development requirements. Read the instructions for how to register for Penn State World Campus courses to learn how you can enroll in any of the upcoming courses on an individual basis.

Required Courses (12 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Sensory Data Collection and Analysis FDSC 403 The field of sensory and consumer science is primarily focused on responses of consumers to food products and non-food, fast-moving consumer goods (e.g., shampoo). These responses may be sensory/perceptual (i.e., how 
sweet, how bitter, how smooth) or affective (i.e., liking / preference), with the assumption that the former generally drives the latter.  The course also addresses contemporary research on pedagogy that indicates applied statistics are best taught in context to the field in which students will apply the statistical concepts. Here, students will gain practice applying introductory statistical topics (t-tests, Analysis of Variance, etc) to sensory and consumer data collected from human participants. 

Prerequisite: one undergraduate course in statistics
3 credits
Sensometrics - Applied Multivariate Analysis in Sensory & Food Science FDSC 515 The main objective of this course is to allow each student to develop the data analysis skills needed for analyzing and interpreting sensory and consumer data. Additionally, students will develop an understanding for experimental designs and statistical analyses to plan, analyze, and interpret data collected from sensory studies. Hands-on experiences in analyzing sensory data will be provided through homework assignments and discussions of appropriate literature where indicated.

Prerequisite: STAT 500
3 credits
Consumer Insights FDSC 516 This course aims to allow each student to develop and apply the fundamental dimensions and value of consumer insights to product development objectives; implement key qualitative, quantitative, and hybrid approaches for consumer insights; recognize, identify, and apply key consumer biases; and examine trade-offs in research and consumer behavior. Real-world practical examples and assignments will be utilized extensively in the form of discussion forums, quizzes, literature critiques, and a final project. 3 credits
Applied Statistics STAT 500 Descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, power, estimation, confidence intervals, regression, one- and two-way ANOVA, chi-square tests, diagnostics.

Prerequisite: one undergraduate course in statistics
3 credits

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.

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