Technician working on solar panels
Graduate Certificate in
Solar Energy

Courses

You can earn the Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy by successfully completing four online courses. If you are subsequently granted admission to the Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (MPS-RESS) degree program, you may apply these 12 credits. Please note that a grade of "B-" or higher must be received in each certificate course for the credits to count toward the MPS-RESS degree.

Courses in the program can prepare you to lead project development in the rapidly expanding solar energy sector. The curriculum will cover topics such as:

  • full systems perspective of a solar energy project, including financial policies and analysis tools required for development and implementation
  • design tools, solar policies, financing tools, and factors affecting the short-term and lifecycle costs of solar energy systems
  • physical qualities of the solar resource, estimation of the fractional contributions of irradiance to total demand, and economic assessment of the solar resource
  • power production from solar energy conversion, including conversion via photovoltaics
  • theories and design practices of solar electric systems in the context of utility and commercial scale applications

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and practices of solar electric systems, including component selection, performance simulation, grid interconnection, codes, and design documentation.

  • 3
    credits

    Economic analysis of solar energy projects, including project development process, energy policies, finance methods, and economic analysis tools.

  • 3
    credits

    Methods, economic criteria, and meteorological background for assessing the solar resource with respect to solar energy conversion technologies.

  • 3
    credits

    Technical and theoretical background for utility-scale solar energy conversion technologies to generate electric power.

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.

Penn State World Campus Students

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