Undergraduate Certificates

An undergraduate certificate acknowledges an area of specialty or a grouping of courses that enhance the student’s degree program. Certificates are not certifications, which are awarded only by governmental and professional agencies.


Information Sciences and Technology

The IST certificate explores how to strengthen the power of information and technology and use it to increase human potential. This includes focusing on creating innovative systems and technological solutions that benefit businesses, organizations, and individuals, and understanding the role of technology in how we live our lives.

National Security Agency

The NSA certificate recognizes students who have completed the courses representing the required knowledge units as specified by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security for Professionals as part of Penn State’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Security and Risk Analysis

The SRA certificate provides an introductory curriculum that covers information systems, information assurance (both digital and physical security), and intelligence analysis. Students explore information and communication technology-based infrastructures and how the data within them demonstrate our interactions with society, government, and the economy.

Declaring a Certificate

Students who wish to declare a certificate must use "Update Academics" through LionPATH. Students who are interested in earning the National security Agency certificate must enroll in this program through Update Academics before the semester in which application for graduate is submitted. Upon graduation, a notation will appear on transcripts indicating the completion of the certificate of enrollment. 

Earning a Certificate

Students wishing to earn a certificate must meet certain requirements, which include

  • earning a grade of C or better for all courses in the certificate program, and 
  • earning a minimum of six and a maximum of 30 credits.

Refer to the Guidelines for Undergraduate Credit Certificates for additional information, and consult with our adviser if you are considering declaring a certificate.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Laurie Shirey.


Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Make an Appointment

(814) 865-8947