Here at Penn State, there are 100 undergraduate certificates spread across the university’s 12 academic colleges. These certificates are a great way to get your foot in the door, learn something new and broaden your horizons outside of your major and minor. They also allow you to gain expertise in a specific field, provide unique networking opportunities and help you build your resume. Here’s VALLEY’s take on five undergraduate certificates and the majors they would best complement!
Information Sciences and Technology Certificate
The Information Sciences and Technology Certificate allows you to investigate some of society’s most pressing issues and try to address them via the use of information and technology. It consists of 12 required credits, and according to the Penn State Bulletin, gives skills in communications, knowledge/application and problem-solving.
Because the certificate program incorporates knowledge from a variety of domains — including computer science, psychology, math, business, sociology and political science — the certificate itself would complement almost any major. If an interest exists in working with technology and people or coming up with creative solutions and connecting technology to broader social challenges, this certificate could be perfect for you!
International Studies Certificate
According to the Penn State Bulletin, The International Studies Certificate is “intended to provide students with a broad and deep understanding of this diverse world far beyond the General Education requirements.” It consists of a minimum of 12 credits, all of which work to raise awareness and knowledge, investigate how to contribute to global progress ethically, analyze global interactions and provide unique perspectives on global diversity.
This certificate program is great for a variety of majors on campus, but especially those interested in analyzing their fields from a global perspective and engaging with various issues within the lens of global history, culture, politics and arts.
Introduction to Corporate Communications Certificate
The Introduction to Corporate Communications Certificate does exactly that: it provides an inside look at the field of corporate communications. This growing field “encompasses all aspects of strategic communication in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations,” according to the Penn State Bulletin, and the certificate program itself provides skills “in the art of planning, problem solving, and persuading.”
This certificate program requires a minimum of 15 credits and prepares students to use corporate communication concepts, curate and critically analyze messaging and ethically apply corporate communication principles. Because of an emphasis on writing and speaking, this would supplement the studies of someone who is already studying communications and would work to broaden the skill set of those studying within the fields of business, math and science.
Meeting and Event Management Certificate
The Meeting and Event Management Certificate allows students to participate in experiential learning opportunities and is designed for students who are interested in the academic and experiential components of the events and meeting industry. This makes it an ideal supplement for students studying hospitality management, communications, marketing and other fields where meeting and event planning may take place.
According to the Penn State Bulletin, it consists of a minimum of 15 credits: nine core credits, including a three-credit internship experience and six supplemental credits in Hospitality Management and/or Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management.
Smeal College Business Fundamentals Certificate
According to the Penn State Bulletin, the Smeal College Business Fundamentals Certificate “provides non-Smeal students with the background and knowledge for careers in corporate and non-profit settings.” It consists of a minimum of 15 credits, which are organized around an integrated approach to management, finance, global operations, product development and promotion and legal issues. The Smeal College Business Fundamentals Certificate is great for those studying communications, liberal arts or anyone who finds value in developing fundamental business skills for their post-graduate life.
Already enrolled in some of these certificate programs? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, and let us know what you love about them!