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Applying to the postgraduate certificate program in Geriatric Nursing Education is a straightforward path to building your expertise in gerontological teaching and practice. In addition, we’ve now expanded the program to include non-nurses, in response to growing interest from a variety of helping professionals who work with older adults and teach the next generation of practitioners.

To be admitted to the program, applicants must have received one of the following:

  • A master’s degree or higher in nursing from an accredited institution; the credit conditions must be substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State’s College of Nursing


  • A master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in a health-related discipline other than nursing, such as speech pathology, psychology, or social work

Online Application Process

The application process for the certificate has been simplified and moved entirely online. The process can be accomplished by going to the Graduate School Admissions and Program Information Portal. You will click on the “Apply Now” button and then create an account in order to apply to the program. You will need to pay a $65 application fee for the “Certificate Admission” option as your application type. On the page headed “Campus, Major, Degree, and Semester,” choose World Campus, then enter the semester in which you intend to take your first course.

Creating an account is also necessary to enroll for any World Campus course. Upon payment of the application fee, you can proceed directly with taking course work pending your acceptance into the certificate program. (Students who are interested in one or two courses only may select “Non-degree Admission” as their application type. This carries a $30 application fee, but please note that if you decide to complete all four courses for the certificate, the full admission fee of $65 will be required before the certificate award can appear on a final, official transcript.) The single, online process helps the Graduate School to communicate best with the colleges, so that graduate programs can maintain better communication with their students. It also helps to streamline course credits being applied to certificate requirements so that, on completion, the award of your graduate certificate will appear with your course grades on your official transcript from Penn State.

Completion and Admission

To complete your application, upload scanned copies of all official undergraduate and graduate degree transcripts with your application. (For more information on transcripts, visit the Graduate School website.) Letters of recommendation are not necessary when applying to the Geriatric Nursing Education certificate program.

When your application portfolio is complete, it will be evaluated by the director or co-director of the Geriatric Center, in consultation with the associate dean for graduate education and research. Once a recommendation of admission is made, an offer is extended to the applicant.

If you wish to speak with someone about your application, please contact Xiao Sheng, administrative assistant in the College of Nursing Graduate Program Office (814-863-2211).

We look forward to receiving your application and hope you will join our national cohort of students in this program!