Graduate Credit Certificate in Translational Science

Graduate Credit Certificate in Translational Science

The Graduate Credit Certificate in Translational Science curriculum of 15 credits includes courses in five specific translational science clusters, offered at several campuses.

The primary goal of the Translational Science certificate is to provide a formal, structured program that allows medical and healthcare professionals to enhance a successful career in translational science.

Courses are available at the Hershey, University Park and World campuses, enabling the student to continue employment activities. Candidates must obtain a B or better grade in each course.

All students must submit an application through The Graduate School.


Candidates are required to complete a 10-credit core of required 500-level courses and five elective credits at the 500 level. Courses must be selected from the detailed curriculum below, or by permission from the certificate director.

Required courses are:

  • PHS 520: Principles of Biostatistics (3 credits) or HPA 528: Health Data Analysis for Research (3 credits) or STAT 500: Applied Statistics (3 credits) or STAT 501: Regression Methods (3 credits)
  • PHS 550: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits) or HPA 540: Epidemiological Applications in Health Services Research (3 credits) or STAT 507: Epidemiologic Research Methods (3 credits)
  • PHS 580: Clinical Trials Design & Analysis (3 credits) or HPA 561: Introduction to Research Design in Health Services Research (3 credits) or STAT 503: Design of Experiments (3 credits) or STAT 509: Design & Analysis of Clinical Trials (3 credits)
  • PHS 500: Research Ethics (1 credit) or BMS 591: Biomedical Research Ethics (1 credit)

Elective courses must include 5 credits from the following:

  • BB H 505: Behavioral Health Research Strategies (3 credits)
  • BMS 581: Molecular and Translational Approaches to Human Disease (3 credits)
  • HDFS 527: Social Epidemiology (3 credits) or HDFS 503: Human Development Intervention: Analysis of Theories & Approaches (3 credits) or HDFS 516: Methods of Research in Human Development (3 credits)
  • HPA 564: Research Methods in Health Services Research (3 credits) or HPA 566: Advanced Methods in Health Services Research I (3 credits) or HPA 526: Health Disparities (3 credits) or HPA 528: Health Data Analysis for Research (3 credits)
  • KINES 588: Scientific Writing in Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • PHS 521: Applied Biostatistics (3 credits) or PHS 525: Biostatistics for Lab Scientists (3 credits) or PHS 536: Health Survey Research Methods (3 credits) or PHS 518: Scientific Communication (2 credits) or PHS 519: Patient Centered Research (3 credits) or PHS 540: Decision Analysis (1 credit)
  • PSY 583: Designing Research in Social Psychology (3 credits)

See full course descriptions in the Penn State University Bulletin.

Non-Degree Student Status

All certificate candidates are considered non-degree students. Up to 15 Penn State course credits acquired as a non-degree certificate candidate may be applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree requirements.

Please see details about requirements and access for non-degree students.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the certificate program, an applicant must hold either:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution; or
  • a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

International Applicants

International applicants must have a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.

This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Additionally, all international applicants must meet the Graduate School’s English proficiency requirements.

How to Apply

Complete the application and submit materials online to the Translational Science graduate credit certificate via the The Graduate School at Penn State.

In addition to the application, you must submit:

  • One official transcript from all colleges/universities who granted a degree
  • One letter of recommendation

Do not send transcripts directly to the program.

Key Dates

Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Admission may be approved for the following semester.

Contact Us

If you have questions concerning the Translational Science graduate credit certificate program, please contact the program office at 717-531-0003, ext. 285590 or