Remote Sensing Certificate Admissions Criteria and Application Procedures

To pursue the Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation, you must be admitted by two Penn State organizations: (1) Penn State's Graduate School, and (2) the Department of Geography. To apply, you will complete a single online application form that will submit the necessary information to each organization on your behalf. In addition to completing the online application form, transcripts must be submitted to the program by surface mail.

The Graduate School requires applicants to possess any baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution earned under residence and credit conditions substantially equivalent to those required by Penn State.

  • Contact the Graduate School if unsure whether your school is accredited.
  • Under certain circumstances, students without a baccalaureate degree may enroll in courses, but may not earn the Graduate Certificate.
  • International applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must submit a TOEFL score. The Graduate School recommends that a minimum overall total score of 80 points (out of 120) on the new test, with a minimum of 23 points (out of 30) on the new speaking portion

The Department of Geography Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Program Admissions Committee reviews applications on a continuous basis with notification within a few weeks of the completion of your application. Please note that some prior GIS experience is expected. Applicants with no prior GIS experience should consider enrolling in the Postbaccualuareate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

To apply to the Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation, complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the official online application. For Enrollment Type, select "Certificate Admission." For Campus, select "World Campus." For Certificate, select "Remote Sensing and Earth Observation." Save these selections, then complete the online form to apply to the program. The information requested on the application form includes:
    • Personal contact information,
    • Educational background,
    • Transcripts
    • Unofficial TOEFL scores (if needed),
    • Recent employment history,
    • List of higher education institutions from which you have requested transcripts,
    • Résumé
  2. If applicable, request that TOEFL scores be sent directly to Penn State from the testing center, using Penn State's Institution Code (2660)

For questions and further inquiries contact: or call 814-865-2557 or 877-778-4471 (toll free).

Once you have applied and are accepted, follow the registration procedures at the bottom of this page.