Graduate Certificate in Wind Energy

Wind Energy Readiness Assessment

The Graduate Certificate in Wind Energy is a technical program with emphasis on wind project design, development, and analysis. A strong background in math, physics, and fluid mechanics is expected in order to develop the interdisciplinary skills required in the emerging field of wind energy. Many students entering this program will not have direct experience in the wind industry.

Core Knowledge

Wind energy encompasses the fields of mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, meteorology, physics, but also economics. Individuals are expected to begin study in the Wind Energy Certificate with a core piece of knowledge, developed from:

  • A bachelor of science (B.S.) degree related to one of the above fields,
  • 3-5 years of professional experience applying a related field of knowledge (following an alternate bachelor’s degree), or
  • 3-5 years prior experience working in the field of wind energy project development, or having learned several ‘rules-of-thumb’ and practical skills of wind turbine and wind farm design.

Students are expected to consult with their adviser to plan a course selection that integrates and emphasizes preexisting skills with career interests.

Core Skills

What are the core skills that will help me to assess whether or not I am ready for study in wind energy within the graduate certificate program?

Applied Math Background

Students are expected to have a strong background in math, including trigonometry, matrix algebra, calculus, and basics of statistics.

Programming Skills

Some wind projects involve computing software for wind turbine blade loads, as well as small programming exercises. Experience with command prompts and at least one programming language (e.g., Matlab, Fortran, C++) are an asset.

Fluid Mechanics

A solid background in fluid statics and kinematics, potential flow theory, fluid dynamics of inviscid and viscous flows, basics of boundary layer theory, and low-speed airfoil aerodynamics is strongly encouraged.


A basic background in engineering mechanics involving strength of materials, statics, and dynamics is strongly encouraged.

Basics of Electricity

Students are expected to have basic knowledge in current/voltage relationships, and AC/DC power, and supporting technologies.

A candidate student will also have the strong desire to become a leader in the wind energy field.

If you require background preparation, you may find online prerequisite course offerings on the Online Courses page on the Office for Digital Learning website.

The certificate will create graduates who can conduct wind siting and resource assessment, wind turbine blade design, computational modeling of wind turbine performance, cost modeling, and financing of large-scale wind projects.

More information:

  • Susan Stewart
    Lead, Graduate Certificate in Wind Energy



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569