This program provides food industry professionals with educational opportunities in food safety or food processing and technology, and prepares food industry professionals for career advancement opportunities.

The Penn State Food Science Certificate Program is a way for participants who attend our regularly offered short courses and workshops to show evidence of continuing education in food science and food safety. The program is a sequence of outreach classes that provide students with core competencies in specific areas. As a participant in the program, you are able to earn Penn State non-credit continuing education units (CEU) in a relatively short time that will help you to meet your professional development goals.

  • The only prerequisite is prior work experience in the food industry.
  • You must complete all CEUs within a five year time interval.

You can enter the program when you take your first course. Just ask the course director and we will start to follow your progress.

Descriptions for all of the courses we offer and a list of upcoming events are are at

Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page.

Certificate Options

Note: We currently offer only one class in an on-line format: Food Safety and Sanitation for Food Manufacturers (FSSFM). The remaining courses are held on the Penn State Campus or elsewhere in the state. However, several on-line courses are currently in development.

Participants may choose between three certificate options:

  • Food Safety Certificate
    Commodity: dairy, meat, produce
  • Food Processing and Technology Certificate
    Specialties: dairy, meat, produce
  • Dual Certificate - Food Safety / Food Processing and Technology

Course Requirements

A total of 12 Continuing Education Units (CEU) are required for each certificate. 20 CEU are required to obtain the Dual Certificate. Participants must complete the required courses and can choose from a list of specialized courses to fulfill the remaining CEU requirements. Successful completion of the course and allocation of CEU credits will be determined by the course directors. Individuals who have attended courses in the last five years may receive CEU credits toward completion of a certificate.

Food Safety Certificate (12 CEU required to complete certificate)

  1. Required Courses (4.5 CEU):

Food Processing and Technology Certificate (12 CEU required to complete certificate)

  1. Required Courses (5 CEU):

Dual Certificate - Food Safety / Food Processing and Technology (20 CEU to complete certificate)

HACCP and Preventive Controls Courses (Manufacturers of FDA regulated foods must attend a Penn State Preventive Controls class)

Specialization Courses

To obtain a Food Science or Food Safety Certificate, you must successfully complete all curriculum requirements. All training courses offered by the Penn State Extension may be taken as stand-alone programs. Courses are offered at regular times during the year. Check the calendar of upcoming events to learn when the next scheduled courses will be offered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Food Science Certificate Program.

Note: For information about specific courses, please contact the instructor directly.

Food Science Certificate Program Registration Information

"Register" for the program when you take your first course. To do that, just ask the course director once you start a course and we keep track of the CEUs you have accumulated. When you feel you have met the required number for the Food Safety, Food Processing and Technology, or the Dual Certificate, contact:  

Dr. Luke F. LaBorde
Professor of Food Science
The Pennsylvania State University
Phone: (814) 863-2298

We will then verify that our records agree with yours and we will get the certificate out to you.