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Graduate Certificate in Professional Interdisciplinary Sciences

The 12-credit hour Professional Interdisciplinary Sciences graduate certificate delivers scientific and technical skills that employer's value in the Greater Kansas City area's animal health and food sectors.

Program Features

  • No required prerequisites
  • 8 week courses, all available online
  • Full-time faculty with experience as practitioners
  • May start coursework any time during the year
  • No out-of-state tuition and fees
  • Can complete certificate in 12-18 months


Course Category
3 credits
Foundation Course
AAI 801  Interdisciplinary Process
9 credits*
STEM Courses
STEM courses available to the PSM
Professional Skills Courses
Professional Courses available to the PSM
12 total credits
*Chosen from a minimum of two different disciplines, determined by the course prefix. Elective courses can be included up to 3 credits per course. 

Required/Foundation Course:

AAI 801. Interdisciplinary Process (3 credits)
The overall goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of and practice in design thinking as both a framework that allows interdisciplinary and cross-function teams to work together and as a process to generate imaginative and creative solutions to complex challenges and problems.

Nine credits from at least two disciplines, determined by the course prefix, from the following:

AAI 795. Topics in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-3 credits)

Selected topics in applied and interdisciplinary studies.


AAI 840. Regulatory Aspects of Drug and Vaccine Development in the Animal Health Industry (2 credits)

This course explores the topic of regulations associated with animal health product development and manufacturing. Topics for discussion will include an overview of the regulatory affairs process in the U.S. and other countries, drug and vaccine classifications and the approval process, GCP/GLP guidelines, drug and vaccine efficacy and safety testing, human and environmental safety issues, and future challenges and current industry needs.


AAI 858. Capstone Experience I (1 credit)

This course provides students the opportunity to synthesize and integrate knowledge in its application to professional practice. It is designed for students who intend to work in an applied professional setting where they are expected to critically apply existing knowledge and methods to solve problems. Students will complete a project on a topic of interest, in consultation with the instructor.


AAI 859. Capstone Experience II (2 credits)

This course provides students the opportunity to synthesize and integrate knowledge in its application to professional practice. It is designed for students who intend to work in an applied professional setting where they are expected to critically apply existing knowledge and methods to solve problems. Students will produce written reports and oral presentations on their project of focus.

AAI 870. Seminar in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Student presentations and discussion of current topics and recent findings in applied and interdisciplinary studies.

AAI 880. Problems in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Opportunity for advanced independent study of a specific problem or technique in applied and interdisciplinary studies. Topics selected jointly by student and instructor.

AAI 895. Advanced Topics in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Focus on advanced topics in applied and interdisciplinary studies.

AAI 899. Research in Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies (1-6 credits)

Research with a focus on applied science and interdisciplinary studies.

ASI 671 - Meat Selection and Utilization (2 credits)

Emphasis on meat cut identification, muscle and bone anatomy, grades, fabricated meat, institutional cuts, specification writing, processing, meat preparation and shrinkage costs.

ASI 675 - Monogastric Nutrition (1 credit)

An overview of the nutritional principles involved with feeding nonruminants. Topics will include digestive anatomy and the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

ASI 678 - Equine Nutrition (1 credits)

Equine digestive anatomy and physiology. Nutrient requirements of the equine as they relate to growth, work, reproduction and lactation, as well as the relationship of nutrition to disease and environment. Practical management considerations and current equine nutrition research will be reviewed.

ASI 776 - Meat Industry Technology (3 credits)

Apply concepts and information about meat composition, product safety and spoilage, quality; formulation, processing and evaluation of cured, precooked, and sausage; packaging, troubleshooting, and plant organization. This is a web-based lecture class intended for distance education students. 

BAE 815. Graduate Seminar in Agricultural Engineering (1 credit)

Presentation and discussion of research philosophies, procedures, and results.

BAE 820. Topics in Agricultural Engineering (1-18 credits)

A course reserved for study of current topics in agricultural engineering. Topics announced when offered.

COT 703. Project Management for Professionals (3 credits)

This course focuses on applied project management methodology, tools, and techniques. Topics include career aspects of project management; business factors affecting the project; project organization, planning, execution, and communications; the project life cycle; risk analysis; and best practices in project management.

COT 704. Managerial Finances, Metrics, and Analytics (3 credits)

Provides an overview of an organization’s financial statements, with an emphasis on the interaction between people in management positions and those statements, as well as an examination of the business investment decision-making process. Explores the use of metrics and analytics to measure and improve managerial performance.

COT 706. Informatics and Technology Management (3 credits)

Provides theoretical and practical experience in using information technology to support organizational decision-making processes. Provides tools in areas such as statistics, research methods, data mining, and information technology to develop solutions tailored to business problems.

DMP 710. Introduction to One Health (2 credits)

One Health encompasses the complex interrelationships among humans, animals, and the environment. This online course provides a broad introduction to One Health, incorporating original videos of leading experts, case studies, and scientific readings. It addresses zoonotic diseases and environmental issues that impact human, animal, and ecosystem health.

DMP 754. Introduction to Epidemiology (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles and methods of epidemiology in order to recognize and understand how disease affects populations (and the associated implications for individuals). This course will prepare students to use epidemiologic methods to solve current and future challenges to diagnose, treat, prevent, and control disease during their professional training and throughout their career.

DMP 802. Environmental Health (3 credits)

Students will be exposed to professional practice of environmental sciences, epidemiology, toxicology, occupational health and industrial hygiene, and consumer health and safety. Topics include the methods for defining environmental contamination; identifying contaminants, pathogens and toxins; assessing risks and causality; determining health impact; ameliorating hazards; and protecting the population through waste management, regulatory programs, environmental inspections, food and product safety, and environmental policy.

DMP 815. Multidisciplinary Thought and Presentation (3 credits)

Training in critical thinking, writing, and speaking for the food, veterinary, plant, health, and related sciences. With emphasis on writing, students prepare technical reports, news releases, abstracts, and commentaries. Students prepare meeting agendas and present seminars. Committed students will emerge with enhanced critical-thinking and written-presentation skills.

DMP 816. Trade and Agricultural Health (2 credits)

This course considers the multilateral trading system as it relates to food safety, food security, animal health, plant health, and international cooperation. The course content will be of value to students interested in food safety and security, epidemiology, public health, agriculture, food science, security studies, political science, agricultural economics, veterinary medicine, and international relations.

DMP 844. Global Health Issues (3 credits)

A review of global health problems and various strategies to manage international health concerns. The class is open to graduate students, including veterinary students, with an interest in public health that have at least 12 hours in biology or related courses.

DMP 870. Pathobiology Seminar (MS) (1 credit)

Oral presentations on topics in epidemiology, food safety, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, parasitology, pathology, and toxicology. Reports will include critical review of the relevant literature; experimental design and methodology; and presentation and critical evaluation of data. This course is for MS students.

DMP 880. Problems in Pathobiology (MS) (1-6 credits)

A special problems course for graduate students working toward the MS degree in Pathobiology. The course is generally problems-or techniques-based in any of the disciplines in the Pathobiology program, conducted under the supervision of a graduate faculty in the Pathobiology Graduate Program. 

DMP 888. Globalization, Cooperation, & the Food Trade (1 credit)

This course will include 15 45-minute lectures and/or reading assignments. They will be assessed through online quizzes and one essay project.

DMP 895. Topics in Pathobiology (MS) (0-18 credits)

A special course for graduate students working toward the MS degree. Lectures, readings, and discussion of topics of current interest in any of the disciplines of Pathobiology.

EDACE 832. Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Dynamics (3 credits)

This course explores various psychological and sociological factors that impact leadership. Through examining topics like verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, learning and presentation styles, emotional intelligence, conflict, and motivation, students gain a deeper understanding of how these factors affect their personal leadership styles and impact adults they are leading.

EDACE 834. Leading Adults in a Globalized and Diverse World (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the foundations of adult leadership in the context of managing a culturally diverse workforce. Concepts of globalization as well as cross-cultural and international environments as they relate to adult leadership are emphasized through theory to practice projects and research.

EDACE 835. Developing Teams and Leaders (3 credits)

This course will examine how teams and leaders can be developed using theories from psychology, sociology, and learning principles. Through this course, students will be able to analyze when it is appropriate to use these tools, their strengths, weaknesses and limitations. To complement the course readings, students will be asked to share their professional experiences with team and leader development.

EDACE 836. Group Dynamics (3 credits)

This course focuses on group and team behavior and processes. Various factors that impact group behavior, processes, and effectiveness will be examined and participants will learn skills needed to more effectively manage and facilitate groups and teams of adults to achieve organizational objectives, accomplish tasks, and fulfill individual members' needs.

EDACE 886. Seminars in Adult Education (1-18 credits)

These seminars will consider research and professional development on the special interests of the students in the several fields of education represented.

FDSCI 600. Food Microbiology (2 credits)

This course deals with the isolation, identification, enumeration, and characterization of bacteria, yeasts, molds, and other microbes associated with foods and food processing. Effects of physical and chemical agents on microorganisms will be studied. Microbiological problems in food spoilage, food preservation, food fermentation, and food-borne diseases will be discussed.

FDSCI 601. Food Microbiology Lab (2 credits)

Laboratory procedures involving isolation, identification, enumeration, and characterization of bacteria, yeasts, molds, and other microbes associated with foods and food processing.

FDSCI 630. Food Science Problems (0-18 credits)

Research or related work with others, or a literature search. Written reports are required. Any field of food science for which the student has adequate background.

FDSCI 690 - Principles of HACCP  (2 credits)

A comprehensive study of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System and its application in the food industry.

FDSCI 695 - Quality Assurance of Food Products  (3 credits)

A comprehensive course covering all aspects of quality assurance practices in the food industry. Emphasis is placed on interrelations of food chemistry, microbiology, sanitation, processing, and laws and regulations.

FDSCI 961. Graduate Problem in Food Science  (1-18 credits)

In-depth study of a topic supervised by a member of the graduate faculty.

HN 841. Consumer Research – Fundamentals  (1 credit)

Fundamentals of consumer research in terms of organizing and executing studies. Planning studies, selecting products, recruiting target consumers, and organizing study execution are included.

HN 843. Consumer Research – Qualitative  (1 credit)

This course provides a deep dive into qualitative research, including the design, application, execution, and reporting. This course will educate the student on the appropriate tools for qualitative data collection based on the objectives, with a particular emphasis on interviews and focus groups.

HN 848. Consumer Research – Quantitative  (1 credit)

Methods and issues associated with measuring consumer responses to products including preference testing, preference ranking, acceptance testing, hedonic scales, and consumption testing.

HORT 725. Postharvest Technology and Physiology of Horticultural Crops  (3 credits)

A study of the principles and practices involved in the harvesting, handling and storage of horticultural products. The relationship of plant structure and physiology will be emphasized in discussing effects of postharvest handling and storage to maximize quality and shelf life of products.

HORT 780. Health-Promoting Phytochemicals and Physiology of Fruits and Vegetables  (2 credits)

The course deals with various aspects of phytochemicals in plant-based foods including fruits and vegetables and their impact on human health and well-being. It includes potential effects of phytochemicals in promoting human health, preventing various diseases and fostering wellness. It also includes biosynthesis and metabolism of phytochemicals in plants. Emphasis is placed on developing strategies to improve the phytochemical content of food crops through approaches involving crop management, environmental and biotechnology tools. Two hours lecture per week.

HORT 790. Sustainable Agriculture  (2 credits)

Historical perspectives of the sustainable agriculture movement in the U.S. and world-wide will be examined and critiqued. Components of sustainable agriculture such as agroecosystem theory, permaculture, energy use efficiency, and organic standards will be compared and evaluated. Students will demonstrate their understanding and application of the material by conducting research on a topic within sustainable agriculture and presenting the topic to the rest of the class.

HORT 791. Urban Agriculture  (2 credits)

Students will become familiar with a wide variety of urban agriculture types and production systems utilized in urban settings. The course will include background readings, case studies, guest speakers, student- facilitated class discussion and lectures.

HORT 793. Farm to Fork Produce Safety  (2 credits)

This course will cover all aspects of food safety for fresh produce grown in urban and rural environments, including pathogen ecology and production aspects as well as pre- harvest and postharvest factors that influence the risk of microbial contamination. More specifically, we will discuss ways to minimize the risk of human pathogens on fresh produce using strategies such as the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs). The course will cover postharvest interventions that are currently used (chemical sanitizers) as well as innovative technology applications like physical treatments, irradiation, and biological control techniques. Additionally, students will explore the impact of foodborne outbreaks on public health and the fresh produce industry in terms of economics, consumer acceptance, and legal aspects.

HORT 794. Urban Food Systems  (2 credits)

This course will cover all components of urban food systems through the lens of food security, food justice, access, policy, and community planning. Students will gain skills in grant-writing, non-profit planning and management, and working with urban policy and planning boards.

HORT 795. Urban Agriculture Study Tour  (1 credit)

Faculty-led trip for students to explore leading examples of urban agriculture. Each year, a trip will occur within North America, lasting approximately 7 days. The study tours will focus on urban food system development in major cities and will highlight examples of how food is being grown in urban areas and the impacts that it has on the community.

STAT 701. Fundamental Methods of Biostatistics  (3 credits)

A course emphasizing concepts and practices of statistical data analysis for the health sciences. Basic techniques of descriptive and inferential statistical methods applied to health related surveys and designed experiments. Populations and samples, parameters and statistics; sampling distributions for hypothesis testing and confidence intervals for means and proportions involving one sample, paired samples and multiple independent samples; odd rations, risk ratios, simple linear regression.

STAT 703. Introduction to Statistical Methods for the Sciences  (3 credits)

Statistical concepts and methods applied to experimental and survey research in the sciences; tests of hypotheses, parametric and rank tests; point estimation and confidence intervals; linear regression; correlation; one-way analysis of variance; contingency tables, chi-square tests.

STAT 705. Regression and Analysis of Variance  (3 credits)

Simple and multiple linear regression, analysis of covariance, correlation analysis, one-, two-, and three-way analysis of variance; multiple comparisons; applications including use of computers; blocking and random effects.

Admission Requirements

  • Graduate School Application
  • One official transcripts for all undergraduate coursework (minimum 3.0 GPA required)
  • One official transcripts for all graduate coursework

* Graduate students must be seeking a degree to qualify for federal financial aid loans.