Nondestructive Evaluation Graduate Certificate Details


If you have a background in engineering or physical sciences, the graduate coursework nondestructive evaluation (NDE) certificate may be a great fit for you. You will learn the fundamentals of three major NDE techniques: eddy-current, ultrasonic, and penetrating radiation methods. The certificate will prepare you to become a nondestructive evaluation engineer working as a professional in an industrial sector. The certificate does not offer certification in NDE inspection methods, but it focuses on the physical principles upon which major NDE inspection techniques are founded. Courses are taught by faculty and adjunct faculty in the College of Engineering who conduct research programs at Iowa State University’s Center for Nondestructive Evaluation. 

Certificate Requirements

The Nondestructive Evaluation Graduate Certificate consists of 13 or 14 graduate credits.

Required Courses:
MSE 550/EM 550 Fundamentals of Nondestructive Evaluation (Cr. 4.)

Students choose 2 or 3 from:

  • C E 549 Structural Health Monitoring (Cr. 3)
  • Mat E/EE 588 Eddy Current NDE (Cr. 3.)
  • M E 529X. Penetrating Radiation Methods in NDE (Cr. 3.)
  • EM 518 Waves in Elastic Solids with Application to NDE (Cr. 3.)

Elective Course:
One NDE-related elective to achieve a total of 13 or 14 graduate credits. This is not an exhaustive list. Please consult the Program Director to explore all available options and to decide on the most appropriate elective for your graduate certificate.

  • EM 324 Mechanics of Materials (Cr. 3)
  • Stat 496 Applied Statistics for Industry II (Cr. 3)
  • AerE 590C Finite Elements Fundamentals with Applications (Cr. 3)
  • EM 424 Intermediate Mechanics of Materials (Cr. 3)
  • EM/AerE 514 Advanced Mechanics of Materials (Cr. 3)
  • EM/MSE/ME 564 Fracture and Fatigue (Cr. 3)
  • EM/MSE/AerE 569 Mechanics of Composite and Combined Materials (Cr. 3)
  • EE 424 Introduction to Digital Signal Processing (Cr. 4)
  • EE/Agron/Mteor 518 Microwave Remote Sensing (Cr. 3)
  • EE 524 Digital Signal Processing (Cr. 3)
  • EE 528 Digital Image Processing (Cr. 3)
  • EE 545 Artificial Neural Networks (Cr. 3)
  • MatE 418 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Cr. 3)
  • MatE 444 Corrosion and Failure Analysis (Cr. 3)
  • MSE 540 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Cr. 3)
  • ME/MSE 521 Mechanical Behavior and Manufacturing of Polymers and Composites (Cr. 3)

Graduate Certificate Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the online certificate in NDE?

Four semesters, at a rate of one course per semester. (Eventually we plan to increase the frequency at which the courses are offered).

How much does it cost?

To enroll in an online course, a student is assessed tuition, a delivery fee and a technology fee.

For up-to-date information on tuition and fees.

Are classes taught live, or pre-recorded?

Most classes are offered online in parallel with in person on-campus sections. You can participate live if your schedule permit, or watch the recordings at your convenience. Class assignments follow the same schedule as for the on-campus section of the course so you have to keep up-to-date.

Is it open to international participation?

Yes, but we are not strongly encouraging international enrollments at this time because of language barriers and time-zone differences. Students who are not native English speakers are required to demonstrate English fluency via a TOEFL or IELTS score. Iowa State University requires a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for students enrolling in a certificate or degree program, even if it is a distance program. As per the requirements found here, the minimum required TOEFL is 79 iBT or 550 PBT and the minimum required IELTS is 6.5. Note that ETS is the testing service that administers tests like the TOEFL or the GRE. They are the only institution that can submit official scores to ISU’s Office of Admissions. Scores reported in any other way than directly from ETS are considered unofficial to the Office of Admissions and cannot be used to complete an application. ETS keeps TOEFL scores for two years. Any scores achieved before that period can no longer be submitted officially and so the test must be retaken.

Can I enroll in a class before I enroll in the certificate?

Yes. Distance students are permitted to take one or two classes as a non-degree graduate student.

I do not hold a bachelor degree in engineering or a physical Science. Can I still enroll in the NDE certificate?

Possibly. The Certificate classes presume a mathematics, physics, and engineering background at the level of a US Bachelor’s degree graduate. This would include calculus-based physics, some exposure to vector calculus, linear algebra, computer programming, and engineering mechanics. While every student comes in with a different background and substantial pre-existing knowledge of NDE methods can help compensate for gaps in other areas, if you do not have a Bachelor’s degree level background you will likely find the classes difficult or impossible. You might consider discussing with the course instructor and taking one or two of the graduate courses prior to enrolling in the Certificate. If you do well in those courses, it is likely that you can be admitted to the Certificate program.  Make sure you satisfy the prerequisite knowledge for those courses.

More information

ISU Graduate College NDE certificate information

Contact Information

Stephen Holland
2331 Howe Hall
Phone: 515-294-8659
Fax: 515-294-7771