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Certification in Practice of Finite Element Principles

Finite Element Principles

About this program

The Certification in Practice of Finite Element Principles is a 100% online, non-credit, four-course certification program provided by The Ohio State University College of Engineering SIMCenter. The program is designed for engineers and other practitioners who wish to learn more and increase their skills in Finite Element Principles. All four courses must be completed in order to earn the certification, but students have the option to take standalone courses for targeted learning.

Upon completion students will be able to:

  1. Recognize connections between theoretical (mathematical) concepts and modeling choices.
  2. Recognize that the data generated by CAE tools needs to be critically evaluated.
  3. Pursue integrating CAE into their work.

The online delivery of each course is comprised of:

  • Instructional material equivalent to a one semester credit hour class
  • A typical week will take the average person approximately 2 hours "in-class" work and 4-6-hours of "homework" for a total weekly time commitment of 6-8 hours. Please note, every learner is different so this is only a guideline. Some learners may need to budget more time to complete the requirements of this course.
  • All course lectures are recorded and available to you 24/7 through the university's Learning Management System called Carmen.
  • ​Course duration of approximately 10 weeks. See the individual course pages for exact schedule
  • 4 CEUs are granted upon successful completion of each course


  1. A bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field is strongly recommended.
  2. Enrollees should also have a background in the following areas:
    • Calculus
      • Differentiation
      • Integration
    • Linear Algebra
      • Matrix Multiplication
      • Matrix Transpose
      • Identity Matrix
    • Computational Skills
      • Using computational approaches will reinforce skills required for computational engineering in a broader sense.
      • Homework problems should be solved using MATLAB, Python, or other computational tools. Octave is similar to MATLAB and is freeware.
      • Student will be asked to solve problems by generating basic scripts for homework assignments
      • Minimal previous experience will be needed
    • Engineering Concepts
      • Basic concepts of stress, strain, Hooke’s Law
      • Material properties such as Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s Ratio
      • Free body diagrams
      • Beam equations
    • Finite Element Software
      • Basic knowledge on how to build a mesh from CAD geometry
      • Apply material definitions to model
      • Apply loads and boundary conditions
      • Visualize results

Finite Element Principles Courses and Registration Links

The courses are designed to be taken in the following sequence. Students must complete all four courses to earn the certification.

  1. Foundations in Finite Element Principles
  2. Finite Element Principles in Linear Dynamic Analysis
  3. Finite Element Principles in Heat Conduction
  4. Finite Element Principles in Non-Linear Static Analysis

Software and Hardware Requirements

  • Computer with high-speed internet connection for online course
  • Computer capable of running FE software for project assignments
    • Students may use any appropriate software tool for the course.
    • No technical support will be provided from OSU staff for FE software being used by students
    • If FE software and/or hardware is not available to the student virtual classroom space will be provided through an agreement with the Ohio Supercomputing Center (OSC).

Cancellations and Refunds

A full refund minus a $50 administrative fee will be made if cancellation is received one week prior to the start of the course. No refunds within one week of the course start date.