Acoustics (Graduate Certificate)

Acoustics (Graduate Certificate)
Acoustic graph for decoration only

Why get a Certificate in Acoustics?

Sound is a sensory mode that shapes our everyday lives. It provides a sense of geographical, perceptual and emotional sense of place. Acoustics is the branch of physics concerned with the properties of sound.  The science of acoustics spreads across many facets of human society — music, medicine, architecture, industrial production, warfare and environment. Applied uses of acoustics are playing an important role in addressing many of the societal challenges our nation faces. Acoustics has proven to be a valuable tool for monitoring and assessing impacts related to national security concerns, food security, energy, environment, and health. Acoustics is the only practical underwater sensing modality, and on land and in air, has become directly linked to a variety of applications in environmental acoustics. Because acoustics is so broad and interdisciplinary, very few programs offer formal degrees in acoustics. The Certificate in Acoustics provides a recognized mastery of fundamental acoustics concepts to enhance traditional degrees that employers are looking for in this growing field.

Why choose UNH’s acoustics program?

Acoustics students at UNH can choose from a number of tracks leading to the Graduate Certificate in Acoustics, all of which can be done in person or remotely. The two required certificate courses provide the fundamentals needed for any acoustics sub-discipline, and the electives offered allow students to focus in their area of interest including bioacoustics, underwater acoustics, and signal processing. Our faculty span the major sub-disciplines of acoustics, and additional courses are being added every year to meet student interests and demands. Acoustic-related facilities at UNH include a semi-anechoic chamber, the Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory, Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences Departments, and Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. Graduates are well-suited to jobs that require knowledge of acoustic processes, data analysis, modeling, and applied uses of acoustics.

Potential Career Areas:

  • University level teaching/research

  • Acoustic consulting

  • Government research (Navy, NOAA, USGS, BOEM, USDA)

  • Non-profits

  • Energy industry (wind, oil & gas, hydrokinetic)

  • Technology industry

  • Regulation and policy


Associate Director for Education - Center for Acoustics Research and Education, Assistant Professor - Biological Sciences - COLSA
Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 862-3897
Office: UNH COLSA Biological Sciences, Spaulding Room 248, Durham, NH 03824

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Faculty research expertise includes:
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Animal behavior/communication
  • Speech communication
  • Acoustical oceanography
  • Signal processing for acoustics
  • Sonar engineering/calibration
  • Noise effects on wildlife
  • Acoustics education
  • Noise impacts on recreation
  • Fluid-structure interaction

Curriculum & Requirements

The UNH Graduate Certificate in Acoustics offers students the opportunity to develop competencies in acoustic signal processing, animal bioacoustics, and underwater acoustics. This interdisciplinary graduate certificate is appropriate for students with professional interests in acoustics that have backgrounds in mathematical or applied sciences, and the courses that populate the program can be applied toward a UNH graduate degree. Three combinations of required and elective courses can be taken to earn a digital badge in three micro-credential technical areas: bioacoustics, digital signal processing, and underwater acoustics. The program curriculum consists of two required online courses (Advances in Acoustics and Introduction to Digital Signal Processing), and students then select two additional electives from six possible course choices.

Contact Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds, or Dr. Anthony Lyons for more information.

The Graduate Certificate in Acoustics requires the completion of four courses:  two required courses and two electives.

Core Required Courses
EOS 808Acoustics Essentials3
ECE 814Introduction to Digital Signal Processing4
Select two courses from the following:
BIOL 827Animal Communication4
BIOL 828Marine Bioacoustics3
ECE 941Digital Signal Processing3
OE 865Underwater Acoustics3
OE 874Integrated Seabed Mapping Systems4
OE 965Advanced Underwater Acoustics3

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Deadlines: Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: August 15
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: N/A

Application fee: $25

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of Recommendation: 2 Required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.


Resume is optional but recommended.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.