Graduate Certificate in Public Administration

The advanced certificate in Public Administration prepares students and future administrators in public and nonprofit organizations to meet the challenges of mid and upper-level management and supervisory positions. Students, whose careers or prospective careers interact with local, state, or federal government organizations and funding streams, will benefit from this certificate. The certificate is strategic in providing competencies that can be applied to high-growth areas of public administration, such as Human Services, Public and Social Policy, Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, Fire Science, Homeland Security and Public Safety. Students enrolled in any of the policy master’s degree programs (M.A. in Community and Economic Development, M.A. in Social and Public Policy, M.A. in Work and Labor Policy) may combine this advanced certificate with their degree as the elective block and earn both credentials simultaneously.

Program Design

Courses are taught online and students may begin the certificate program in the fall, spring, or summer terms.

Required Courses and Suggested Sequence

PADM 6085 Public Administration (3 Credits)

This course provides a historical, case study, and theoretical approach to the study of public administration. Students of social and public policy, organized labor, human services, higher education and business examine the history of the field and its most prominent theorists and practitioners. The course traces the modern development of the field beginning in the 19th Century with the work of Max Weber and examines its evolution during the 20th Century through the works of Frederick W. Taylor, Mary Parker Follett, Chester Bernard, Herbert Simon, Charles Lindbloom and others. Students conduct independent research on topics relevant to their own professional development and career objectives. The course is especially useful for those who aspire to management or supervisory positions.

PADM 6170 Public Finance (3 Credits)

The objective of this course is for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature and scope of governments’ role in the economy. Including analytical skills and critical thinking in the scope of public finance and policy reforms, robust knowledge in the economics of government expenditures and externalities, social security, health insurance and welfare, and sound comprehension of taxation policy impact and efficiencies.

PADM 6180 State and Local Government (3 Credits)

State and Local Government is designed for students interested in professional development in public administration, public affairs and public policy. The course focuses on politics and administration at the state level and on the relationships between states and the federal government and states and local governments. The concept of federalism is central to the study and specifically the dynamics of intergovernmental relations relevant to specific areas of public policy in which state funding is derived from and directed by the federal government.

PADM 6175 Public Sector Decision Making (3 Credits)

This study explores various decision-making models that are applicable to public sector decision-making, including but not limited to rational choice organizational process; and bureaucratic politics models of decision-making. The course is intended to highlight political and governmental influences on decisions and to distinguish where applicable, the differences between public policy decisions and sector decision making.

PPOL 6030 Public Policy Analysis (3 Credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the methods and techniques of analyzing, developing and evaluating public policies and programs. Emphasis will be given to benefit-cost, cost-effectiveness analysis and concepts of economic efficiency, equity and distribution. Methods will include problem solving, decision making and case studies. Examples will come from human resource, environmental and regulatory policy.

Admission and Advisement

Admission to the certificate program requires the applicant to submit an official transcript of his or her bachelor’s degree, along with a completed application. The certificate program coordinator, Dr. Ed Warzala, will provide advising.

While the 15 credits are fully transferable into one of the policy master’s degree programs, acceptance to the master’s degree will require candidates to apply to the program and complete the full admission process. Completion of the graduate certificate does not guarantee admission to the master’s degree program.

Advanced certificates may be incorporated into a related master's degree for those meeting the program admission requirements.

Apply online or request information for more details on the Certificate in Public Administration.

Tuition and Fees

Students completing this certificate pay the following tuition and fees:

Federal financial aid is not available unless concurrently matriculated in a master’s degree program.