Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

Informing and influencing government action

Our Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (new as of Fall 2015) equips students interested in public sector work or policy advocacy.  This certificate consists of six 3-credit courses, for a total of 18 credits:

  • PADM 6210 Seminar in Public Administration (Fall/Spring)
  • PADM 6130 Research Methods (Fall only)
  • PADM 6410 Public Policy Analysis (Spring only)
  • PADM 6450 Decision Tools and Project Planning (Spring only)
  • PADM 6430 Contemporary Issues in Public Policy (Summer only)
  • PADM 6390 Ethics and Values in the Public Service (Summer/Fall)

Courses are offered in a variety of delivery approaches (evening hybrid, online) which help meet our students' needs as working adults. You can start the certificate in spring, summer or fall. You can seek this certificate in combination with the MPA or PhD, or on its own as a stand-alone credential.

Seek advising before registration every semester to make sound course choices (Contact your advisor). Complete your program of study with your advisor as soon as you finish your first semester.  Students who want to pursue this certificate along with either the MPA or PhD should seek advising before choosing electives to minimize chances of having to take an extra course while satisfying each set of requirements. In particular, note that 6410, 6230, and 6130 are MPA required core courses while 6450, 6390, and 6430 will count as the three MPA electives.

HANDBOOK: Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

Point of contact for prospective students: Dr. Rodney Stanley, Department Chair
Point of contact for admitted students: Advisors

competencies included in certificate-specific courses

I. Key guiding documents

  1. TSU Graduate Catalog - Relevant policies are found both in the front of the catalog which apply to all TSU graduate students (p. 15-45 of 2015-2017 Catalog) as well as the program-specific part in the College of Public Service section (begins p. 157 of 2015-2017 Catalog).  Important updates relevant to the admissions criteria (GPA) for the Public Policy Graduate Certificate are contained in these updates and revisions to the 2015-2017 Graduate Catalog; please review.Please note that this handbook, while it provides useful details for prospective and current students, does not replace or supercede the Graduate Catalog, nor does it cover all the important elements of policy included in the Catalog.  All applicants and students are responsible for knowing and abiding by TSU, Graduate School, and program policies outlined in the Catalog.  Also check the Graduate School catalog website for online updates to relelvant Catalog policies.

II. The purpose and uses of the Public Policy graduate certificate

  1. Individuals seeking this certificate typically have an interest in either the public policy process in a government setting, or in influencing the public policy process from a nonprofit advocacy standpoint. Many students are also enrolled in the MPA degree, or already hold the MPA, and seek to obtain the certificate to develop a more in-depth focus in public policy.

III.  The content areas of the Public Policy graduate certificate at TSU

  1. To understand what specific skills, abilities and knowledge areas are included in the MPA degree at TSU, you may examine the learning outcomes for certificate courses .
  2. For more insight, examine sample syllabi (these are past examples provided for prospective students; current students should always ask the instructor for a current syllabus.)
  3. Please review this advice about textbooks.

IV. Applying for admission to the Public Policy graduate certificate

  1. To review the current admissions requirements, read the Public Policy certificate section in the updates and revisions to the 2015-2017 Graduate Catalog (in effect as of Fall 2015; approved after the publication of the 2015-2017 catalog.).  Also review the general Graduate School admissions information in the front portion of the TSU Graduate Catalog. Please note there are additional Graduate School admissions requirements for international students.
  2. Deadlines are published at the Graduate School website.
  3. Apply to the Graduate School directly (615/963.5901).
  4. If you are interested in pursuing both the MPA and a graduate certificate simultaneously, consult this FAQ to find out how to apply for both, or to add one program if you have already been accepted into the other. Be aware that admission to one program (for example a certificate) does not guarantee admission into another program. Only students who are officially admitted to a program may complete that program.

What thresholds must I meet to be eligible for admission?

  • Consult the TSU Graduate catalog.  All applicable Graduate School thresholds and requirements must be met. Graduate certificates in the Department of Public Administration do not require standardized entrance exams for admission, but degree programs may have different requirements and starting as a certificate student does not change any degree program requirements.
  • Submit all required application materials per the Graduate School (including Graduate School application, fee, official transcripts).

How do I apply?

What classes should I take?  What forms must I complete along the way?

How do I get ready to complete my program? 


webpage contact:
Department of Public Administration