Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management

 Drive Change by Leading Action at the Local Level

The Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management is an 18-credit hour program offered fully online by the College of Public Service to serve the professional needs of individuals working in public, private and non-profit agencies concerned with efficient and effective management at the local government level (town, city, and county governments). The program assists students in conceptualizing the changing world of local government management. College faculty design and teach courses that have a practical, applied orientation, and that pertain to the local government management dynamics unique to Middle Tennessee. 

This certificate consists of six 3-credit courses, for a total of 18 credits:

  • PADM 6230 Seminar in Fiscal Management: Public Budgeting (offered Fall only; MPA core)
  • PADM 6440 Seminar in Urban Administration (offered Fall only)
  • PADM 6210 Seminar in Public Administration (take in Spring; MPA core)
  • PADM 6420 Conflict Management and Resolution (offered Spring only)
  • PADM 6240 Seminar in Staff Functions: Personnel (take in Summer; MPA core)
  • PADM 6290 Seminar in Intergovernmental Administration (offered Summer only)

Courses are offered fully online, which helps meet our students' needs as working adults. You can start the certificate in spring, summer, or fall. You can earn this certificate as a stand-alone credential or in combination with the MPA or PhD. This certificate can also be used for our Graduate Certificate Bridge Admission to the MPA, where a student has an undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 2.69 from an accredited college or university, begins in one of our four graduate certificate programs, completes the selected graduate certificate program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and then transitions to our fully online MPA degree program.

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.

HANDBOOK: Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management

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

Key guiding documents

The purpose and uses of the Local Government Management graduate certificate

  • This certificate is for individuals who are currently working in local government or have an interest in working in local government in the future. 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 local government management.

ICMA Student Chapter

  • One of the key benefits of this program, is that we have an ICMA Student Chapter (link). This allows our students to join ICMA for *FREE* and enjoy the many benefits of ICMA membership. For more information, contact the ICMA Student Chapter Faculty Advisory, Dr. Ken Chilton.

Applying for admission to the Local Government Management graduate certificate

  • No standardized exams or tests are needed for admission to this graduate certificate program.
  • Applicants with a GPA above 2.5 from an accredited college or university are eligible for admission. Please note that official transcripts must be submitted via the GradCAS application system (instructions).
    • Students who complete the graduate certificate with a 3.0 GPA or higher earn admission to the MPA program.
  • Applicants with a GPA of 2.7 or higher from an accredited college or university are eligible for admission to our fully online MPA program, and will be able to earn the graduate certificate alongside the MPA.
  • In addition to submitting official transcripts, applicants must submit a current resume or CV and pay the $35 application fee.

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? 


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webpage contact:
Department of Public Administration