Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

Informing and influencing government action

Our Graduate Certificate in Public Policy 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 (Take in Fall)
  • 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 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 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

Key guiding documents

The purpose and uses of the Public Policy graduate certificate

  • 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.

The content areas of the Public Policy graduate certificate at TSU

Applying for admission to the Public Policy 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? How much does it cost?

  • Apply to the Graduate School directly, 615/963.5901
  • The certificate is a six-course (18 credit hours) program. Tuition and fees per credit hour for programs at TSU are available at the Bursar's website. All programs in the Department of Public Administration are delivered 100% online. Out-of-state students taking only online courses may be eligible for the TSU eRate, which is lower than regular out-of-state tuition rates. Please learn more about this possibility at the Bursar's website and at the TSU Out Of State eRate page. Note that students must complete a verification process each semester they are eligible for the eRate. Tuition, fees, and eRate availability are determined at the University level and may change over time.

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