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Department of Public Administration & Policy


  • SPA: Public Administration
    Ward, Room

    Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu

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Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

This certificate program is designed for government employees interested in expanding their knowledge and practical skills in public financial management. The main objective of the program is to provide students with a working knowledge of basic financial management techniques that are relevant to public sector financial operations.

Admission to the Program

Open to students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Certificate Requirements

  • 15 credit hours of approved course work with at least 6 credit hours at the 600-level or above with grades of C or better.

Grades of C- or D in certificate program courses are not accepted toward the fulfillment of certificate requirements, although these grades will be included in the calculation of the GPA. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in certificate courses in order to be awarded a certificate. Students in certificate programs must take a minimum of 6 credit hours during each 12-month period and complete the certificate in four years. International students must enroll in 9 credit hours each semester (except for summer). A maximum of 3 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university may be applied toward the certificate as transfer credit.

Course Requirements

  • PUAD-605 Quantitative Methods for Public Managers or PUAD-601 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis I (3)
  • PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics (3) or PUAD-670 Economics for Policy Analysis (3)
  • PUAD-633 Budgeting and Financial Management (3)
  • 6 credit hours from the following:
    • PUAD-631 Financing Government Services: Expenditure Analysis (3) Taxation (3)
    • PUAD-671 Cost Benefit Analysis (3)
    • PUAD-685 Topics in Policy Analysis and Management: Public Finance in Developing Countries (3)
Course substitutions may be made with approval of the department.