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Graduate Certificate in Public Management

Ideal for professionals who want to advance their skillset in public management.

Graduate Certificate in Public Management

The certificate in Public Management from AU’s School of Public Affairs is a symbol of professional achievement widely recognized by government and corporate employers, nonprofit agencies, and international organizations. SPA graduate certificates are credit programs designed for individuals who want an advanced academic credential without necessarily enrolling in a degree program. Classes are offered every spring, summer, and fall. This certificate program requires 15 hours of approved graduate level course work.

Certificate Requirements

This certificate requires 15 credit hours of approved coursework with at least 6 credit hours at or above the 600-level. Students take Project Management (PUAD-617), a 3-credit course that teaches fundamental project management concepts applicable to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector organizations that provide public services. The remaining 12 credit hours can be selected from courses covering a diverse range of topics—governance and public policy, public-private partnerships, organizational analysis and change, managing conflict and diversity, and more.

If you choose to continue your studies toward a degree, you may transfer up to 12 credit hours as long as you indicate your plans before the 12-credit threshold in the certificate program. You also may apply up to 3 hours earned at an accredited college or university as transfer credit toward a certificate.

Students must complete the coursework with grades of C or better in each certificate course. Grades lower than C are not accepted toward the fulfillment of requirements, although they will be included in the GPA calculation. Overall, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in certificate courses in order to be awarded the certificate.

To continue your eligibility, you must take at least 6 credit hours during each 12-month period, and complete the certificate within four years. International students are required to enroll in 9 credit hours each semester, except for summer.

For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or

The School of Public Affairs operates on a rolling admissions basis for our graduate programs. This means that applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until programs reach capacity for either Spring or Fall entry. While previous academic or professional work in the career field is not required, your application file should demonstrate a serious commitment to a career in this field. Please consult the following web resources to learn more about building an application file for the program:

Application Requirements
International Student Application and Admission

For more information, please contact the SPA Office of Graduate Admissions at 202-885-6230 or