2022-2023

Public Management, Graduate Certificate

Department of Politics and International Affairs

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This program is professionally oriented, emphasizing management skills required by people who work or plan to work in public administration.

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 12
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Fieldwork Experience/Internship may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.

Purpose Statement 

This certificate program provides a comprehensive examination of how governments use fiscal resources to plan their activities. Major topics include taxation, budgets, programs, management, and fiscal transfer payments.

Courses introduce students to public sector management, dynamics of modern complex organizations, and bureaucratic organizations.

This program is targeted toward students who are currently employed, part- or full-time; those who wish to upgrade their professional skills; those contemplating a graduate program who wish to "test the waters" first in a graduate certification program; and those already enrolled in another graduate program who wish to obtain an additional professional credential.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will learn incremental and rational approaches to decision-making, influences of bureaucratic routines, strategies for increasing organizational effectiveness, and how to conduct analyses of the administration of human resources in public organizations.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • A bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline
Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 12 units:


    Select one course from (3 units):
    Specialty area (3 units)
    • With your advisor's approval, you may choose any 500 or 600-level POS course not used to meet other certificate requirements. The course taken to fulfill the specialty area requirement may not be used to fulfill the Masters of Public Administration degree.
  • Please note that no course may be transferred into this program from another university.

  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Under both circumstances, federal financial aid can be used for this certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.