Political Science, Graduate Certificate

Department of Politics and International Affairs

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Graduate Certificate in Political Science is intended for community college or high school teachers needing 18 credit hours in political science to meet certification requirements.  With the certificate, you can advance your knowledge about how our public lives are organized at the local, national, and international levels.  The certificate allows for students to take electives across the subfield to meet their interests in the discipline and to fill deficiencies in their degree.

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2020

    • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many graduate certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.
    • No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 - 4 units) may be used on a graduate certificate program.
    • No more than twenty-five percent 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.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Individualized research may be required by a chosen emphasis or offered as an option.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Some online/blended coursework Required
Student Learning Outcomes

1.  Conceptual and Analytical:  Students should be able to use key concepts and analytical approaches from political science in an advanced way.

  • Identify and use salient political science concepts and analytical method to evaluate current public policies, political actors’ behavior, political events, and institutional arrangements within a diverse world.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of a variety of significant analytical approaches used in political science.
2.  Inquiry and Research:  Students will define, design, and implement effective research projects in political science.
  • Devise an advanced research design.
  • Test hypotheses with basic empirical data.
3.  Communication:  Students should be able to make clear and effective demonstrations of their work in writing.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced writing skills and be able to summarize and explain scholarly political science articles.
  • Analyze and critique the material read /discussed.
  • Suggest and discuss alternative possibilities and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply the discussion to policy and “real world” applications.
4.  Professional and Citizenship:  Students should know, understand, and be able to meet the expectations of professionalism and citizenship.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior in terms of demeanor, personal presentation, ethics, and civic participation in experiential learning, classrooms settings and at professional conferences.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • Personal/Professional Essays
Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 18 units:

    • POS 501, POS 599
    • Any additional 12 units of POS electives at the 500-level. Up to 3 units outside of POS maybe used as elective credit with advisor approval. Up to 3 units of Independent study maybe used as elective credit with advisor approval.
  • Federal financial aid cannot be used for this certificate.

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