Graduate Certificate in Public Management

certificate public

Photo of former Colorado District Attorney, Jeanne Smith, speaking on best management practices in the public sector at UCCS School of Public Affairs' Annual Leadership Conference

"I did not learn what to think; I learned how to think. I learned to think in frameworks and context. I learned to trust process, to appreciate ambiguity, and to think outside the box."
Mary Lou Makepeace
Former Mayor, City of Colorado Springs


The Public Management certificate provides current and future professionals with skills to adapt, respond, and lead through the challenges of public service delivery.  Certificate graduates gain expertise in human resource management, public policy communication, and organizational management while developing confidence in applying innovative approaches in strategic planning and management, workforce development, economic development, and public participation.  Certificate work lays the foundation for management in local, state, or federal public service.  As of fall 2018, current Master of Public Administration students may not pursue this certificate.

pdficon Graduate Certificate in Public Management Brochure

As of fall 2018, the graduate certificate in Public Management consists of four required courses. For descriptions of courses, or for requirements under previous catalogs, see UCCS Academic Catalog.

Required courses include:

  • PAD 5001 Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service

Plus three of the following courses:

  • PAD 5002 Organizational Management and Behavior
  • PAD 5004 Economics and Public Finance
  • PAD 5005 The Policy Process and Democracy
  • PAD 5006 Ethics and Leadership

Courses may be offered in the classroom or online*.  Students are not required to apply to a degree program to take these courses but must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Students must earn grades of B- or better in each course counted toward a certificate. Current Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) students may take these courses and earn the certificate in addition to the MPA or MCJ as part of their degree plan. Students who complete the certificate only may apply these courses to the MPA or MCJ degree if admitted. However, only courses taken within six years prior to the semester of graduation may be applied to the degree.

These courses also may be used as electives toward the Master of Public Administration degree or Master of Criminal Justice degree at UCCS School of Public Affairs.

This certificate program meets Department of Education regulations for gainful employment programs; students are eligible to apply for financial aid.

Current MPA or MCJ students must submit a Certificate Declaration to

Students not currently admitted to the MPA or MCJ degree program must apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student, submit official transcripts and a $50 application fee to the UCCS Office of Admissions

*Please be advised that courses are typically offered alternately online and on campus, not concurrently.  It is recommended that if you prefer either all online or all on-campus, that you speak with the School of Public Affairs before applying.  Upcoming course schedules are available here.

Gainful Employment Disclosures:

The U.S. Department of Education requires us to provide information about each of our certificates. Read Disclosure on Graduate Certificate in Public Management.