School of Public Affairs

Former Colorado District Attorney speaking on managing the 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

Graduate Certificate in Public Management

Today's public managers lead in turbulent times. The landscape has been described as complex, volatile, dynamic, and unpredictable. The Graduate Certificate in Public Management provides not only the skills and expertise needed to manage in the public sector, but the capacity to use these tools strategically. The certificate program is designed to provide employees and potential employees of public organizations the opportunity to improve their managerial skills as well as their knowledge of the general field of public administration. This certificate, awarded to students interested in public sector management, focuses on the key areas of expertise required of public administrators.

Graduate Certificate in Public Management Brochure

A Graduate Certificate in Public Management consists of four required classes. For descriptions of courses see UCCS Academic Catalog.

Required courses include:

  • PAD 5001 Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service
  • PAD 5002 Organizational Management and Behavior
  • PAD 5004 Economics and Public Finance OR PAD 5005 The Policy Process and Democracy
  • PAD 5220 Human Resource Management in Public Service Organizations OR PAD 5625 Local Government Management OR PAD 5626 Local Government Politics and Policy

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.