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Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates are a way to delve into specialized areas of public administration theory and practice. They are structured to provide a condensed version of the specific skills and knowledge to advance in particular professional fields.  By successfully completing a prescribed group of courses encompassing twelve credit hours, you can earn a graduate certificate. Courses taken in a graduate certificate program and recognition of the earned certificate will be posted on your transcript.  Graduate certificates may have additional prerequisites and admission restrictions.  Please visit the specific graduate certificate page for more information.

Certificates can be earned in conjunction with the MPA degree or as a stand-alone certification and may focus in a specialized area, including:


Certificate Application Fee: $30

The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.  Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years).
  • At least three years of managerial experience or be already admitted to any graduate programs of KU or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution.
  • Non-native speakers of English must meet the English proficiency requirements as described here.

All graduate students and applicants must complete an application to Graduate Studies for admission into the certificate program and submit an application fee along with the following materials:

  • A current resume.
  • A statement of interest in the graduate certificate program. This 1-2 page narrative should summarize your education, employment history, career goals, and how this certificate will bolster your professional aspirations.
  • Official transcripts of baccalaureate degree/s and any post-baccalaureate course work.

The admissions committee may request additional materials if needed to assess an applicant’s ability to be successful in the coursework.

Current School of Public Administration and Affairs graduate students who wish to earn a graduate certificate credential in any of the certificates listed here must submit a graduate application for the specific certificate program no later than enrollment in the final course that will count toward the certificate.  Public Administration Ph.D. and Master of Urban Planning graduate students may email Cari Ann Kreienhop for application and certificate conferral instructions.  Current MPA graduate students may refer to the Certificate powerpoint in the Enrollment & Progress Tracking channel of the MPA Students Microsoft Team for application, tracking, and conferral instructions. 

Please note that no credential will be awarded without completion of the graduate application into the certificate.  Additionally, the School will prioritize course scheduling needs based on formal certificate enrollments.

Graduate Certificates Outside SPAA

Departments and programs outside the School may also offer graduate certificates that contribute to the academic experience of MPA students.  Upon review and approval of the MPA Program Manager, these certificates may be completed as the elective course requirements for the MPA degree, so long as the course work completed relates to the expected outcomes of the MPA program.  Certificates that are traditionally approved include:

Applicants are expected to meet the graduate certificate requirements and receive admission into outside graduate certificates through the host program.