City and County Management

Local government is increasingly being described as the level of government “where things get done!” This certificate is designed for those who are interested in a career in local government organizations (cities and counties) or in non-profit or private sector organizations that collaborate or serve local governments. It offers broad coverage of the leadership and management skills that local government professionals need as well as more in-depth instruction on key issues facing modern communities.

The certificate comprises four courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • PUAD 851: Infrastructure Management (required for intern-option MPA students; elective for others)
  • PUAD 852: Comparative Public Policy and Administration (elective)
  • PUAD 854: Innovation and Organizational Change (elective)
  • PUAD 856: Managing Information and Technology (elective)
  • PUAD 857: Performance Management and Governance (elective)
  • PUAD 859: Service Management (elective)
  • PUAD 860: Introduction to Sustainable Communities (elective)
  • PUAD 892: Public Administration Internship (required for intern-option MPA students; not part of certificate for others)
  • PUAD 898: Leadership, Professionalism, and Citizen Engagement (required for intern-option MPA students; elective for others)
  • UBPL 816: Politics, Planning, and Administration (elective)
  • UBPL 730: Plans and Planning Processes (elective)

Substitution petitions for any of the above indicated elective courses must be submitted to and approved by the Master’s Program Coordinator. Approval prior to class enrollment is required for substitutions.


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 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
  • All international applicants and domestic non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency

Required application materials:

For students who do not have a master’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a graduate program, three letters of reference are required.