Graduate Certificate, Public Administration

Graduate Certificate in Public Administration

Professionals with graduate education backgrounds in public administration are highly valued in a variety of different industries and occupations. Some of the most commonly assumed career paths include positions working in federal, state, and local government organizations which are great options among many others. Political scientists are in particularly high demand with strong salary projections and job outlook expected to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022 [1]. These professionals often study the origin, development, and operation of political systems and conduct research around political ideas. They analyze policies, trends, and government functions while often serving in decision making roles or advising political leaders.  

Graduate-level study in public administration can apply to students pursuing careers in not only government sectors, but also nonprofit and enterprise industries. Alternative career paths graduates may consider include becoming policy managers, news reporters or analysts, economic development directors, and public affairs directors. This post-baccalaureate certificate path can help students gain competitive advantages over their peers and advance their careers.

Why Public Administration at Brandman?

Brandman University’s graduate certificate in public administration offers professionals in all sectors opportunities to broaden their knowledge bases to include principles of effective public service leadership. It is designed to complement current graduate programs of study in business, leadership, and human resource management, but can also be taken as a stand-alone certificate. Part of the public administration program is customizable based on students’ interests by allowing them to select two courses from a set of five options. The program blends together theoretical and practical perspectives that impact decision making processes so professionals can apply concepts directly to their work environments and create long-lasting, positive change.

Students will explore the historical development of public administration as a field and focus on operational dynamics including political interactions, planning, resource allocation, and management theory. Principles of public finance are analyzed in-depth such as objects of public expenditures, challenges of fiscal administration, and budgeting concepts as they relate to government statements. Brandman also understands that public policy analysis often requires a sophisticated understanding of a variety of types of data in order to use empirical arguments and counterarguments in potential policy debates. Because of this requirement, the graduate certificate in public administration also includes strategies of data collection and evaluation methods for evaluating data collected by others.

Students seeking a certificate program only are not eligible for financial aid. Courses taken after completion of a degree program in order to complete the certificate are not eligible for financial aid. 

Admission Requirements

All graduate admissions options listed below require an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Admission Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements:

Option One – GPA required 3.00 or Higher

  • A 3.0 grade point average (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Two – GPA between 2.50 and 2.99, qualifying score on GRE, MAT or GMAT

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of three of the subsections of the GRE. (Minimum score for Quantitative: 141, minimum score for Verbal: 150, minimum score for Analytic Writing: 4.5)
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 400.
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): fulfill the formula GMAT + (GPA X 200) > 1000.

Option Three – An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution

Option Four – GPA below 2.50, Portfolio

  •   Submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies. The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes he or she is a good candidate.

Required Courses (9 credits)

PADU 600 Intro to Public Administration 3
PADU 607 Public Policy 3
PADU 630 Local Government 3


Elective Courses (6 credits)
Select two of the following:

BUSU 620 Economic Analysis for Managers 3
BUSU 630 Business Process Analysis and Innovation 3
HRCU 630 Conflict and Negotiation 3
HRCU 600 Human Resource Foundations 3
OLCU 632 Leadership and Innovation 3
Total Credits   15
Some programs available to California residents only
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