Program goal

The graduate certificate in public management is a program designed to enable practitioners in government and nonprofit organizations to acquire knowledge and skills in public administration without pursuing a full master’s degree.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process.
  2. Students will lead and manage in public governance.
  3. Students will articulate and apply a public service perspective.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallApr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)
SpringOct 1

Special requirements

  • Students who achieve a minimum GPA of 3.6 in certificate course work in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs are eligible to apply to the Master of Public Administration program, provided they do so before the completion of the certificate. The student must still formally apply and be admitted to the M.P.A. program. A 3.6 GPA in certificate work does not guarantee admission to the M.P.A. program.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, admission to the certificate program requires the same procedure in applying to the M.P.A., except that a standardized examination is not required.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, the certificate requires a total of 18 hours of graduate credit hours involving a mix of required and elective courses. The courses are the same as those offered to M.P.A. students.

Curriculum requirements

Required courses

PADM 601Principles of Public Administration3
PADM 607Public Human Resource Management3
PADM 609Financial Management in Government3
Total Hours9


Select three elective courses from the following:9
Effective Managerial Communications
Planned Organizational Change
Power, Influence and Organizational Competence
Topic Seminar
Public Administration Theory
Politics and Economics
Comparative Public Institutions
Survey Research Methods
Government Management Models
Organizational Behavior and Management in Government
Public Sector Budgeting
Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs
Quantitative Methods for Public Administration (PADM 623 is a prerequisite for PADM 624)
Public Policy Analysis
Intergovernmental Relations
Workshop in Policy Analysis and Evaluation
Environmental Policy and Administration
Strategic Planning and Management in the Public Sector
Organic Human Resources Management
Grants Management
Principles of Nonprofit Management
Administrative Law
Program Design and Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector
Fund Development for the Nonprofit Sector
Nonprofit Advocacy and Government Relations
Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
Community Power Dynamics
Nonprofit Law, Governance and Ethics
Advanced Topics in Revenue and Taxation
Local Government Administration
Comparative Public Administration
Executive Leadership Seminar
Governmental Administrative Decision-making Processes
Advanced Public Human Resources Management
Administrative Ethics
Seminar in Public Administration: Integration of Theory and Practice
Topics in Public Administration
Other courses from elsewhere in the Wilder School or elsewhere in the university (with approval from the program chair)
Total Hours9

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 18.

Myung H. Jin, Ph.D.
Associate professor, program chair and graduate program director
(804) 828-8812

Additional contacts
Richard F. Huff, Ph.D.
Assistant professor and assistant chair
(804) 828-9813

Graduate Student Services and Advising
(804) 828-6837

Program website: