Certificate in Public Administration


The Certificate in Public Administration offers public employees the fundamental skills through a series of core courses important for the profession of public administration. These classes provide basic knowledge and skills that enhance the level of professionalism in public service. Many public employees have bachelor and graduate degrees in many technical fields but lack the basic managerial areas of public administration. The Certificate in Public Administration provides a bridge for public service employees to gain skills, knowledge, and training by completing a short set of classes such as public administration, human resource management, budgeting, and organization theory. These classes are critical for understanding public organizations, and enhance the performance of public workers and the valuable services government agencies perform for our society.

Application Process

  • Persons holding a baccalaureate degree from any accredited college or university are eligible to apply. To apply, please submit the required application form online (with a $30 application fee).
  • The application can be completed online at the Graduate School;
  • An official transcript(s) of previous college work (undergraduate degree), a 3.0 or higher GPA is expected;
  • A written statement of about 300 words stating your reasons for seeking the Certificate of Public Administration.
  • Starting March 2018, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (for fall, spring, and summer semesters). Applications are reviewed by the MPA Admissions committee.


Students must complete 12 credits by completing the following:

Complete 3 courses from the list below:

  • PSCI 501, Public Administration
  • PSCI 504, Organization Theory
  • PSCI 505, Budgeting & Finance
  • PSCI 506, MPA Applied Research Methods
  • PSCI 522, Human Resource Management
  • PSCI 529, Nonprofit Administration

Complete 1 course from the list below:

  • PSCI 523, Administrative Law
  • PSCI 525, Strategic Planning & Leadership
  • PSCI 526, Issues State and Local Government
  • PSCI 527, Performance Measurement
  • PSCI 561, Ethics in Public Administration

If you decide you want to pursue the MPA program after completing the certificate, please contact the MPA Director for more information.

Sara Rinfret, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
MPA Director
Co-Director, Social Science Research Laboratory
Department of Political Science
University of Montana 
32 Campus Drive
Office: Liberal Arts 352
Missoula, MT 59812

Email: sara.rinfret@umontana.edu
Phone: 406-243-4702