UVA SCPS School Logo

Public Administration Certificate

The online Public Administration Graduate Certificate is ideal for professionals who want a career in public service. Covering key topics in public policy analysis, budgeting and financial management, and organizational management, this certificate provides the essential knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of today's public service leadership roles.

Advance your career in public administration, and join the UVA family for life.

Start DatesAugust, January, May
Estimated Cost$8,850 (same in-state and out-of-state)
Duration15 graduate credits / 5 courses / 12 months on average
FormatPart-time: online
Next Application Deadline

April 1, 2021 for Summer 2021 term

Required Courses (4)

PSPA 5000 Introduction to Public Administration
Provides students with an overview of the theory and practice of public administration. Covers topics such as the historical development of public administration, public organizational dynamics, public personnel administration, public budgeting, public policy, and ethics. Applies analytical skills using case studies focusing on current issues.

PSPA 5010 Public Policy Analysis
Introduces tools and concepts in performing policy analysis. Focuses on critical thinking skills to synthesize and evaluate theoretical models and policy alternatives. Covers environmental policy, healthcare, welfare, terrorism, immigration, and foreign policy. Examines links between federal, state, and local public policy and public administration.

PSPA 5020 Public Organization Management
Familiarizes students with public organization management literature. Covers historically important works in the field, major current schools of thought, and writers in organization theory and behavior. Examines different ways to view organizations.

PSPA 5030 Public Budgeting & Financial Management
Exposes students to the theoretical foundations and applied practices of public budgeting and financial management of public organizations. Focuses on the issues of budgeting and finance in a broad sense and specifically as it pertains to public administration.

Elective Courses (Select 1)

PSPA 5040 Ethics 
Introduces and explores the philosophical and practical issues related to ethical decision making. Emphasizes the analysis of ethical problems and the development of analytical skills and values. Incorporates case studies, journal articles, current events, and debates as practical examples of ethical issues.

PSPA 5050 Environmental Policies & Practices
Provides an overview of current environmental policies and practices at the federal, state, and local level as well as global environmental issues.  Covers such topics as environmental justice, sustainable development, resiliency; environmental risk, economic environmental issues; and the distributed effects of environmental pollution aross ethnic, racial, income and occupational groups.

The information contained on this web site is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

On average, students take two courses per term, including the summer, to complete the certificate in 12 months.
admission requirements
Fall: July 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: April 1
  • Undergraduate degree
  • College seniors who have met entry requirements are also eligible to apply
Admission Details
$8,850 (same in-state and out-of-state)
  • This program is not eligible for financial aid
Tuition Details
* Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates adjusted annually.
our value
  • Develop skills needed for public service leadership roles through a flexible online certificate

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

Faculty Spotlight

It's great to hear from former students that our courses really helped their careers.
A photograph of Celeste Greene

Celeste Greene

Certificate in Public Administration

An early adopter of online learning at Florida Gulf Coast University in the 1990s, Celeste proposed the Certificate in Public Administration program to SCPS in 2007. As an associate professor and program director for the School’s graduate Certificates in Leadership and Public Administration, she works hard to help faculty take full advantage of online technology.

Read more

Student Spotlight

Thanks to the Certificate in Public Administration program, I feel more confident pursuing positions of more responsibility knowing that I can meet the challenge.
A photograph of Joceline Nahigian

Joceline Nahigian


Joceline was already working with the U.S. Department of Energy when she decided to increase her impact with an SCPS certificate. As a working mother of two, she selected a flexible online format to develop her knowledge in key areas of public administration including organizational management, policy, and budgeting. She emerged as a more effective public employee, prepared to pursue additional responsibility within her industry.

Read more