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Certificate Programs
Public Management (Online)

The Certificate in Public Management program is a 15-credit-hour program of study in public management. The certificate program is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of precareer and in-service individuals. Graduate students in other disciplines can use the program to supplement their primary fields with course work in public management, possibly using the certificate courses as part or all of a doctoral or master's degree minor. Career employees of public and private sector agencies seeking courses in public management, and especially those changing from professional or technical roles to managerial roles, find the certificate program beneficial.

Admission Eligibility

The student must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to apply.


An online application and information may be obtained from spea.iupui.edu. Application deadlines for the certificate programs are May 15 for the fall semester, September 15 for the spring semester, and March 15 for summer sessions. Students must pay a nonrefundable application fee.

Program Restrictions
  1. Students admitted to a SPEA graduate degree program are not eligible for admission nor awarding of a certificate in the same concentration of their graduate degree.
  2. Transfer credit, course substitutions, or course waivers are not accepted for fulfilling the certificate requirements.
  3. Students enrolled in a certificate program can only confer the certificate with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) in all required coursework. 
  4. A student may be dismissed if, after 9 credit hours of coursework, the GPA is below a 3.0.
  5. Admission to or successful completion of a certificate program does not guarantee subsequent admission to a SPEA graduate degree program.
  6. Students enrolled in a certificate program who apply to a SPEA graduate degree programs must meet all existing admission requirements, or may request a waiver if they complete at least three classes towards the certificate with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
  7. Students planning to request admission to a SPEA graduate degree program after successfully completing a certificate program cannot apply to an MPA of the same concentration of the certificate.
The fifteen-hour certificate consists of three required courses and two electives. 

Required Courses (9 credit hours)

  • SPEA-V 502 Public Management (3 cr.) Analysis of concepts, methods, and procedures involved in managing public organizations. Problems of organization, planning, decision making, performance, evaluation, and management of human resources are considered. Cases are drawn from a variety of public services found at federal, state, and local levels of government.
  • SPEA-V 560 Public Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.) The fiscal role of government in a mixed economy; sources of public revenue and credit; administrative, political, and institutional aspects of the budget and budgetary process; problems and trends in intergovernmental fiscal relations.
  • SPEA-V 561 Public Human Resource Management (3 cr.) Analysis of the structure, operations, and design of public personnel systems, including government agencies and public enterprise. Relationships between public policy and personnel concepts, values, and operations considered.
Electives (6 credit hours)
  • SPEA-V 509 Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector (3 cr.) Ethical conduct in the public sector is examined. Topics covered could include personal ethical responsibility, deception, corruption, codes of ethics, policy-making, morality, politics, and whistle blowing. Case studies and media material will be used to illustrate these and other such issues affecting the workplace.
  • SPEA-V 516 Public Management Information Systems (3 cr.) This course focuses on the application of information systems concepts and tools to challenges and opportunities in the public sector. Topics covered will include current trends in information systems; managerial use of information systems; hardware software, and telecommunications; systems development processes and practices; and strategic and policy issues in IS.
  • SPEA-V 562 Public Program Evaluation (3cr.) Examination of how the programs of public agencies are proposed, established, operated, and evaluated. Discussion of the role and conduct of research in the program evaluation process. In addition, techniques of effective evaluation and analysis are discussed.
  • SPEA-V 598 Governing and Leading in a Global Society (3 cr.) This gateway course will increase student appreciation of the role of public affairs professionals in governance across multiple sectors of society within the global context. Students will learn norms associated with effective practice in public affairs and frame a professional development plan to acquire leadership skills to support these norms.
  • SPEA-V 559 Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship (3 cr.) This course will survey issues in social entrepreneurship and engage students in completing class projects applying principles and practices of social entrepreneurship to problems of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and social-purpose business.
  • SPEA-V 654 Public Program Management and Contracting (3 cr.) An examination of theories, concepts, and processes concerning multi-actor program implementation and alternative forms of service delivery. Focus will be on the problems and challenges public managers face in designing and managing contractual relationships, networks, and other complex implementation structures.
Other electives may be chosen with approval from the faculty advisor.