Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates are a way to delve into specialized areas of public administration and urban planning.

  • They are structured to provide a condensed version of the specific skills and knowledge to advance in particular professional fields.  
  • By successfully completing a prescribed group of courses encompassing twelve credit hours, you can earn a graduate certificate.
  • Courses taken in a graduate certificate program and recognition of the earned certificate will be posted on your transcript.  
  • Graduate certificates may have additional prerequisites and admission restrictions.

Certificate Programs

There are currently six graduate certificate programs offered:

Admission Requirements

The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.  Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years).
  • Experience or student status that meets any of the following:
    • at least three years of managerial experience;
    • or be already admitted to any graduate programs at KU;
    • or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution.
  • Non-native speakers of English must meet the University's English proficiency requirements.

Application Requirements

All graduate students and applicants must complete an application to Graduate Studies for admission into the certificate program and submit an application fee along with the following materials:

  • A current resume.
  • A statement of interest in the graduate certificate program. This 1-2 page narrative should summarize your education, employment history, career goals, and how the certificate will bolster your professional aspirations.
  • Official transcripts of baccalaureate degree/s and any post-baccalaureate course work.

The admissions committee may request additional materials if needed to assess an applicant’s ability to be successful in the coursework.

Certificate Application Deadlines

  • Spring Admission: January 1

  • Summer Admission: May 1

  • Fall Admission: August 1

Learn More

Graduate Certificates FAQs

A SPAA certificate completed by itself, outside a full graduate degree program is not eligible for federal financial aid or VA benefit support. If you are enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Kansas, courses completed in the certificates are eligible for financial aid. 

It is highly unlikely that all the courses needed to complete a certificate will be offered within a given semester.  Certificates can traditionally completed within an academic year.

The required courses listed for each certificate must be completed.  Elective courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director. 

The required courses for our more popular certificates are offered every year, alternating campus locations and course delivery formats - City & County Management, Public/Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, and Urban Planning.  The Performance Management certificate courses alternate years in elective course offerings.