Degree Awarded: Certificate  Participatory Governance (certificate) 

This certificate provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate participatory governance programs and public engagement activities. This interdisciplinary program combines academic rigor with practical skills. Students examine the main theories and research findings on participatory governance and public engagement and familiarize themselves with past and current democratic innovations in the U.S. and around the world. Students also develop the capacity to design, carry out and examine processes of participatory governance and public engagement. The certificate, administered by the School of Public Affairs, can be pursued as a specialization within an existing ASU graduate program or as a stand-alone, 15-credit-hour program.

Degree Requirements

15 credit hours

Fifteen credit hours are required for the certificate: three required courses and two electives chosen from a list of preapproved courses. The electives taken toward the certificate will be selected with the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will direct the selection of the electives to ensure that they focus on a common theme, and to see that the student's experiences in the courses align with the learning goals outlined for the certificate. Students are required to maintain at least a 3.00 GPA and to have no more than one grade below a B-minus in courses taken to complete the certificate program.

Admission Requirements

Please see the program website for application deadlines.

Applicants must meet all Graduate Education admission requirements. Regular admission may be granted to applicants who have achieved a GPA of 3.00 (4.00 scale) or better in the last two years of work leading to a bachelor's degree.

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Applicants will be required to submit:

  1. an official ASU graduate online application
  2. official transcripts of undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate course work
  3. a statement of career and educational goals

All materials are submitted online through the Graduate Education application.

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both Graduate Education and those of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Selected participatory governance-related courses at ASU

undergraduate courses

  • PAF 494 When Voters Make Their Own Laws: Possibilities and Limits of Direct Democracy
  • POS 446 Democracy 
  • URB 405 Citizenship engagement and community building


Graduate Courses

  • CMN 522 Argumentation & Advocacy
  • CMN 551 Democracy and Power in Organizations
  • CMN 691 Facilitating intercultural dialogue
  • PAF 591 When Voters Make Their Own Laws: Possibilities and Limits of Direct Democracy
  • PAF 591 Theories and practices of democracy
  • PAF 591 Participatory governance and public engagement
  • PAF 591 Communities and governments: power and participation
  • PAF 531 Community conflict resolution
  • PAF 536 Urban policy-making
  • PAF 591 Citizenship learning and participatory democracy
  • PAF 530 Management of urban governance
  • PUP 510  Citizen participation 
  • HDA 598 Public practice: Community and engagement
  • SWG 682 Community participation strategies
  • NML 598 Community and social innovation
  • PAF 574 Diversity, ethics and leading public change
  • SOS 594 Participatory intervention research on climate change mitigation

More information for application: CLICK HERE