graduate certificates

Customize your degree with us

For a full list of available minors and certificates offered by the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions, please visit the Watts College of Public Service minors & certificates page.

Graduate certificates

Participatory Governance

The Participatory Governance Certificate is the first of its kind in the world. This interdisciplinary program provides students with the knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate participatory governance and public engagement programs. Students examine the main theories and research findings on participatory governance and public engagement, and familiarize themselves with past and current democratic innovations across the nation and around the world. Students develop the capacity to design, carry out and examine processes of participatory governance and public engagement for all facets of the public sector.

Participatory Governance required courses (3)
PAF 531 Community Conflict Resolution
PAF 566 Participatory Governance & Civic Engagement

Participatory Governance elective courses (2)
Any three 3-credit PAF courses, 500-level


Policy Informatics (see Note 1 below)

Note 1: This certificate program was eliminated effective Feb 5, 2018. Any student admitted to this certificate program prior to this date will be allowed to complete this concentration as long as they remain continuously enrolled.

The Policy Informatics Certificate provides knowledge and skills for students seeking careers that will use informatics tools, models, and simulations to help individuals and groups evaluate policy decisions as well as explore new governance infrastructures. Policy informatics is both an emerging field of research and a community of practice. This certificate emphasizes theories and research concerning decision-making, complexity theory, and visualization of quantitative and qualitative information, collective intelligence, behavioral economics, and persuasive technologies.

This certificate helps us advance evidence-driven policy design, wherein scientific models and analyses drive decision-making for resolution of complex policy challenges, dilemmas, and problems. Policy informatics is both an emerging field of research and a community of practice focusing on: 1) advancing decision-making in the public sector through information-centric analysis of evidence that leverages computational and technological advances; and 2) designing, managing, and evaluating information systems and infrastructures for policy construction, analysis, and implementation.

Policy informatics advances the multi-disciplinary nature of the public administration discipline by infusing it with the advances of information technology, management of information systems, and computational and informational science perspectives.

Policy Informatics required courses (4)
PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis
PAF 582 E-Public Administration
PAF 591 Introduction to Policy Informatics
PAF 591 Complexity in Public Policy and Management

Policy Informatics elective courses (1)
Any 3-credit PAF course, 500-level
Please Note: PAF 504 is a prerequisite for PAF 505


Public Administration

The Public Administration Certificate prepares students for work
in government at all levels and nonprofit organizations through
comprehensive coverage of topics in public administration,
management and policy. Students discover the challenges of
management, learn how to lead a public organization, and understand
the process of policy development. It is designed to give students a
solid foundational understanding of administration, leadership and
policy analysis in the service of public goods.

Public Administration required courses (2)
PAF 503 Public Affairs
PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis

Public Administration elective courses (3)
Any three 3-credit PAF courses, 500-level
Please Note: PAF 504 is a prerequisite for PAF 505


Public Policy

The Public Policy Certificate prepares students for professional
careers as policy analysts and leaders in public service involved in the
formulation, approval, implementation, and evaluation of public policy at
all levels of government and in the private and non-profit sectors. This
graduate certificate program is designed to give students analytical
techniques and conceptual frameworks for understanding policy
issues, as well as identifying potential solutions and applying these
skills to real-world issues—especially relating to the needs of cities in
the region.

Public Policy required courses (5)

  1. PAF 501 Public Service Research I
  2. PAF 504 Micreconomics of Public Policy I
  3. PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis
  4. PAF 540 Advanced Policy Analysis
  5. PAF 541 Program Evaluation


Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Certificate provides motivated
students with skills and knowledge to manage and assume positions
of leadership within the field of emergency management. More
specifically, an all hazards/all-threats orientation provides the student
with a generalist perspective which is critically important for today’s
and tomorrow’s disaster managers. The certificate program may be
of interest to students in disciplines such as public policy, planning,
political science, nonprofit management, social work, criminology, and
other related fields.

Emergency Management required courses (3)
PAF 520 Public Management
PAF 552 Integrated Emergency Management
PAF 555 Information Technology in Emergency Management

Emergency Management elective courses (2)
Any two 3-credit PAF courses, 500-level