Certificate in Public Administration


The Certificate in Public Administration offers public employees the fundamental skills through a series of core courses important for the profession of public administration. These classes provide basic knowledge and skills that enhance the level of professionalism in public service. Many public employees have bachelor and graduate degrees in many technical fields but lack the basic managerial areas of public administration. The Certificate in Public Administration provides a bridge for public service employees to gain skills, knowledge, and training by completing a short set of classes such as public administration, human resource management, budgeting, and organization theory. These classes are critical for understanding public organizations, and enhance the performance of public workers and the valuable services government agencies perform for our society.

Application Process

  • Persons holding a baccalaureate degree from any accredited college or university are eligible to apply. To apply, please submit the required application form online (with a $60 application fee).
  • The application can be completed online at the Graduate School;
  • An official transcript(s) of previous college work (undergraduate degree), a 3.0 or higher GPA is expected;
  • A written statement of about 300 words stating your reasons for seeking the Certificate of Public Administration.
  • Starting March 2018, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (for fall, spring, and summer semesters). Applications are reviewed by the MPA Admissions committee.


Students must complete 12 credits by completing the following:

  • PUAD 501, Public Administration
  • PUAD 503, Policy Analysis
  • PUAD 504, Organization Theory
  • PUAD 505, Budgeting & Finance
  • PUAD 506, MPA Applied Research Methods
  • PUAD 522, Human Resource Management
  • PUAD 529, Nonprofit Administration
  • PUAD 507, Program Evaluation
  • PUAD 523, Administrative Law
  • PUAD 525, Strategic Planning & Leadership
  • PUAD 526, Issues State and Local Government
  • PUAD 527, Performance Measurement
  • PUAD 561, Ethics in Public Administration

Students register for certificate classes using Cyberbear - use the dropdown under Public Administration (PUAD) to sign up for classes.

If you decide you want to pursue the MPA program after completing the certificate, please contact the MPA Director for more information.

Sara Rinfret, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Chair & MPA Director
University of Montana
32 Campus Drive
Office: Law 146
Missoula, MT 59812