Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

Public policy — the actions of government and its partners in the nonprofit and private sectors — is the keystone of politics and public administration. The creation, adoption and implementation of public policy is a complex process that requires skills in analysis, reasoning and argumentation — what we call evidence-based policy advocacy.

The Public Policy Graduate Certificate helps you make the most of your skills by providing you with the tools you need to be an effective advocate for realistic, effective and responsible public policy.

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Certificate Requirements

Students not attending NC State are required to submit transcripts. Students already enrolled at NC State need not present transcripts, but must be students in good standing. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate and undergraduate studies is required for admission to the program. Applicants who have a GPA of less than 3.0 (4.0 scale) in their last two years of undergraduate course work may be admitted provisionally; details are available from the certificate coordinator.

Academic success in the certificate program may have a strong bearing on admission to SPIA's MPA program. However, completion of the certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program, which is done through a separate application process. We encourage strong students to consider working toward the MPA and the certificate concurrently.

Public Policy Courses Core Courses: (9 credit hours)

  • PA 507 Public Policy Process
  • PA 509 Applied Political Economy
  • PA 511 Public Policy Analysis

*Required Statistics Coursework (3 credits)

  • Students who do not have coursework at the graduate or advanced undergraduate level in social science statistics will also be required to take a statistics course in SPIA, or in any other department of the student’s choosing with the approval of the coordinator. Students who are simultaneously seeking an MPA will, as a part of that program, meet this requirement in that program's curriculum.

*Required Elective* *(3 credits)*

  • An elective policy or managerial course, approved by the coordinator, from virtually any program at NC State. Examples include, but are not limited to, courses in history, the social sciences, natural resources, agriculture, health, business or engineering.