Florida State University

Askew School of Public Administration

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

For the latest information related to COVID-19, visit fsu.edu/coronavirus

Certificate Programs Application Process

Students can pursue certificate programs with either degree seeking or non-degree seeking status. The application process is slightly different for each, as outlined below.

Degree Seeking Students

Applicants that already have degree-seeking student status may submit the application prior to the completion of the 6th credit hour in the program. It is generally better to apply as early into the program as possible.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Applicants that do not already hold student status may pursue a certificate as a non-degree seeking student. These applicants must first apply to the university as a non-degree seeking student. They would then need to register for classes during their registration window. After they are registered for courses, they may submit the paper application so that the certificate program is added to their account. They must submit the application prior to completing the 6th credit hour towards that certificate.

Non-Degree Application Deadlines

Spring: December 1
Summer: May 1
Fall: August 1

Students seeking admission to a certificate program should download and complete the certificate program application for their specific area of interest and dropbox it using https://dropbox.fsu.edu/ along with an unofficial transcript to: cmh10e@fsu.edu.


Graduate Certificates:

Graduate General Public Administration Certificate

The school offers an executive development program which leads to a certificate in public administration. Typically, participants are public administrators who hold bachelor’s degrees but who have not yet entered a graduate degree program. Applicants register as non-degree students in a simplified process which does not require formal admission to graduate studies. Up to twelve hours of credit earned in this program may later be applied to the MPA upon admission to that program.

The certificate requires eighteen semester hours (six courses) of graduate course credit in public administration. Three courses must be from the MPA substantive core and the remainder from electives and other courses in public administration. One course from a related field outside the school may be applied to satisfy certificate requirements.

PDF Application Form

Certificate in Florida City & County Management

This program includes skills and knowledge appropriate for practicing managers and all those interested in Florida City and County Management. The certificate requires twelve credit hours of graduate course credit in public administration. It is taught in partnership with the Center for Florida Local Government Excellence.

PDF Application Form

Required Course

PAD 5935r Seminar in Public Administration: Selected Topics (1–3) [Local Government Administration (3)]

Elective Courses

  • PAD 5335 Strategic Leadership for Communities (3)
  • PAD 5397 Foundations of Emergency Management (3)
  • PAD 5826 Intergovernmental Management and Relations (3)
  • PAD 6136 Seminar: Management Studies in Government (3)
  • PAD 6207 Financial Resources Administration (3)
  • PAD 6226 Public Budgeting Simulation and Issues (3)
  • PAD 6300 Governmental Administration in Florida (3)

Financial Management Certificate

Topics covered in this program conform to those recommended by the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management of the American Society for Public Administration. To obtain the certificate, students complete two required courses and four additional elective courses selected from a list of courses offered through the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, the Department of Accounting, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

PDF Application Form

Required Courses

  • PAD 5227 Managing Public Financial Resources (3)
  • PAD 6207 Financial Resources Administration (3)

Elective Courses

  • ACG 5505 Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Auditing (3)
  • ECO 5505 Public Finance (3)
  • PAD 5041 Public Service Ethics (3)
  • PAD 5327 Public Program Evaluation (3)
  • PAD 5859 Managing Public Procurement (3)
  • PAD 5935r Seminar in Public Administration: Selected Topics (1-3) [Public Finance (3)]
  • PAD 6226 Public Budgeting Simulation and Issues (3)
  • PAD 6721 Policy Analysis Research Seminar (3)
  • URP 5261 Forecasting for Plan Development (3)
  • URP 5731 Planning of Community Infrastructure (3)

Skills concentrations covered in this curriculum include accounting and auditing (government financial accounting and reporting, financial and performance auditing), budgeting (processes, preparation, approaches, analytic techniques, forecasting), financial management decision making (cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and cost-revenue analysis, managing public procurement, fiscal impact analysis, financial condition evaluation), revenues (taxation from both administrative and public finance perspectives, intergovernmental finance, user charges), long-term financial decision making (capital planning process, capital investment analysis, alternative financing sources, debt management), and financial modeling.

Civic & Nonprofit Leadership Certificate

Designed primarily for those who already hold or wish to assume nonprofit leadership roles.  It will also be of interest to those in government agencies or private businesses that deal extensively with nonprofits.  The nonprofit certificate emphasizes the distinctive features of nonprofit organizations and provides management skills and knowledge that are helpful, specifically for civic and nonprofit leaders.

PDF Application Form

The graduate certificate in civic and nonprofit leadership requires a minimum of 18 credits:

Certificate Required Courses
These two (2) courses and the capstone essay are required:

  • PAD 5142 Managing the Nonprofit Organization
  • PAD 5174 The Independent Sector

Capstone Essay
A capstone essay that combines knowledge gained through the program and the student’s unique topical interests is to be prepared at the culmination of the program of study. The essay can be accomplished in one of three ways. The first alternative is a non-credit essay on a topic chosen jointly by the student and faculty advisor and evaluated by one or more of the faculty. The second alternative is an Action Report (PAD 6908) prepared for the MPA degree that focuses on some aspect of nonprofit management or the nonprofit sector. If this alternative is undertaken, it must be in addition to the other 18 credits required for the certificate. The third alternative is an assigned final paper that satisfies the requirements of one of the courses in the program of study. The paper in the third alternative must be approved both by the instructor for the course and the student’s advisor.

Select two (2) of the following Certificate Optional Elective courses:
PAD 5173 Nongovernmental Organizations
PAD 5208 Budget and Finance in Nonprofit Organizations
PAD 5335 Strategic Leadership for Communities
PAD 5206 Fundraising and Fund Development
PAD 5946 Public Service Internship*

Certificate Recommended Electives.
Select two additional courses from above or from the following courses with the approval of advisor; at least one must be a PAD course:
PAD 5041 Public Service Ethics
PAD 5327 Public Program Evaluation
PAD 5397 Foundations of Emergency Management
PAD 5417 Human Resource Management
PAD 5826 Intergovernmental Management and Relations
PAD 5828 Nonprofits, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Disasters
PAD 5859 Managing Public Procurement
ACG 5505 Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Auditing **
ARE 5665 Leading the Arts Organization
ARE 5865 Cultural Policy
ARE 5930 Grant Writing for Arts Organizations
MAR 5816 Marketing Strategy **
POS 5465 Lobbying **
SOW 5235 Social Welfare Policies and Services
SOW 5282 Legislative Advocacy **
SOW 5455 Grant Writing and Grant Management
URP 5122 Planning Dispute Resolution
URP 5743 Neighborhood Planning

(This is not an exhaustive list. Other courses in specialized fields such as arts administration, emergency management, social work, history archives management, or communication as approved by the advisor.)

*The internship, with a nonprofit focus, must be satisfactorily completed by all students who do not already possess the equivalent of at least one year of prior professional nonprofit experience.
With advisor permission, students may substitute a nonprofit-focused internship in another program such as Arts Administration or Social Work.
** These courses may require prerequisites or instructor permission.

Undergraduate Certificates:

Requirements for a Minor and Undergraduate Certificates in Public Administration

A minor in public administration is available to students in all majors except political science, where undergraduate courses in public administration are applied directly to the political science major. For other students, the minor in public administration consists of four courses, totaling twelve semester hours passed with a grade of “C” or better. One of the following Department of Political Science courses may be substituted: state politics, urban politics, Florida government, and the American presidency. Courses should be approved by the school in consultation with the student.

Topics in regularly scheduled undergraduate classes include:

  • Administrative law
  • American public service
  • Budgets and finances in managing public affairs
  • Civic and non-profit management
  • Local government administration
  • Emergency management
  • Public administration in American society
  • Selected topics in public administration

The school, upon application from the student, recognizes successful completion of requirements for the undergraduate minor with an undergraduate Certificate in Public Administration. If approved by the school, some transfer credits may be accepted. The certificate credential is not intended as a diploma or degree. It is recommended that the student check with the school to be sure courses taken will apply to the certificate.

The school offers undergraduate certificates in Emergency Management and Homeland Security, The Application of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and U.S. National Intelligence Studies. Courses in emergency management are foundational courses for careers in emergency management and are useful for students entering careers in the management of business, government, and non-profit organizations. For more information on specific certificate programs, please visit the Emergency Management website here.

Both degree-seeking and non-degree students are eligible for the undergraduate certificates. Please contact the school for further details.