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Graduate Certificate Program in Public Administration and Leadership

Prepare yourself for a leadership role at public and community-based justice organizations with this flexible and affordable 12-credit online program.

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Become a Leader in Your Community

With UMass Lowell's online Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership, you will develop the communication, analytical and management skills you need to lead with confidence. This program places a special emphasis on regional and state government, preparing you to analyze social problems and tackle community issues at a local level.

Offered by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, this program has been designed specifically for those who currently work — or those who aim to work — at justice-related organizations in the public sector such as law enforcement, social service agencies and the court system.

This program is ideal for managers seeking to expand their leadership skills, staff members who are preparing to move into management roles, those looking to gain a management-oriented credential who hold an existing master's degree in relevant fields (such as criminal justice or social work), and prospective master of public administration students who want to earn an intermediate credential on the way to their graduate degree.

Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
—U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019

Increase your career opportunities and deepen your professional knowledge of a diverse range of topics including:

  • theoretical and practical aspects of public administration
  • effective change strategies for criminal justice agencies
  • the structure and sources of government revenue
  • budgeting as a tool for performance management and accountability to the public
  • the use of analytic tools in understanding public policy problems and questions
  • leadership within public and community-serving organizations
  • the role of the criminal justice manager in the adult and juvenile justice systems

UMass Lowell's College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences offers a supportive and challenging learning experience. Our programs give students the skills and knowledge they need to assume leadership roles in areas such as business, research, education, government and community organizations.

One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

Courses for this graduate certificate program are aligned with UMass Lowell's Master's in Public Administration curriculum, which means this program can serve as both a standalone certificate and as a pathway into the master's program. Certificate holders who earn a GPA of 3.5 and above in the Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership program can apply for a GRE waiver when applying to the master's degree program.

Curriculum Outline

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs through UMass Lowell must complete all courses indicated in the curriculum outline. Students may complete the certificate program at their own pace by registering for and successfully completing one or more courses each semester, depending upon his/her personal time constraints. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet 10 to 14 weeks each semester during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Academic Calendar for details). Online students generally log into their online course website one or more times per week to retrieve lectures and assignments or to participate in a chat session. Online students should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week engaged in course-related activities for each course. For more information on online courses, visit our online program home page .

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form. Please submit your completed form to: UMass Lowell Registrar's Office, 220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854-5129. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to thesolutioncenter@uml.edu.

Course Descriptions

A range of criminal justice management issues are addressed, including organizational structure, purpose, rewards and relationships, leadership and management styles, and the development of effective change strategies by criminal justice agencies. The complex role of the criminal justice manager in both the adult and juvenile justice system is emphasized. 3 credits.
This course is a rigorous introduction to statistical inference: probability theory, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests. The course also covers regression analysis, which is developed in a non-technical way, with an emphasis on interpretation of regression results, using examples from recent research. 3 credits.
This course provides an introduction to the field of public administration, including both its theoretical and practical dimensions. Beyond exploring the history and evolution of the field, the course will examine the contours of the public sector, the workings of public institutions and bureaucracies, and the ways in which analytic tools can be applied to understand public policy problems and questions. 3 credits.
This course provides students with a conceptual and practical introduction to budgeting and financial management in the public sector. It examines the relationship between the budget and agency strategy, reviews the mechanics of the public budgeting process, and introduces students to the basics of financial management practice and financial analysis. It also emphasizes budgeting as a tool for performance management and accountability to the public. Topics covered in the course include an overview of the structure and sources of government revenue, the politics of the budget process, capital budgeting, intergovernmental fiscal relations, the process of budget formulation, performance-based budgeting, financial reporting, and an overview of generally accepted accounting principles. 3 credits.
This course provides students with a basic introduction to the use of quantitative methods in policy research. It is very much designed as a course in applied statistics, covering common topics such as types of variables and data, probability theory, hypothesis testing, measures of central tendency and variance, as well as tools for examining basic relationships between two variables: contingency tables, correlation and bivariate regression. Weekly homework assignments ask students to work with actual data and develop skills for quickly analyzing data, reporting the results, and using their conclusions to inform decision-making. 3 credits.

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for UMass Lowell Online & Continuing Education students is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Spring 2020 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Graduate Online and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Online, MBA in Haverhill, Master's in Information Technology, Master's in Engineering Management, and Education Courses) $575.00
Manning School of Business* Graduate Online Courses $655.00
MBA Graduate Courses in Haverhill $655.00
Master's in Information Technology and Master's in Engineering Management** Online Courses $590.00
Registration includes access to parking after 3 pm and access to Blackboard.

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business
**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term (nonrefundable) $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Graduate Degree Application $50.00

Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

Already Applied?

Check the Status of Your Application

Registration

Current students can register using SiS Self-Service. New students who have not already applied and been accepted to a program must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You can take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted to and are currently enrolled in a program.

Questions?

Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 to speak with an advisor.


Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Applying into an Online Graduate Certificate Program

UMass Lowell Graduate Certificate Programs provide knowledge and expertise that are vital in today's rapidly changing workplace. In many cases, graduate certificate courses may be applied toward a master's degree at UMass Lowell. Most graduate certificates consist of four courses, for a total of 12 graduate credits. This is a great way to earn a graduate-level credential on the way to earning your master's.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Holders of an appropriate bachelor's degree

HOW TO APPLY?

Apply online or download an application at http://www.uml.edu/grad.

Application Fee is $50.00 for all applicants. NO Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs. Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. Students who complete a graduate certificate with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better in a UMass Lowell graduate certificate program may be able to waive the GRE when applying to a related master's degree. Graduate Certificate Programs must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and with not more than one course with a grade below B. Courses completed for one certificate may not be used for other certificates. Once you have completed all of the courses required for your certificate, please complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form.

Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before they have formally applied into the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Please see our How to Apply page for additional information. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

Already Applied?

Check the Status of Your Application

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