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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 UMass Lowell's online Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership.

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Online Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership

Develop the communication, analytical and management skills you need to lead with UMass Lowell's online Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Leadership. 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.

This four-course program is offered by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, and is intended for those who currently work, or aim to work, at justice-related organizations in the public sector such as law enforcement, social service agencies and the court system.

The Public Administration certificate 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 and Public Administration graduate students who want to earn a credential on the way to their degree.

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Complete in 9 Months

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One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

Career Outlook

3.48M
Jobs (2020)
+19.4%
% Change (2020-2021)
99.6K/yr
Median Earnings
659,727
Annual Openings
Source: Lightcast, 2022
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

Key Takeaways

Deepen your knowledge of a 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

One Success Leads to Another

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

Curriculum Outline

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.

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 throughout the year during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see 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. Students must submit their clearance form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.

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 all undergraduate courses offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition for all online graduate courses is also 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 2023 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*

Graduate

Online $585 $1,755
Online Business** $655 $1,965
Online IT and Engineering*** $600 $1,800
Online Education $470 $1,410
Graduate Online Education Courses in the Ed.D. and Ph.D.**** $495 $1,485
On Campus View Here View Here
*If the number of contact hours exceeds the number of credits, tuition is calculated by multiplying by the total number of contact hours.
**Applies to ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST and POMS courses.
***Applies to CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS and MSIT courses.
****Applies to graduate online education courses in the Ed.D. and Ph.D.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Late Fee $50
Graduate Degree and Certificate Application $50

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

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Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

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

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?

Learn more about specific application requirements for your program of interest. When you're ready, you can apply online or download an application at http://www.uml.edu/grad.

There is a $50 application fee for all programs except engineering and business, for which there is a $75 application fee. 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 (3.20 or better in a graduate certificate from the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences) may be able to waive the GRE when applying to a related master's degree. Note: the GRE is not required for many master's degrees including education, criminal justice and more. 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.

For specific information regarding any of the above application materials (which may vary for some programs), please see UMass Lowell's Graduate Application Requirements at https://www.uml.edu/Grad/Process/.

Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Each application is processed — and each applicant notified — as soon as all admissions materials have been received and reviewed. For additional details, please visit https://www.uml.edu/grad/.

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. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Apply Now

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

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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