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Graduate Certificate in Public Policy Analysis

Hone your skills in public policy analysis with this certificate.

Graduate Certificate in Public Policy Analysis

The certificate in Public Policy Analysis from AU’s School of Public Affairs provides students with a fundamental understanding of critical tools for effective policy analysis, including formal program evaluation, benefit-cost analysis, and multivariate regression. The program combines knowledge of essential administrative functions with the skills necessary to conduct actual studies, including assessment of the need for government intervention and how to conduct research on behalf of the public at large.

A graduate certificate from the School of Public Affairs is a symbol of professional achievement widely recognized by government and corporate employers, as well as nonprofit agencies and international organizations. Classes are offered every spring, summer, and fall. This certificate program requires 18 hours of approved graduate-level course work.

This certificate requires 18 credit hours of approved coursework with at least 6 credit hours at or above the 600-level. Students may test out of Methods of Problem Solving I (PUAD-601), which would reduce their course requirement from 18 to 15 credits.

If you choose to continue your studies toward a degree, you may transfer up to 12 credit hours as long as you indicate your plans before the 12-credit threshold in the certificate program. You also may apply up to 3 hours earned at an accredited college or university as transfer credit toward a certificate.

Students must complete the coursework with grades of C or better in each certificate course. Grades lower than C are not accepted toward the fulfillment of requirements, although they will be included in the GPA calculation. Overall, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in certificate courses in order to be awarded the certificate.

To continue your eligibility, you must take at least 6 credit hours during each 12-month period, and complete the certificate within four years. International students are required to enroll in 9 credit hours each semester, except for summer.

For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or

The School of Public Affairs operates on a rolling admissions basis for our graduate programs. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis until programs reach capacity.

This certificate is open to students with a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. While previous academic or professional work in public policy, administration, or analysis is not required, your personal statement about your background, career interests, and reasons for pursuing study in the program will be essential, along with the other required application materials. The graduate certificate in Public Policy Analysis requires the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

For more information, please contact the SPA Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-6230 or