If you work in local government or if you are a graduate student pursuing a public service-related degree, Ball State University has a graduate certificate that should be on your radar: a certificate in public administration.

This 12-credit program provides you with an understanding of public policy and the principles of management and administration in the public sector. With the public administration certificate, you will be on your way to fulfilling managerial and supervisory responsibilities in a public agency or nonprofit organization.

This is a blended program that uses a combination of online and on-site courses. An executive blended format allows Indianapolis-area professionals to complete the majority of the coursework online and to meet face-to-face once each month at Ball State's center in Fishers, Indiana. In addition, courses are also offered on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana.

Academic Advisor

Charles Taylor, PhD
Department of Political Science

As a public employee, you need to upgrade your management and administrative skills to keep pace with the job market—and successfully navigate the financial stresses in government. And you need a credential to document your mastery of advanced management training.

Certificate course work is drawn from the core requirements of our master of public administration degree, so completing the four-course certificate can be a first step toward pursuing the Ball State master of public administration degree.

If you are pursuing a Ball State graduate degree that is preparing you for the public or nonprofit sector, the certificate in public administration can provide you with the administrative skills and knowledge needed to complement your work in related disciplines. 

If you are already working on another master’s program at Ball State, the graduate certificate in public administration will complement your work in a number of related disciplines, such as:

One of the unique resources of public administration education at Ball State is the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, which is affiliated with Ball State’s Department of Political Science

The Bowen Center is a gateway for people who want to get involved with their communities and provides professional development training for local government officials. 

Its nationally accredited Indiana Certified Public Manager Program is the only management training in Indiana designed for government managers. The Bowen Center may be a resource for you if you are pursuing the certificate.

Ready to Apply?

For the 12-credit graduate level certificate in public administration, you will choose from four of the six courses that form the master of public administration core. One course will be offered each semester. Courses do not need to be taken in a particular order.

The following courses are 3 credits each. You will need to take four. Course rotation is as follows:

Fall Courses

Main campus — Muncie, IN

  • POLS 650 Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Administration
  • POLS 652 Managing Human Resources for Public Service

Ball State Fishers Center for Academic and Economic Innovation — Fishers, IN

  • POLS 648 Policy Design and Advocacy
  • POLS 651 Managing Organizations for Public Service

Spring Courses

Main campus — Muncie, IN

  • POLS 648 Policy Design and Advocacy
  • POLS 651 Managing Organizations for Public Service

Ball State Fishers Center for Academic and Economic Innovation — Fishers, IN

  • POLS 650 Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Administration
  • POLS 652 Managing Human Resources for Public Service

Summer Courses


  • POLS 653 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management

Ready to Apply?

Your first step in taking program courses is to apply and meet the admission requirements of the Ball State Graduate School.

Next Steps

  • Once you submit all of your application materials and if you are accepted into this program, you will be sent information about how to register for courses.
  • You will also be sent information about paying for your courses.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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