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.

Courses are offered on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana as well as an online summer course. You can earn the certificate in two years or less by attending class no more than one evening per week.

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 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.

Course Requirements

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. Courses do not need to be taken in a particular order.

For a complete list of program requirements and courses, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

Course Rotation

Fall Courses

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

Spring Courses

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

Summer Courses (Delivered Online) 

  • 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


Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

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