Jul 13, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Policy Certificate

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The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy is an 18-credit hour program offered fully online by the College of Public Service. It equips students interested in public sector work or policy advocacy with theoretical and skill-based understanding of the policy process. A part-time student can complete certificate requirements within twelve months, and the program is designed to fit within an existing Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree to accommodate those students who may wish to enroll in and complete that degree program.


All applicants to graduate programs in the College of Public Service must also consult the Graduate School policies detailed at the beginning of the Graduate Catalog, which pertains to all TSU graduate students. All students are expected to be familiar with and to adhere to both Graduate School policies and specific departmental requirements for their degree and/or graduate certificate. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate courses taken at Tennessee State University is required for successful completion of graduate certificates or graduate degree programs; individual programs may also have more restrictive policies as detailed in their Catalog section (for example, C grades in core courses are not accepted for the Ph.D. in public administration). We abide by Graduate School policies including those regarding retention, probation, suspension, and time limitations for degrees (see the front matter of this Catalog). Per Graduate School policy, a given course in our programs may be repeated one time only, and the second grade will replace the first. A student may repeat a maximum of two (2) courses in a given program for the purpose of improving grades.

Admission Process

To be considered for admission, applicants for the Graduate Certificate must provide: (1) a completed Application for Admission to the Graduate School; (2) application fee; (3) one official transcript of undergraduate work showing the award of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university showing at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. The admission decision will be based on the entire academic and professional record after the conditions specified here have been met. Applicants will be granted unconditional admission if the overall record (based on the above variables) indicates a high potential for success in the program. The graduate certificate is not a degree, and certificate completers do not walk at Commencement ceremonies unless they are completing a degree program at the same time. Students admitted to the certificate program who wish to apply their certificate credits toward completion of the MPA degree must also apply for the MPA degree, meet all MPA admission standards, and be admitted.


Each student will be assigned an advisor upon official admission; advisors are listed by program responsibility on the department website. Students should consult with their advisors prior to registering for classes in each term of enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the advisor when consultation is needed.


Individuals pursuing the certificate only must take all six courses. Unconditionally admitted MPA students must complete PADM 6450 (Decision Tools), PADM 6390, and PADM 6430 as their MPA electives in order to obtain the Public Policy certificate, along with the MPA degree. The Certificate will not be awarded before the successful completion of the MPA in this case.

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