Effectiveness, efficiency, public accountability, and the better alignment of resources and managerial actions with organizational mission are key goals of public and nonprofit management.  This certificate is designed for those individuals who wish to develop skill sets in managing performance and in fostering innovative changes to deliver greater value to the public.  Managerial strategies, organizational change management, governance thinking, and quantitative analysis are emphasized in the coursework.    

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.


The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.

Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years)
  • At least three years of managerial experience or be already admitted to any graduate programs of KU or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution
  • Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here.

Required application materials:

For students who do not have a master’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a graduate program, three letters of reference are required.

For more information on admission to a graduate certificate program at KU, see the policy on Admission to Graduate Study.  Applications may be submitted at http://graduate.ku.edu/ku-graduate-application.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours. 

The following 3 courses are required:

PUAD 854Innovation and Organizational Change3
PUAD 857Performance Management and Governance3
PUAD 858Performance Audit3

The last course can be one of the following or another department-approved course:

PUAD 853Policy Analysis and Evaluation3
PUAD 856Management and Information Technology3