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Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

Increase your skillset in the public finance sector with this certificate.

Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

The certificate in Public Financial Management from AU’s School of Public Affairs provides students with a working knowledge of basic financial management best practices and techniques that are relevant to public sector financial operations. The program is designed for government employees who are interested in expanding their knowledge and practical skills in public financial management.

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 15 hours of approved graduate-level course work.

This certificate requires 15 credit hours of approved coursework with at least 6 credit hours at or above the 600-level. Students must take 9 credit hours of core courses in quantitative methods, economics, and budgeting and financial management, and 6 credit hours of electives selected from the course requirements list.

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 financial management or public policy or administration 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.

Except for the certificate in Public Policy Analysis, our graduate certificates do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

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