Undergraduate Certificate

SPP's undergraduate certificate allows UMass Amherst undergraduate students to complement their majors with an eight-course sequence in public policy and administration. All of the courses selected can also apply toward the student's major or distributional requirements.

The certificate helps position undergraduates to pursue graduate education in a policy-related field, such as government administration, law, public health, public policy or sociology. It also helps prepare undergraduates for careers related to government, public services, consulting and nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad.

What is public policy and administration?

Public policy and administration refers to the work of both government and the broader structure — including nonprofits, community members, the press, the business community, etc. — involved in how community, or “public,” decisions are made.


Students pursuing a certificate in public policy can be from any major. The certificate requires:

  • Three courses, one each in economics; public policy and administration; and statistics.
  • Five electives that can be from any UMass department.
  • A one-page proposal outlining both the policy concentration the student would like to pursue and how the five elective policy courses will meet this objective.

As stated above, all of the courses selected for the certificate can also be used toward the student's major or distributional requirements. Working with a faculty advisor, students custom design a course sequence and policy focus according to their specific interests. Some examples of a certificate focus include education policy, environmental policy, health policy, international aid, science and technology policy, and social welfare policy.

Faculty Advisors

For More Information

Contact  Satu Zoller
(413) 545-2714