Undergraduate Certificate Requirements

Eligibility

All UMass Amherst undergraduate students majoring in any field are eligible to enroll in the certificate program prior to the add/drop deadline of the first semester of their senior year. Undergraduate students who have been accepted for a special program at UMass — such as Continuing and Professional Education; University Without Walls; Inquiry Program; and Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration — are also eligible to enroll in the certificate program prior to the add/drop deadline of the first semester of their senior year.

Requirements

Students must successfully complete eight courses (24 credits) with an average grade of B or better (no pass/fail allowed). Of these eight courses, three are required and the student chooses the remaining five electives with the approval of a faculty advisor. Students must also submit a one-page proposal describing their policy concentration and course plan.

Three required courses

Students must take one course from each of the following areas: 

Introductory Microeconomics (or higher level by advisor permission)

Econ 103 Introduction to Microeconomics
Res Econ 102 Introduction to Resource Economics 

Public Policy or Administration 

PubP&A 190A Water, Oil, and Blood:  The Middle East in Global Policy
PubP&A 195C Transforming Your World:  Introduction to Community Engagement
PubP&A 197A Controversies in Public Policy (cross-listed with Polisci 181)
Polisci 280 Public Policy
Polisci 220 Public Administration 

Introductory Statistics (or higher level by advisor permission) 

Psych 240 Statistics in Psychology
Res Econ 211 Introductory Statistics for the Life Sciences
Res Econ 212 Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences
Sociol 212 Elementary Statistics
Stats 111 Elementary Statistics
Stats 140 Introduction to Statistics
Anthro 481 Research Methods

Five electives 

  • Elective courses are chosen by the student with the consent of the faculty advisor.
  • All five elective courses must be at the 200 level or above. Three courses must be at the 300 level or above, unless the student receives approval from his or her faculty advisor.
  • With the exception of PubP&A courses, no more than two courses from the same department will apply as electives for the certificate. For the purposes of this certificate, economics and resource economics are considered one department.

One-page proposal

Prior to the start of his or her senior year, the student must submit a one-page proposal to the faculty advisor outlining both the policy concentration the student would like to pursue and how the five elective policy courses will meet this objective. A sample proposal is available here.

Steps for Students to Complete a Certificate in Public Policy and Administration

  1. Select a faculty advisor from the list of SPP faculty advisors, and discuss your plan with her/him.
  2. Complete a one-page proposal describing your interests in the policy concentration you wish to pursue. You should also outline the five policy electives you plan to take and discuss how they will help you reach your educational goals.
  3. Fill out the application and have it approved and signed by your faculty advisor. Deliver the completed form to SPP for approval and signature. SPP will notify you of your acceptance into the program and forward a copy of the signed form to your faculty advisor.
  4. During the second semester of your senior year, after you have completed the requirements, fill out the Certificate Requirements Checklist. If you took different courses than those on your application, you are required to have your faculty advisor sign the form before submitting it to SPP. If no changes have been made, you can submit the form directly to SPP.