For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Applicants who have graduate degrees in public administration or a related field, and who have taken graduate courses that duplicate the content of courses in the certificate program, may substitute other P ADM courses for those courses with the prior approval of the person in charge. Graduate transcripts, course syllabi, and course projects/term papers will be needed for this evaluation process. Some certificate courses may be used toward completion of the master's degrees in public administration and in health administration, but completion of a certificate neither implies nor guarantees acceptance into a graduate degree program at Penn State.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed — Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA and Test Scores — Successful applicants typically have a 3.0 grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions
A student may be able to transfer up to 15 non-degree P ADM credits toward their MPA degree. Students should read the Graduate School Policy GCAC-309 on Credit Transfer before putting in an application to the MPA program. Approval to transfer any credits toward the MPA degree must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the Professor-in-Charge, and the Graduate School.
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Public Budgeting Financial Management" as the certificate
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
Review the technical requirements for this program.