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Policy Analysis

Graduate Certificate

Make the most of your skills by gaining tools to advocate for realistic, effective and responsible public policy.

Certificate Overview

Public Policy — the actions of government and its partners in the nonprofit and private sectors — is the keystone of politics and public administration. The creation, adoption and implementation of public policy is a complex process that requires skills in analysis, reasoning and argumentation — what we call evidence-based policy advocacy.

Make the most of your skills by gaining tools to advocate for realistic, effective and responsible public policy.

Certificate Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis consists of 15 credit hours. Certificate students can track their progress using the Policy Analysis Course Planning Sheet.

Course Credits: (9 credits)

  • PA 507 – Public Policy Process
  • PA 509 – Applied Political Economy
  • PA 511 – Public Policy Analysis

Elective Courses: (6 credits)

  • Policy courses, approved by the Coordinator, from virtually any program at NC State. Examples include, but are not limited to, courses in history, the social sciences, natural resources, agriculture, health, business, or engineering.

Admission Info

The certificate program enrolls year-round (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) provided courses are available. Applications will be reviewed after the deadline.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring and Summer: Dec. 1

How to Apply

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last two years (last 60 credits) of undergraduate study and will submit transcripts as part of their application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not necessarily. Your academic success may have a strong bearing on admission to a degree program, but completion of a certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program. Each graduate degree program has its own application process and admission requirements. Before beginning the certificate program, students interested in obtaining a graduate degree should meet with that degree program’s Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) or a designated staff person. People interested in the MPA degree should meet with the PA Graduate Services Coordinator, Meggie Romick (

MPA students may count PA 511 towards both the MPA degree and the certificate requirements. Other certificate courses can count as electives in the MPA program. MPA students will still need to submit an application to apply to add the certificate program.

If the course is an approved graduate-level NC State statistics course, then yes! Questions about specific NC State statistics courses should be sent to Dr. Jerrell Coggburn (

Unfortunately, no. Pursuing only a graduate certificate will not provide enough credits per semester to meet the full-time course load requirement.

No. All certificate coursework must be registered for through NC State University.

Regular graduate school rates apply. You can find this information on the Graduate Student Services webpage.