Online Public Policy Certificate

Professionals at a computer working.
Versatile Certificate | 9 Credits | Compact Curriculum

Earn a Practical Certificate in Only Two Semesters.

Compact curriculum, versatile skills, diverse career options. When you study public policy online, you'll take three fundamental courses to develop relevant skills and policy expertise, which will prepare you for professional careers as policy analysts and leaders in public service.

While earning this online public policy certificate, you'll develop several valuable, real-world skills, such as the following:

  • identifying public policy issues and conducting professional analyses of social, political, and economic structures as well as bureaucratic processes
  • applying concepts and measures of efficiency, equity, and adequacy to the evaluation of government policies
  • anticipating challenges, developing mitigation strategies, and applying policy learning to real-world issues
  • diagnosing problems and developing feasible solutions to policy problems through the application of techniques, theories, frameworks, research methods, and quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • developing expertise in the analysis, development, approval, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in the following areas: all levels of government, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations

What are the Career Options for Those Studying Public Policy Online?

Our online certificate will make you a versatile problem-solver, an adept researcher, and a creative, yet critical thinker. With your expertise, you will be able to take on public policy roles in several workplaces. But here is the short list.

  • Government careers/positions in public policy analysis, program development and management, budget analysis, public relations, and communications
  • Political careers/positions as legislators, campaign managers, legislative analysts, public relations managers, and communications directors.
  • Private sector careers/positions in government affairs/relations, communications, community affairs, and regulatory affairs
  • Nonprofit careers/positions doing advocacy work, policy research; serving on a government relations team; leading a nonprofit; or even founding your own nonprofit or non-governmental organization.

What is Public Policy?

What Courses Will You Take?

You will enroll in three fundamental courses required by all public policy experts: The Policy Process, Public Management, and Policy Analysis.



Diagram of the policy cycle.

Three Required Courses

The Policy Process (SS5301)

Analyze institutions, ideas, problem definitions, and agenda-setting in the policy process, models of decision making, policy implementation and evaluation, and evidence-based policy making.

Public Management (SS5318)

Examine such topics as program implementation and delivery, strategic management in the public sector, risk management, stakeholder engagement, public sector ethics, public performance metrics, legal authority, public sector reform, and public budget management.

Policy Analysis (SS5350)

Study cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, risk assessment, and policy options analysis.   

"I am pursuing the certificate in Public Policy online in order to build expertise in stakeholder engagement and in understanding institutions in order to advance my future career goals in natural resources management."Zachary Hough Solomon

Why Earn A Public Policy Certificate Online?

Flexibility: Fit in our fully online curriculum around your schedule and other obligations. Learn without stepping too far away from your current job. Complete your certificate in two semesters or accelerate your learning and complete it in only one. The choice is yours.

Versatility: Use this certificate to enter the public policy career of your choice. Or build a bridge to further graduate work, whether it is in policy, law, or communications. Alternatively, transfer this coursework into any social sciences graduate program at Michigan Tech after formal admission per University transfer policies.

Credibility: Michigan Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and widely respected by government entities (federal, state, and municipal), nonprofits, and businesses across many industries, including automotive, consulting, entertainment, infrastructure, technology, and manufacturing. Our university creates leaders, innovators, and problem solvers. With this certificate, you could be one of them.

Get Started on Your Online Public Policy Certificate.

Take the next step on your journey at Michigan Tech. We are here to answer your questions and to help you get started on your online program.