Undergraduate Certificate Program in Public Policy

What is the undergraduate certificate?

CPPA's undergraduate certificate in public policy 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 be used toward the student's major or distributional requirements.

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. For example, in a government, who decides which actions are taken or not taken? Who designs the actions, or "policies," that will be implemented? Who monitors the expected change? Who is or should be involved in the process?

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

What are the certificate's requirements?

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. It also requires five electives that can be from any UMass department. As stated above, all of the courses selected 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.

To review the full certificate requirements and procedures, please click here.

The following Certificate documents are available to view in pdf format:



Who are available faculty advisors for 2013/ 2014?

Ash, Michael (Economics/CPPA)
Badgett, Lee (CPPA/Economics)
Boutcher, Steven (Sociology/CPPA)
Brandt, Sylvia (Resource Economics/CPPA)
Bushouse, Brenda (Political Science/CPPA)
Castañeda, Mari (Communications)
Fountain, Jane (Political Science/CPPA)
Fuentes-Bautista, Martha (Communications/CPPA)
Harper, Krista (Anthropology/CPPA)
Heim, Carol (Economics)
LaRaja, Ray (Political Science)
McDermott, Katie (Education/CPPA)
Mednicoff, David (CPPA)
Misra, Joya (Sociology/CPPA)
Robinson, Dean (Political Science)
Schweik, Charlie (Environmental Conservation/CPPA)
Stamps, Paula (Public Health)
Stranlund, John (Resource Economics)
Last Updated: 3/6/14


If you have any questions about the undergraduate certificate program, please email Satu Zoller, associate director.


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