Certificate Program in Public Sector Human Resource Management

School of Public Affairs

The certificate program in Public Sector Human Resources Management is offered by the Master of Public Administration program at Penn State Harrisburg. The M.P.A. program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Degree Conferred: Certificate only

Who Should Enroll

The certificate is designed for administrators and other professionals in government and not-for-profit organizations who need to acquire additional knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • personnel/human resource management
  • labor relations
  • problem solving
  • planning
  • management of organizational change and development

The certificate program in Public Sector Human Resources Management requires taking four courses (12 credits) — two required and two elective courses.

Admission Requirements

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.

A Graduate School certificate application must be completed and submitted with copies of all undergraduate degree transcripts.

Successful applicants typically have a 3.0 grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work.

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 syllabus, 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.

Prescribed Courses

Public Administration (P ADM)

  • 505. Personnel Management: Public and Nonprofit Sectors (3)
    Note: MNGMT 505 may be substituted for this course
  • 510. Organizational Behavior (3)

Elective Courses

Select two:

Public Administration (P ADM)

  • 511. Organizational Change and Development (3)
  • 512. Issues in Human Resources (3)
  • 514. Public Organization and Managerial Consultation (3)
  • 515. Labor Management Relations (3)
  • 516. Strategic Planning (3)

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.