Skip To Content

Athabasca University

University Certificate in Public Administration

Regulations effective September 1, 2016.

The University Certificate in Public Administration is designed for students who want to learn about administration at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government, as well as non profit and quasi governmental organizations. Students will take courses in such areas as communications, public finance, budgeting, economics, public policy, legal studies, human resources management, industrial relations, and indigenous studies.

Students may find this certificate useful to enter or re-enter the job market, to change careers, or for promotion in the public sector and/or non profit sector, or to provide a foundation for further studies.

Students complete the program regulations in effect at the time of their enrolment.

Program Plans

Our online program plans can assist you in selecting the courses needed to fulfill your program requirements.

Counselling Services offers an assessment website, "Mapping Your Future: Your Career and Athabasca University."

Program Structure
Total credits in the program 30
Required credits 15
Elective credits 12
Option credits 3
GOVN credits 9
Residency requirement. A minimum of 15 credits must be obtained through Athabasca University. 15
Maximum Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) credits 9

General certificate regulations

Required Courses (15 credits)

Students should register in ADMN 232, and ADMN 233 or ENGL 255 early in their program.

ADMN 232 Introduction to Management (3)
ADMN 233 Writing in Organizations

ENGL 255 Introductory Composition or other junior-level ENGL course
a statistics course e.g.
MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics

MATH 216 Computer-oriented Approach to Statistics

CMNS 308 Understanding Statistical Evidence*
*Students who plan to ladder into the BPA–GLM degree program should take CMNS 308 as one of their required courses and should ensure that their elective and option courses are at the senior level.
GOVN/POLI 301 Public Governance, the Public Sector and Corporate Power (3)
POLI 277 Introduction to Political Science I: Concepts, Structures, and Institutions

POLI 278 Introduction to Political Science II: Political Processes and Behavior

ECON 247 Microeconomics

ECON 248 Macroeconomics

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Select four courses from the following list:

COMM 243 Interpersonal Communication (3)
CMNS 380 Corporate Communication

COMM 277 Group Communication
CRJS/LGST 377 Issues in Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (3)
ECON 247 Microeconomics*
*If not taken as a required course
ECON 248 Macroeconomics*
*If not taken as a required course
GOVN All courses  
HADM 339 Organization of the Canadian Health Care System (3)
HRMT All courses  
IDRL All courses  
INST 377 Topics in Aboriginal Governments (3)
INST 430 Indigenous Governance (3)
LGST 331 Administrative Law

GLST/GOVN/POLI 440 Global Governance and Law

INST 426 Aboriginal Government and Law (3)
ORGB 326 Organization Theory

ORGB 364 Organizational Behaviour
PHIL 333 Professional Ethics  
POLI 277 Introduction to Political Science I: Concepts, Structures, and Institutions (3)
POLI 278 Introduction to Political Science II: Political Processes and Political Behavior (3)
POLI 309 Canadian Government and Politics (3)
POLI 390 Canadian Federalism (3)
POEC 393 Canada and the Global Political Economy

POLI 383 Canadian Political Economy in the Global Era


Option Courses (3 credits)

Choose any Athabasca University course. Students wanting to take LGST 331 should take the prerequisite LGST 369 as their option course. Students with advanced analytical and writing skills may wish to consider taking a 400-level GOVN course.



Students cannot use the same course to satisfy both a required and an elective course requirement.

Students in public administration who wish to pursue employment in the federal civil service or foreign affairs are strongly advised to take French as their option. Students interested in governance capacity-building for indigenous communities should take Indigenous language courses.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated June 28 2016 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.