Local Government Management

The certificate in Local Government Management provides an overview of forms, structures, functions and services of local government. The course of study emphasizes leadership skills, board administration, performance management, strategy development  and public participation. A variety of important financial management topics will be covered including: revenue forecasting, capital planning, debt issuance and management, intergovernmental and interorganizational fiscal administration, service cost analysis and management, accounting, performance and accountability.

No graduate record exam (GRE) is required for this certificate program.


In order to complete the certificate in Local Government Management, students must complete 15 credits and earn a grade of a B or better in each course. There are four required courses for all certificate students:

Students must also take 3 additional credits that focus on local government issues. Mo

Electives include:

There are also some courses outside of the Public Administration department (Sustainable Communities or Geography) that can be considered local government electives on a case by case basis. 

For the most accurate program requirements, refer to the course bulletin.

Students pursuing the Nonprofit or Local Government certificate must compile a portfolio that includes samples of work which represent knowledge and skills specific to their certificate and which they believe best demonstrate their grasp of the core competencies identified for each certificate program. The portfolio is required for all students entering the program in fall 2014 and beyond; the portfolio is optional for students who entered the program earlier than that date. A list of competencies and assessment tools for each certificate is provided in Appendix E of the Student Handbook. Students must submit their portfolios by the last day of classes of their final semester in the program. While all certificate students must submit a portfolio to graduate, assessment of portfolios will not affect students' graduation. Members of the MPA Advisory Board will assess portfolios periodically. Assessments will be shared with the students after graduation and will be used on an aggregate level to inform program improvements within certificate programs.

Admission Requirements

If you wish to pursue a certificate in conjunction with your MPA, fill out the Add-on Certificate Application.

To be admitted into the certificate program, if a student is not already enrolled in the MPA program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  2. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0

The application process requires students to submit the following materials:

  1. The online Graduate School application
  2. Transcripts from your undergraduate institution
  3. A current resume
  4. A letter of recommendation from a professor or professional colleague (such as a supervisor or executive director of a nonprofit organization) who can evaluate your suitability for the certificate program.
  5. A 1-2 page personal statement that addresses why you are interested in the program.

These materials will be reviewed in total to assess whether applicants bring the necessary skills and experiences to succeed in the program.

If students are interested in completing two specializations or certificates, a minimum of 51 total credits must be completed. If a student is interested in completing three specializations or certificates, a minimum of 60 total credits must be completed. Credits cannot be “double counted” for more than one specialization or certificate.

To discuss the certificate further, contact Brianna King Richetti at bking@binghamton.edu or 607-777-2719.