Public Sector Human Resources Management Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

A Graduate School application must be completed and official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted.

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

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

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

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 PADM 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, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards a graduate degree must apply and be admitted to that degree program. Admission to the M.P.A. or M.H.A. graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed.

Required Courses
PADM 505Human Resources in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors3
PADM 510Organization Behavior3
Choose 2 courses from the following list of elective courses. With the approval by the certificate coordinator, students could also choose other HR-related Penn State graduate-level courses as elective courses for this certificate.6
Organizational Change and Development
Issues in Human Resources
PADM 514
Labor Management Relations
Strategic Planning
Total Credits12


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. 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.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and apply the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage human resources in modern organizations.
  2. Explain and apply knowledge of human behavior in organizations and the role of management strategies, including leadership and motivational theory to influence behavior.
  3. Explain and apply knowledge of the critical personnel management functions, such as recruitment, selection, appraisal, compensation, training, promotion, downsizing, and collective bargaining.
  4. Analyze and appraise contemporary issues as they relate to human resources.


Campus Harrisburg
Graduate Program Head Bing Ran
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Bing Ran
Program Contact

Autumn D Wise
School of Public Affairs
777 W. Harrisburg Pike
Middletown PA 17057
(717) 948-6773

Program Website View
Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Bing Ran
Program Contact

School of Public Affairs
777 W. Harrisburg Pike
Middletown PA 17057

Program Website View