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Professional Certificates

The School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) offers two undergraduate certificates – Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law and Professional Certificate in Public Policy Analysis. The Certificates are designed to be streamlined at 24 credits each with flexibility to choose from a list of relevant courses under the PPAS course rubric.

The certificates may be completed concurrently with York undergraduate degrees or as a direct-entry program. The certificates can be completed by full-time and part-time students alike.

If you are already enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at York University, you need to apply for entry into this certificate through the School of Public Policy & Administration Office. Download the Certificate Application Form for current York students. You should have completed at least 24 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00.

For more information on the Certificates, please contact: lapssppa@yorku.ca

If you are seeking to pursue the certificate as a stand-alone program, you must apply to the Office of Admissions, York University using the online application form for future students. Admission to the stand-alone certificate program requires you to have normally completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline with minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00.

The certificates are also eligible for financial aid funding through OSAP. The cost code you must use when applying for funding is: CERTLAPS1 For complete OSAP information and to apply online, go to the government's OSAP website.

In the stand-alone certificate program you may be granted up to 6 credits of advanced standing based on their previous studies completed no later than seven years prior to entry into the certificate program. Advanced standing credits will be awarded at the discretion of the undergraduate program director at the School of Public Policy & Administration based on his or her assessment of the your academic record.

Public Administration & Law


The 24-credit certificate is a professional certificate aimed at individuals who wish to combine knowledge of public administration and law with expertise in another area demonstrated through the achievement of at least an undergraduate degree. This reflects the fact that the public sector employs individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, but their progress through the ranks typically requires an understanding of the legal and administrative aspects of government. Upon completing the certificate, you will:

  • have a working knowledge of public administration and its hierarchy
  • have an understanding of the role of law within government
  • be familiar with the legal as well as administrative workings of government
  • be able to analyze the relationship between law, politics and public administration in a critical manner.
  • possess research skills in social science research as it pertains to public law and public administration, and in basic legal research.

Certificate Requirements

Public Policy Analysis


The 24-credit Professional Certificate in Public Policy Analysis will appeal to individuals who have an interest in public policy analysis and who want their academic record to reflect the completion of a cluster of courses in public policy analysis in a formal way. Upon completing the certificate, you will be competent to perform analysis of public policies in light of the role of government in civil society through:

  • linking theory to practice
  • having an understanding of financing of public policy programs including revenue sources and the decision-making rules for the allocation of funds;
  • familiarity with the implementation of public policies through the structures of public administration;
  • knowledge of the impact of social and economic policies;
  • well-developed research and critical thinking skills;
  • practical project-based experience in some of the optional courses with an experiential education component.

Certificate Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants seeking to pursue either of the certificates as a stand-alone program must apply through the Office of Admissions, York University.

Admission to the stand-alone Certificate program requires you to have normally completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline with a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00 on the York scale or equivalent. If you are already enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at York, you need to apply for entry into this Certificate through the School of Public Policy & Administration Office. You should have completed at least 24 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00 (C+).

Note that the certificates are not open to students in the Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) - Honours, Specialized Honours, and Honours minor.

Yes, they are both eligible for financial aid funding through OSAP. The cost code you must use when applying for funding is: CERTLAPS1

For complete OSAP information and to apply online, go to the government's OSAP website.

We admit students throughout the year. If you are interested in taking courses beginning in the upcoming semesters, please note that it typically takes the Office of Admissions six weeks to process an application for external applicants. The process for current York students only takes a week or two. While waiting for admission to the Certificates, please contact the SPPA office for assistance with enrolling in courses.

Program completion depends on your pace and availability of courses. There is currently no limit to how long one wishes to take to complete the certificate. The full 24 credits can be completed in as little as eight (8) months during the Fall and Winter terms, studying full-time. Alternatively, you can choose to space out their courses and complete them part-time.

The program consists of 24 credits, which amounts to about 5-7 courses (depending on whether they are full year "6.0 credits" or half-year "3.0 credits"). It is up to you to decide how long you want to take to complete the certificate, based on your own schedule as well as when the courses are offered.

Our courses are offered both during the day and the evening. However, you may find that not all of the required courses will be offered in the evening during a given term, as the course offering day and/or time will change from term to term.

For a full listing of course offerings for any given term, please visit the York Courses Website.

Yes, it is possible to complete the Certificate while working full-time. Many courses are offered in the evening, though course availability may vary from term to term.

Graduation requirements for both Professional Certificates require a minimum cumulative grade point average of 5.00 (C+) in the certificate courses. You must also submit an Application to Graduate with a Certificate form, to be obtained from and must be returned to the School of Public Policy & Administration at 119 McLaughlin College or via email at lapssppa@yorku.ca .

Certificates will not be conferred until candidates have successfully completed an undergraduate degree program if they are simultaneously enrolled in a degree and a certificate program. This means that you must apply to graduate at the SAME TIME should you be enrolled in both a degree and certificate program concurrently, in order to receive both.

Application to Graduate with a Certificate