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PFM Graduate Certificate FAQs

July 8 Friday 10:30 AM

The Martin School is thrilled to announce we are accepting applications for our NEW Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management! This 12-hour program is offered entirely online! The Martin School has been among the top graduate programs in the nation in public financial management, and we look forward to connecting working professionals around the country with our top-notch curriculum and faculty.

If you are interested in applying, don’t wait! We are only accepting applications until August 19 for fall enrollment. You can read more about the program requirements and how to apply here.


What is a graduate certificate?

While not a full degree program, a graduate certificate offers the student a focused look through graduate-level coursework in a particular specialty topic, setting him or her apart as a burgeoning expert. There are various flavors of graduate certificates—some complement a Master’s degree or professional degree, for example. The Martin School’s Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management is an independent, stand-alone program. It is not a Master’s degree, but indicates to employers that a professional has had a structured, rigorous introduction to principles of public financial management.


Who is this program intended for?

This program is intended for the working professional who may have a few years’ experience in government, non-profit management, or even public sector-adjacent work—perhaps at a private enterprise that has a high level of touch with the public financial management process. Students that would benefit from developing expertise and skills in budgeting, debt management, investment strategy, cash management, accounting, and financial auditing to take the next step in their careers are ideal candidates.


What does a typical class look like?

As a graduate-level program, each class is as rigorous as our in-person courses for degree-seeking students. However, as an online certificate, students should be able to maintain their full-time work and complete coursework at times that are convenient for them. It’s important to emphasize that this is an asynchronous program, meaning there will be due dates throughout a module—our faculty will expect you to have class assignments or prep work to complete every week. A typical class will be 8 weeks long, so students are only taking one course at any given time. The four courses making up the graduate certificate span two semesters, so the program can be completed in one academic year. On a given week, students may interact with their classmates in a forum discussion, read graduate-level material, work on case studies, and submit assignments. Professors will outline expectations and assignments at the outset.

New Program Offering: Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

July 1 Friday 03:58 PM

We are pleased to announce we will be offering a new, completely online Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management (PFM) program at the Martin School! Professionals across the world can now engage with one of the top programs in the country for public financial management. You can read more about the program offerings here. In the coming days, we will publish a blog post with FAQs about this brand-new, unique offering. Below are a few important highlights!


Who is this program for?

This program is designed for working professionals interested in deepening their understanding and command of public financial management. We expect public servants and those working in "public-adjacent" businesses with a few years' experience under their belts will find this program especially relevant. Since all classes are completed online, students can maintain their current positions while completing coursework along the way.


I am interested! How do I apply?

If you are interested, don't hesitate! The first cohort will begin this fall. Applications are due August 19. The good news is you don't need recommendations or a GRE-- learn more about the application process here. We look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to contact Katie Sanders ( with questions.

Lyons Award Winner Announced

April 25 Monday 07:06 PM

In conjunction with the department of Political Science, we are excited to announce the recipient of the Lyons Award-- Professor Allison Connelly, the James and Mary T. Lassiter Clinical Professor in the College of Law. She will be honored this coming Wednesday at 3 pm on the 18th floor of POT, with a reception to follow. We invite you to celebrate Professor Connelly's contributions to the University and the community!

Read more about Professor Connelly at UK Now.

Capstone Schedule

April 19 Tuesday 03:10 PM

Students and friends! If you are interested in watching our Capstone cohort defend their projects, join us on Thursday! Below is the schedule.

Capstone Defense Schedule - April 21, 2016

Political Polling in Transition: Event Recap

April 15 Friday 10:22 AM

This election season can be described a lot of ways, but “boring” is not one of them. Watching the news, it seems that pundits agree there are some unusual things happening-- can we trust conventional polling methods, strategy, and political wisdom to make sense of it all?

This past Wednesday, the Martin School and the Department of Political Science hosted an expert panel featuring Dr. Stephen Voss, Celinda Lake, and Robert Blizzard. Dr. Voss is a political science professor here at UK, and Celinda and Robert are both prominent political strategists that often work on opposite sides of the aisle. Their discussion was engaging, extremely relevant, and informative.

Dr. Voss framed the conversation by looking at recent Kentucky elections to highlight the large margins by which public political polling has gotten it wrong. Methods haven’t changed, but something about the climate has changed. Robert Blizzard, having worked for a firm that has used private polling to advise hundreds of candidates, highlighted ways public polling could be better, focusing on how constructing a sample might be improved.

Both political strategists agreed that voters are not in a happy place-- a majority of Americans have felt we as a nation have been on the wrong track for more than a decade, the longest negative streak ever seen. Celinda took a closer look at how the population has changed and the ways messaging is informed by polling. The nation is not only becoming more diverse, but also family dynamics are also changing. Lake felt that no one was paying enough attention to the fact that almost a majority of mothers today are single moms, for example.

We’re a bit biased (and very nerdy), but what an enjoyable discussion! We cannot thank the Board of Visitors, and especially Mike Ruehling, Brad Cowgill, and Crit Luallen for arranging to have such interesting and entertaining speakers and agreeing to moderate the discussion.