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Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

We have some exciting news for students interested in our online programs! We are offering scholarships in the amount of $500 for the online Graduate Certificate Program and $750 for the online Master of Public Financial Management for all students who have applied and been admitted to the programs by June 1, 2018.

"Through my studies in the Martin School's online Graduate Certificate Program in Public Financial Management, I was able to finally understand many of the different challenges that must be addressed in order to adequately account for multiple funding sources and public funds. Instructors and fellow students are always willing to answer questions and the discussion topics allow me to openly exchange ideas with my classmates.  The online format of this program allows me to work on my assignments during times that might be spent traveling back and forth to a classroom and allows me flexibility to complete the work during my travels."
- Leslie Duty, Current Student, Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management is designed for working pofessionals seeking to increase their public finance and financial management knowledge, which is a vital asset for leaders in both government and non-profit organizations. Public institutions are faced with multiple challenges as they attempt to efficiently and effectively manage their finances and initiate new programs that are financially sustainable. The Martin School is among the top graduate programs in the nation in public financial management, and is one of very few offering a Certificate of this kind.

Entirely online, this 12-credit hour program offers the same high quality experience as traditional on-campus programs with instruction provided by faculty with backgrounds and expertise in relevant areas such as public budgeting, debt management, public sector accounting and auditing from both the Martin School and the Von Allmon School of Accountancy.

Coursework is designed to engage students weekly through assignments, readings, exams, and other activities with the same level of rigor of other traditional Master programs offered by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. Students can expect a combination of self-study and student-faculty interaction over an online learning network in four sequential, 8-week modules over two semesters. Students accepted into the online program pay in-state tuition rate (per credit hour plus fees), offering in-state and out-of-state students an affordable option for a graduate certificate.

 

Tuition and Fees

The current in-state tuition rate is $648 per credit hour. For a 12-hour program, tuition then works out to be $3,888 per semester. The graduate certificate fee is $1000 per semester. More information about tution and fees can found on the Registrar's website.

 

Interested? You may complete an online application here. You will need your undergraduate GPA and transcript, a CV, and a personal statement (1-3 pages) introducing yourself and describing why you would like to attend this program.

If students enrolled in the certificate program then wish to apply to the Master of Public Financial Management Program, the requirement to submit GRE or GMAT scores may be waived if students have successfully completed 9 or more credit hours toward the ceritificate. The Director of Graduate Students shall make the recommendation for the waiver upon review of the student's performance in the Certificate Program.

 

A Comparison of the Graduate Certificate and the Master of Public Financial Management Program

The inaugural cohort of this new program offering will begin fall 2016. The following year, starting in fall 2017, the first group of Master of Financial Management students will begin their coursework. How will the Graduate Certificate compare to the MPFM program?

Also entirely online, the MPFM is a 2-year program that will prepare students for advanced-careers in public financial management and analysis, offering advanced topics in public accounting, audit, municipal securities, public pensions/insurance, and other special topics in public finance, topics not included in the MPA or MPP programs. The MPFM curriculum is inclusive of all of the Graduate Certificate coursework, plus an additional 24 credit hours, requiring a total of 36 credit hours to complete.

Prerequisites

For admission, students must meet all requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School, including a baccalureate degree from an accredited university. Unlike our other degree programs, the Graduate Certificate does not require a GRE/GMAT score. Given the nature of the program, applicants are strongly encouraged to have some experience or education in accounting, however it is not a formal prerequisite.

 

Curriculum

The certificate program consists of 4 modular courses-- Public Financial Management, Investments/Cash Management, Governmental Accounting and Financial Condition Analysis, and Governmental Auditing. More information on the sequencing and content of the each is below.

 

Fall Session 1:

PA 631

Fall Session 2:

PA 632

Spring Session 1:

PA 625

Spring Session 2:

PA 627

Public Financial Management

An analysis of budget structure and process, revenue structure, administration, public capital acquisition and debt management. This course emphasizes an applied focus and comparative analysis of alternative budget, revenue, and debt management structures and strategies.

Investments/Cash Management

A study of the management of public funds including the accumulation and investment of such funds and the accounting for those transactions. It will also include topics such cash forecasting, cash management practices and public funds investment strategies. 

Governmental Accounting and Financial Condition Analysis

Examines the characteristics of governmental and not-for-profit accounting emphasizing the various fund types and account groups, review and evaluation of presently recommended accounting and financial reporting procedures, GAAP, and an exploration of practical governmental and not-for-profit accounting practices and methods.

Governmental Auditing

Focuses on components of the governmental audit process unique to the public sector. Students will gain an understanding of the Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), types of audits, the role of audit objectives and audit evidence, the fundamentals of interviewing, the preparation of audit working papers, as well as how to interpret audit findings and elements based on qualitative and quantitative evidence and communicate those findings to non-financial audiences.