Performance Management


Effectiveness, efficiency, public accountability, and the better alignment of resources and managerial actions with organizational mission are key goals of public and nonprofit management. This certificate is designed for those individuals who wish to develop skill sets in managing performance and in fostering innovative changes to deliver greater value to the public. Managerial strategies, organizational change movement, governance thinking, and quantitative analysis are emphasized in the coursework.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.  Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director.  Students pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count towards both certificates.  Please note that the curriculum in effect until Fall 2020 is listed below.  Students may opt into the updated certificate curriculum effective Summer 2020.


Required Course:

PUAD 857 Performance Management and Governance
This course examines the practice and governance challenges of performance management and budgeting in the public sector. Topics covered in this course include: a) the governance context of performance measurement and management; b) the historical and theoretical foundation of performance measurement and management; c) the global trend of performance-oriented reforms; d) the practice and politics of performance measurement and management; and e) governance and ethical issues in managing for results. LEC.
Spring 2020
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Ho, Alfred
3 58016

The 3 elective courses must be selected from the following:

PUAD 854 Innovation and Organizational Change
This course will examine theories of innovation and organizational change as applied to public organizations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the concepts of innovation in bureaucratic organizations, on the process of successful change in organizations, and on leadership and employees' roles. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Spring 2020 semester.

PUAD 858 Performance Audit
This course examines the practice of performance audit at the national, state, and local levels. Topics covered in the course include: a) the concept of performance audit and the roles of auditors in performance management; b) performance audit systems and standards at the national, state and local levels; c) performance audit methodologies and techniques; d) the establishment of audit criteria; e) the concept and practice of risk and vulnerability analysis; f) the reporting and communication of performance audit results. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Spring 2020 semester.

PUAD 853 Policy Analysis and Evaluation
This course will introduce students to the conceptual foundations and applied techniques associated with identifying, describing, and seeking solutions to public policy problems (policy analysis) and evaluating the performance of public programs and organizations (program evaluation). Basic microeconomic theory is introduced. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Spring 2020 semester.

- OR -

  PUAD 863 Program Evaluation


The certificate will be comprised of four courses (12 credit hours):

  • PUAD 854: Innovation and Organizational Change
  • PUAD 857: Performance Management and Governance
  • PUAD 858: Performance Audit

One course from the following electives:

  • PUAD 839: Data Analytics (new, hybrid class starting in Spring 2019)
  • PUAD 853: Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • PUAD 856: Managing Information and Technology

School of Public Affairs & Administration Certificate Admission

The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.  Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years).
  • At least three years of managerial experience or be already admitted to any graduate programs of KU or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution.
  • Non-native speakers of English must meet the English proficiency requirements as described here.

Current School of Public Administration and Affairs graduate students who wish to earn a graduate certificate credential in any of the certificates listed here with their Master of Public Administration degree must submit a graduate application for the specific certificate program no later than enrollment in the final course that will count toward the certificate.  Current MPA students may send this email to Cari Ann Kreienhop to receive instructions on how to expedite completion of the application.

Students in the Master of Public Administration program may opt to complete certificate course work without the credential.  Please note that no credential will be awarded without completion of the graduate application into the certificate.  Additionally, the School will prioritize course scheduling needs based on formal certificate enrollments.

Individuals who are not already enrolled as School of Public Affairs and Administration graduate students must complete an application to Graduate Studies for admission into the certificate program and submit an application fee along with the following materials:
•    A current resume.
•    A statement of interest in the graduate certificate program. This 1-2 page narrative should summarize your education, employment history, career goals, and how this certificate will bolster your professional aspirations.
•    Official transcripts of baccalaureate degree/s and any post-baccalaureate course work.

The admissions committee may request additional materials if needed to assess an applicant’s ability to be successful in the coursework.