Certificate Programs

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences offers seven graduate certificate programs for both degree and non-degree seeking students. Certificate programs are a valuable component of the School’s educational mission and can be an important resource for both mid-career professionals and others seeking to advance their knowledge and expertise. The Certificates are offered in: Crime and Justice Analysis, Economic and Demographic Data Analysis, Evaluation Research, Financial Economics., Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Local Government Management, and Non-profit Management.

Graduate Certificate in City Planning

The Graduate Certificate in City Planning is a 15 credit hour Master’s level certificate. The 15 hours earned in the Certificate program will count toward the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree if the student decides to pursue the MPA.  The academic focus of the proposed certificate is the basic elements of the body of knowledge of the field of city planning. These elements include the theory and legal elements of planning, developing and implementing plans, land use management, land use law and regulation, and functional topics such as transportation and housing.   

The Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The scope and growth of this urban area create many demands for professionals whose role is to plan for and manage this urban complex. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the profession of city planning to grow by between 9%-14% by the year 2014.  The BLS further notes that, “Most new jobs for urban and regional planners will be in local government, as planners will be needed to address an array of problems associated with population growth, especially in affluent, rapidly expanding communities. For example, new housing developments require roads, sewer systems, fire stations, schools, libraries and recreation facilities that must be planned for in the midst of a consideration of budgetary constraints.”

The Certificate is intended for professionals already working in city planning in the public sector, those employed in private for-profit or governmental settings who work with planning and development projects, and students without professional experience who seek to prepare themselves for careers in city planning or local government.

The 15 hours of course offerings noted below incorporate the essential knowledge base of city planning.  Students may petition the program coordinator to include other graduate courses offered by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences as guided electives; however, courses from other institutions may not be applied to the required 15 semester credit hours. 

PA 5320 - Community Planning
PA 5330 – Basics of Development
PA 5336 – Land Use Law and Development Regulation
PA 5334- Transportation Planning
                        and either
GISC   6381 – Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals
                        or
PA 6341 – Urban Development
                        or
PA 6342 – Local Economic Development

Graduate Certificate in Crime and Justice Analysis

This program introduces students to graduate study in the field of criminology. The certificate in Crime and Justice Analysis is available to both non-degree and degree-seeking students. Professionals employed in positions within criminal justice agencies and related private organizations pursue the certificate to obtain additional education related to their jobs. Other students obtain the certificate while progressing toward a master’s or doctoral degree. This fifteen-credit hour certificate is designed to introduce students to a variety of foundation courses and the substantive areas that comprise the field of criminology.

The certificate program allows students to choose courses within four designated areas.

1. Foundation courses (3 hours):

CRIM 6300 Crime, Criminals and Societal Responses;
CRIM 6303 Etiology of Crime and Criminality;
CRIM 6311 Crime and Justice Policy.

2. Nature and Distribution of Crime courses (3 hours):

CRIM 6307 Extent of Crime and Criminals;
CRIM 6308 Victimology;
CRIM 6309 Communities and Crime;
CRIM 6324 Correlates of Crime and Justice;

3. Criminal Justice and Policy courses (3 hours):

CRIM 6305 Law and Social Control;
CRIM 6310 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice;
CRIM 6313 Corrections;
CRIM 6314 Policing;
CRIM 6317 Courts;
CRIM 6322 Crime Prevention.

4. Research Methods courses (6 hours):

All students are required to take CRIM 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics and choose one of the following:

CRIM 6332 GIS Applications in Criminology;
CRIM 6340 Qualitative Criminology.

Students can also receive credit for other courses that are relevant to one of the above substantive areas and are offered on a periodic basis. Students should consult the coordinator for the Graduate Program for additional information.

Graduate Certificate in Economic and Demographic Data Analysis

The Certificate in Economic and Demographic Data Analysis  may be acquired by graduate degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students. For the certificate, students must complete 15 graduate hours (5 courses). Students are required to take (A) POEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics and POEC 5316 Advanced Regression Analysis. (B) Students must choose at least one of the following courses: ECO 5311 Applied Econometrics or POEC 6318 Structural Equation Modeling or POEC 6344 Categorical and Limited Dependent Variables. (C) In addition, two other empirically oriented courses must be completed. Students should check with the Director of the Certificate Program or the program office for details as to the list of acceptable courses.

Students seeking the certificate who do not plan to seek a degree should (1) submit an application and (2) an undergraduate transcript. No GRE score is required. Note: (a) up to 15 hours of coursework taken as a non-degree seeking student can be applied later to a graduate degree; (b) a maximum of 6 hours may be formally transferred from another institution with the approval of the certificate director. Students with equivalent knowledge, but no formal transfer, may substitute an additional course for Descriptive and Inferential Statistics with the approval of the certificate director; (c) currently enrolled students may use up to 9 hours of courses required for their degree for the certificate.

Graduate Certificate in Evaluation Research

A graduate-level certificate program in Evaluation Research is offered jointly by the Schools of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Students who complete this program will have an opportunity to gain competencies in the design and implementation of program evaluations in fields such as education, health care, human services, criminal justice, and economic development. The Certificate in Evaluation Research program may be incorporated into graduate degree programs in the Schools of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences or Behavioral and Brain Sciences, or may be taken on its own by non-degree seeking students. Students in the Evaluation Research certificate program are normally expected to have completed undergraduate courses in social statistics and research design; students lacking appropriate preparation may be asked to take needed courses prior to admission to the program.

In order to receive the certificate, students must successfully complete three required courses and a two-semester long evaluation research project that culminates in a final report. The courses in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences leading to the Certificate in Evaluation Research are POEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics for the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, POEC 6352 Evaluation Research Methods in the Economic, Political and Policy Sciences,an elective course approved by the Evaluation Research certificate program coordinator, and POEC 6V91 Evaluation Research (six credit hours) for a total of 15 semester credit hours. With permission of the Evaluation Research program coordinator, students may substitute appropriate courses from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences or prior coursework taken at other institutions. This is discussed in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences section of the catalog.

Students interested in applying for admission to the Certificate in Evaluation Research program should consult the graduate advising office in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences or the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences offers a certificate in Geographic Information Systems for both novice and experienced GIS professionals. The certificate is available to both graduate degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students. The certificate requires 15 graduate hours (5 classes). Students must complete GISC 6381 Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals, GISC 6382 Applied GIS, GISC 6387 Geographic Information Systems Workshop, and two courses from: GISC 5313 Geospatial Data Analysis Fundamentals, GISC 5316 Regression Analysis with Spatial Applications, GISC 5317 Computer Programming for GIS, GISC 6383 GIS Management and Implementation, GISC 6384 Spatial Analysis and Modeling, GISC 6386 Urban and Environmental Applications of GIS/Remote Sensing, GISC 6388 GIS Application Software Development, GISC 7360 GIS Pattern Analysis, GISC 7361 Spatial Statistics, GISC 7362 GIS Network Modeling, GISC 7363 Internet Mapping and Information Processing, GISC 7365/GEOS 5326 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing, GISC 7366 Applied Remote Sensing, GEOS 5325/GISC 6325 Introduction to Remote Sensing, GEOS 5322 Global Positioning System Satellite Surveying Techniques, GEOS 5324 3D Data Capture and Ground Lidar.  Other courses in Geosciences, Computer Science, Management, or Economic, Political and Policy Sciences may be applied to the certificate at the discretion of the Director of the Certificate Program. All courses applied to the Certificate must  have been taken within the three year period prior to the award of the Certificate. No more than two courses can be transferred from another institution.

Students seeking the GIS certificate must have completed an undergraduate degree in some area relevant to GIS. Primary admissions requirements are (1) an application to U.T. Dallas and (2) an undergraduate transcript. Applicants for the certificate program do not need a GRE (Graduate Records Examination) score. They should apply as “non-degree-seeking” student to the Geospatial Information Sciences program. Admissions requirements are the same for students who would simply like to take one or more of the related courses without pursuing certification.

Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security

The graduate Certificate in Homeland Security is a 15-semester credit hour Master’s level certificate. The fifteen (15) semester credit hours in Homeland Security can be applied toward the Master of Public Affairs, the Master’s in Criminology or the Master’s in International Political Economy degree. Students must complete all requirements for full admission as a graduate student to apply these courses to a Master’s degree.

Strengthening the preparedness of the U.S requires a body of trained professionals in homeland security. The relative novelty of homeland security as a field of practice and study further strengthens the need for expanding the training and educational needs of both current homeland security professionals and other professionals with an interest in moving in to a career in homeland security. The certificate is directed to homeland security professionals and those aspiring to such employment in both government and business.

The certificate in Homeland Security emphasizes the strategic dynamics of prevention and response with a special emphasis on intelligence-led policing. This approach requires increased collaboration and information sharing across organizations and jurisdictions. This approach also requires information sharing across both public and private entities to move intelligence to end-user and responders in a rapid manner. Finally, intelligence led policing requires strong analytical tools and effective planning to effect successful security of the nation.

Requirements for admission to the certificate program are the same as for a non-degree seeking graduate student.

Students receiving the certificate may choose to sit for the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certificate in Emergency Management. The Homeland Security Certificate is housed in the Public Affairs program within the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

The five course (15 hour) Homeland Security Certificate requires completion of the following courses.

PA/CRIM/POEC 5355 Introduction to Homeland Security
PA/CRIM/POEC 5356 Pre-emptive Strategies and Tactics
PA/CRIM/POEC 5357 Information Sharing and Communication
PA/CRIM/POEC 5358 Social Networks and Intelligence-Led Policing
PA/CRIM/POEC 5359 Protecting Critical Resources and Infrastructure

Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences offers a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management for local government professionals and for MPA students who desire to broaden their knowledge of important issues and approaches employed by professional local public administrators.  Local governments in the United States play an important role in our democratic system.  They are the place in our democratic system where citizens have the most direct contact with elected and appointed officials on numerous issues. 

Local government managers operate in a complex legal and political environment.  They are responsible for the provision of varied services directly to citizens, such as land use planning, law enforcement, water and sewer services, and recreation.  Both the method and quality of service delivery are greatly influenced by managers who are hired by elected officials.  The management of cities and counties has become increasingly professional over the past several decades.  How the professional staff delivers services to the public within the political environment in which it works is the topic of many of the courses in this program.

Requirements for admission to the certificate program are the same as for a non-degree seeking graduate student.  Completion of fifteen (15) semester credit hours is required to attain the Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management and those hours may count toward a degree if the student completes all requirements for full admission as a graduate student. Required courses in the certificate program are PA 5343 Human Resource Management, PA 5321 Government Financial Management and Budgeting, and PA 6344 Local Government Management.  The other two courses may be selected from among courses that pertain to local government offered in the graduate programs of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.  Permission of the certificate coordinator must be obtained for the two elective courses.

Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management

Non-profit organizations constitute an increasingly significant sector of the American economy as well as an essential element in American civic life. Non-profits are found in such diverse fields as health care, education, human services, and criminal justice, as well as in cultural and civic activities. Faced with resource constraints and rising demands for accountability, non-profit organizations require professional managers with an understanding of both administrative principles and techniques and of the distinctive legal, economic, and social environment within which non-profits operate.

The Certificate in Non-profit Management is designed to provide an overview of the nature and context of non-profit organizations combined with skill-based courses to develop the competencies needed by non-profit managers. The Certificate is intended for professionals already working in the non-profit sector, those working in private for-profit or governmental settings who would like to work or volunteer in the non-profit sector, and students without professional experience who seek to prepare themselves for non-profit careers.

Completion of fifteen (15) semester credit hours are required to attain the Certificate in Non-profit Management. Requirements include three core courses and two guided electives from the list below. Students may petition the program coordinator to include other graduate courses offered by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences as guided electives. Courses from other institutions may not be applied to the required fifteen semester credit hours. 

Core Courses – Nine (9) Hours

PA 5316          Leadership in Public and Non-profit Organizations
PA 5371          Non-profit Organizations
PA 5372          Non-profit Management

Guided Electives – Six (6) Hours from the following:

PA 5315          Public Management
PA 5321          Government Financial Management and Budgeting
PA 6333          Marketing and Communications for Non-profit Organizations
PA 6335          Resource Development for Non-profit Organizations
PA 6374          Financial Management for Non-profit Organizations
PA 6375          History and Theories of the American Philanthropic Sector
PA 6376          Assessment and Outcomes for Non-profit Organizations