Skip to main content

Graduate Certificate in Public Policy-Ethics

The Graduate Certificate in Public Policy: Ethics Concentration is a 12 credit hour (or 4 class) certificate program for graduate students who are interested in studying public policy, philosophy, and ethics without necessarily completing the entire coursework of a Master of Public Policy degree. While earning their Public Policy and Ethics certificate, students will study diverse value perspectives that inform different public policy issues, assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different value perspectives, learn to identify the value trade-offs that invariably underlie public policy decisions, and gain a better understanding of the ethical challenges and responsibilities associated with policy research, leadership, and organization behavior.

Course Requirements

The coursework required for this certificate includes POLC 6330 Philosophy and Public Policy I and POLC 6331 Philosophy and Public Policy II and two of the following courses:

POLC 6342

Political Economy & Ethics of the Market Process


Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Seminar

POLC 6397

Special Topics in Public Policy


Research Ethics


Philosophy for Public Policy Students

BIOL 6356

Medical Ethics

LAW 6321

Professional Responsibility

LAW 6395

Race and the Law


Ethical Leadership & Critical Reason

MANA 7330

Leadership Development

MANA 7375

Global Leadership

MANA 7347

Managerial Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility


Students who are not MPP degree students may also take (but are not required to take) one of the following Hobby School introductory policy courses for credit toward their certificate:

POLC 6311 Leadership and Professional Development

POLC 6313 Policy Analysis I: Microeconomics

In addition to these specific courses, students can petition the Hobby School to include other courses. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will require the consent of the Hobby School Director of Graduate Studies and the applicable department where the course is offered.


Sample Plan

Fall, Year 1


POLC 6331: Ethics and Public Policy II.


POLC XXXX Research Ethics



Spring, Year 1


POLC 6330: Ethics and Public Policy I


POLC XXXX Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center Seminar



Total Credits




Admissions and Graduation

In order to apply for the Public Policy and Ethics graduate certificate program, students must already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for unconditional admission. Students who are already admitted to a graduate program at the University of Houston may apply for admission to this certificate program by filling out a UH Graduate School application through ApplyWeb. Students who are not currently UH graduate students must complete a UH Graduate School application and provide official transcripts of all college-level coursework, current resume, and a statement of purpose. The deadline for applying to this certificate will be the same as the MPP program.

If students wish to pursue an MPP, they will be required to submit a new application that includes all application materials that would be required for the MPP application at the time of the transfer, including the GRE and letters of recommendation. If certificate-seeking students apply and are accepted into the MPP application, the courses that they complete for the certificate will also count towards the MPP.