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School of Continuing EducationGraduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership

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ODU's Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership

Gain the comprehensive knowledge tools to become a Public Sector Leader.

Governmental organizations across the globe are facing unprecedented challenges. They operate in increasingly complex environments shaped by economic uncertainty, rapid social change, technological innovation, expanded policy objectives, and growing lists of citizen expectations of what government should deliver. How do public sector organizations do more with less while creating visible ways to win and maintain the faith of their constituents? It begins with leadership.

Old Dominion University, with the input of Federal government leaders, has developed a program designed to equip public sector leaders (or potential leaders) with the tools to create disciplined, systematic approaches toward solving the management problems they often face. The Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership consists of four primary areas: Strategic Management, Contracting Principles, Financial Management, and Cybersecurity, utilizing a hybrid delivery model. Each area represents a vital skill necessary to build the cornerstones of public service: accountability, responsibility and ethics.

Advance your career, increase your potential earnings, and move ahead of the competition with ODU's Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership. Please contact us at 757-683-5650 or email us at cepd@odu.edu if you have further questions.


About the Course

What should I expect?

Courses are hosted weekly on the ODU Norfolk campus, with the option to participate as a distance learning student (online). After you have been accepted to ODU as a non-degree seeking student your course files will become available prior to the beginning of class through Canvas.

The School of Continuing Education will assist you in obtaining your MIDAS ID and other credentials required to access ODU systems.

Contact davans@odu.edu for more information.

Learning Methods:

Delivery: Live (Face to Face)

Courses are hosted consecutively on an accelerated schedule.

Blended cohort size: 20-25 personnel

Navy, federal civilian, state & local government, not-for-profit, and full-/part-time ODU students


Books and Materials are not included in the cost of the course.

Book information will become available on Canvas after admission and registration.

Apply Now!

Who should take this course? What are the pre-requisites?

As a director, you can expect that sending staff to this course will expose them to an enterprise based, "best practices," systemic approaches to executing their responsibilities.

As a public sector employee, this program was created to address identified areas of need within governmental organizations. Enhancing these skills can provide opportunities for advancement and promotion.

Candidates for the program should hold a baccalaureate degree. Student BA/BS and application for admission to ODU as a non-degree seeking student. No GMAT/GRE required.

Course Details & Schedule

This Certificate Program consists of 12 graduate credits (4 courses @ 3 credits each).

COMM 603: Social Change and Communication Systems

This course examines the role of various societal and organizational factors that interact with an organization's ability to engage with social change. Due to the accelerated nature of this class, students will explore this challenging arena in two major ways: 1) engaging with critical scholarship about the nature of change and the organization and 2) developing, in small groups, an initial project management plan prospectus for a an organizational client of their choosing.

Taught by Tim Anderson, PhD, Associate Professor Communication & Theatre Arts, Old Dominion University

CS 610: Foundations of Cybersecurity

Basics of computers, networks, internet, and wireless communication; Cybersecurity terminology; Cryptography basics Security tools—Firewalls, IDS/IPS, NAC, TLS, IPSec; Cybersecurity issues/solutions in wireless networks; Cybersecurity issues/solutions in mobile computing; Cybersecurity issues/solutions in cyber physical systems; Basics of information assurance (IA) ; Models and metrics used in IA; Security incident management and response systems; Technologies for information assurance; Organizational structure for enforcing IA; Planning and deployment of IA policies; Policies and regulations for security and policy; Legal, ethical, and social implications of security and privacy.

Taught by Ravi Mukkamala, PhD, Professor & Associate Dean Computer Science Department, Michele C. Weigle, PhD, Associate Professor Department of Computer Science, and Tamer Nadeem, PhD, Assistant Professor Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University

PPCM 726: Introduction to Public Procurement

This course provides an overview of contracting as a key category of functional activity and a viable management tool in government at any level. There is a specific focus in this course on the context and scope of contracting within the broader governmental enterprise, the evolving role of contracting in government, the phases in the contracting cycle, and how best practice contracting can be an effective difference-maker for governmental executives, managers, and all stakeholders in governmental contracting.

The course introduces the student to how properly-aligned, best-practice contracting can support the missions, visions, and goals of public organizations. Challenges and opportunities for all participants and stakeholders in the public procurement process are addressed. Special attention is given to changes currently occurring in the practice of governmental contracting.

Taught by Joshua Steinfeld, PhD, Assistant Professor Public Service, Old Dominion University

PADM 671: Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Public finance is a field of study that draws from public administration, economics, finance, and accounting. The objective of this course is to provide a foundation of the principles of public budgeting and financial management and an introduction to the skills necessary for sound management of public sector financial resources. Subjects covered are public budgeting, debt administration, and tax administration. Student participation in exercises and discussions will increase their understanding. Weekly exercises throughout the semester are geared to providing students with the opportunity to practice the topics discussed.

Taught by Meagan Jordan, PhD, Associate Professor Public Service, Old Dominion University

Public Sector Leadership: New Cohort Dates Coming Soon!

Dates: Wednesdays: 4.5 hours per week (4), ten (10) week sessions*

Catalog Number Description Instructor Start Date End Date
PPCM 726 Intro to Public Procurement Josh Steinfield
PADM 671 Public Budgeting & Financial Mgmt Meaghan Jordan
CS 610 Foundations of Cybersecurity Ravi Mukkamala
COMM 603 Strategic Communications Tim Anderson

*Course order for the master's certificate is subject to change.

Time: 12:00PM - 4:30PM (Wednesdays)

Location: Norfolk Main campus, room TBD

Contact hours: 45 per course

Admission to Old Dominion University can be done as a non-degree-seeking student where no GRE or placement tests are needed. 12 credit hours is the maximum that a student can take before admission into the College or Department of choice.

Apply as a non-degree seeking student. There is a $50 application fee.

Apply Now!

Tuition and Fees:

Review ODU Fee schedule, and add the cost of books.


Books and Materials are not included in the cost of the course. Book information will become available on Canvas after admission and registration.


To withdraw from a course you must send a request in writing to davans@odu.edu. Cancellations must be received no later the last business day two weeks prior to the first class. Refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Failure to attend a course does not constitute withdrawal.