The George Washington University

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Budget & Public Finance


Phillips Hall, Room 107, 801 22nd Street, N.W.

Funger Hall, Suite 301


Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Budget & Public Finance

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The certificate in budgeting and public finance provides course work in the theoretical and practical foundations of public budgeting and in the formulation and evaluation of public budgets, as well as the complex choices of economic reasoning in response to resource allocation in the process of formulating and implementing public budgets. The courses in the certificate provide a background in budget policy and process, characteristics of public revenue and expenditure, and governmental accounting and financial reporting. This certificate is particularly suited for those who are, or envision becoming, budget analysts or financial management officers in public agencies at any level of government. Certificate students enroll in regular courses of the Trachtenberg School and earn graduate credit. Regular graduate tuition and fees apply. The Budget and Public Finance Certificate program is available at the George Washington University's main campus in downtown Washington, D.C. It is not available as a distance learning program. Courses and Requirements Required Courses: 12 credits (four courses): PPPA 6005 Public Budgeting, Revenue, and Expenditure Analysis (3) Survey course that focuses on the institutions and analytical tools associated with raising revenue and allocating/managing resources at all levels of government. Hands-on budgeting skills and communication of analysis to decision makers. Prerequisite: PPPA 6003. (Spring) Plus three courses selected from PPPA 6048 Financing State and Local Government (3) Analysis of the theory and practice of public finance in state and local governments. Includes the financing of services through municipal taxation, intergovernmental funds, debt instruments, and other revenue sources. Review of expenditures as well as financial management practices. (Spring) PPPA 6051 Governmental Budgeting (3) Survey of the actors, institutions, and processes in the federal budgeting system. Executive budget preparation/execution, legislative review and approval of budget requirements, and independent audit of government spending. (Fall) PPPA 6053 Financial Management in the Public Sector (3) Intensive analysis, using the case study approach, of concepts and principles used in the not-for-profit sector for financial management purposes. Disciplines of accounting, budgeting, operations control, management, and auditing are integrated into comprehensive management control systems and include issues of system design and implementation. (Spring) PPPA 6054 Issues in Federal Budgeting or PPPA 6052 Tax Policy Analysis (3) PPPA 6055 Contracting Out and Public–Private Partnerships (3) Contracting out and public–private partnerships as methods of delivering government goods and services. Policy and implementation issues, including when and how contracting out may provide a more efficient and effective method of delivering government goods and services. Admissions to the Certificate Program Students applying to the Certificate Program do not need to submit a GRE score. Otherwise, applicants are required to meet the admission standards for admission to the Masters of Public Administration or Masters of Public Policy degree program. Relations to the Masters Programs If certificate students decide to apply to the MPA or MPP degree program, they must meet the admissions requirements of the program, including GRE requirements. Up to 9 credits of their certificate coursework taken prior to admission to a degree program will be accepted in the master’s program within two years of completing the course and if a grade of B or better has been earned in the course. Certificate students who think they may wish to apply their entire certificate courses toward a degree (that is, all 12 credits) thus need to apply and gain admission to the degree program before registering for their fourth course. For further information, contact our admissions team at


Middle States Accredited

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans and alternative loans to graduate students seeking to finance their graduate educations.

Locale: Large City

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