Certificate in Regulatory Policy and Practice

­­­­The Certificate in Regulatory Policy and Practice explores the multi-layered ­­world of regulatory policy, practice, and theory. Through comprehensive coursework, students will:

  • Examine the approaches by which regulatory agencies develop and implement policy, including rulemaking, adjudication, and enforcement;
  • Explore the political landscape in which regulations are developed and implemented in different regulatory contexts;
  • Study the mechanisms by which advocates and stakeholders sway the regulatory process;
  • Develop the analytical tools necessary for identifying and measuring the likely effects of alternative regulatory approaches;
  • Investigate the justifications—legal, economic, social, environmental, and other—for regulatory intervention in particular policy contexts.

This certificate is ideally suited for those interested in formulating regulatory policy as policy analysts in the executive and legislative branches at any level of government or influencing regulatory matters in the non-profit or private sectors. Some students in the program seek to expand their knowledge without wishing to commit to a master’s degree program. Others can use it as a springboard for other degree programs, especially the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP).

Certificate Benefits


Expand Your Knowledge

The Certificate in Regulatory Policy and Practice curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of central concepts critical to be able to contribute to the creation of regulatory policy and participate effectively in the regulatory process.


Customize Your Studies

Students can combine the required coursework with elective courses from other George Washington University schools and departments. (Regular graduate tuition and fees apply.)


Experience D.C.

Students enjoy all of the benefits of a campus located in downtown Washington, D.C. They are trained in the heart of the nation’s capital, where regulatory policy is debated, formed, and implemented.


Admissions Requirements

Students applying to the Certificate in Regulatory Policy and Practice program do not need to submit a GRE score. Applicants are required to meet the standards for admission to the MPA and MPP degree programs. For complete admissions requirements, visit the GW Bulletin.

Relationship with Master’s Programs

If students begin the certificate and decide to apply to either the MPA, MPP or Master of Arts in Environmental Resource Policy degree program, they must apply by the posted deadline and meet the admissions requirements of the associated program. Up to nine credits of 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 was earned. If students would like to have all 12 credits apply toward a degree, they need to apply and gain admission to the degree program before registering for their fourth course.

Course Requirements

Certificate students enroll in regular courses of the Trachtenberg School as well as other graduate programs around GW and earn graduate credit.

The certificate features three required courses and the selection of an additional elective course in a particular policy area. The additional elective can alternatively be used to enroll in a course to develop a deeper understanding of the political landscape surrounding the regulatory process.

The general requirements are detailed under the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs section of the University Bulletin.

The following requirements must be fulfilled, which reflect a combination of nine credits in required courses and three credits satisfied by an elective course. The below list of electives provides some possibilities and is not meant to be exhaustive. Students are welcome to take another graduate-level GW course with Certificate advisor approval.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits, including 9 credits in required courses and one 3-credit elective course.
PPPA 6056Regulatory Comment Clinic
PPPA 6075Law and the Public Administrator
And one course selected from the following:
PPPA 6003Economics for Public Decision Making
or PPPA 6014 Microeconomics for Public Policy II
or PPPA 6015 Benefit-Cost Analysis
One course selected from the list below. Other courses can be approved at the discretion of the advisor.
PPPA 6015Benefit-Cost Analysis (if not taken as a required course)
PPPA 6061Banking and Financial Institutions Policy
PPPA 6066U.S. Environmental Policy
PPPA 6069Science and U.S. Public Policy
PPPA 6072Legislative Management and Congress