Checking In on the New Budget & Public Finance Certificate

By Katherine Wikrent, MPP ‘16
May 22, 2015

At the end of its first year, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration’s Certificate in Budget and Public Finance received a positive grade from faculty and participants.

The certificate program, which allows students to learn about budget policy and public expenditures while they hone critical skills in accounting and finance reporting, has been lauded by its first participants for its practical application.

Charles Vinsonhaler, a current student in the certificate program and an executive aid in law development, said that his academic experiences through the program have made him more knowledgeable about the policies he interacted with on a daily basis.

“The certificate courses encouraged me to more thoroughly analyze policies and programs,” Vinsonhaler said. “The instructors make classes relevant to current events and allow me to use academic knowledge in everyday situations.”

The certificate consists of 12 credits, nine of which can be chosen among an approved list according to an individual’s interests. Electives include courses in financial management in the public sector, tax policy analysis and public-private partnerships. 

Students have cited the wide range of course offerings and flexibility to set their own courses of study as some of the greatest benefits of their certificate experiences. Certificate students also have the benefit of transferring coursework toward the MPA or MPP program at the Trachtenberg School within two years of completing the certificate.

Prospective students interested in learning more about the certificate are encouraged to email its director, Prof. Joe Cordes, at [email protected].