Graduate Certificate in Tribal Governance (TGVC)

The Graduate Certificate Program in Tribal Governance at Western Michigan University provides a comprehensive understanding of the legal and cultural history of the treaty tribes, tribal peoples, communities, business entities, and governments and how they relate to local, state, and federal governments. It also develops hands-on skills to assess and address the economic, managerial, and societal challenges of tribal governance. The goal is to provide continuing professional education for members of tribal communities and for those interested in working with tribal communities, tribally-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, governments, and organizational networks. This provides excellent preparation for the Master of Public Administration program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

Application instructions

WMU has an online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system

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Program Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Tribal Governance certificate consists of 12 credit hours, 6 credit hours of required courses and 3 credit hours of elective courses from each of two categories: “community and economic development” and “management, financial, and leadership skills.” The courses are:

Required Courses

  • PADM 6301 - Foundations of Federal Indian Policies Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 6302 - Tribal Sovereignty through Self Determination Credits: 3 hours


Community and Economic Development. Choose one of the following courses:

  • PADM 6303 - Tribal Economic Development and Diversification Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 5825 - Managing Community Growth and Development Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 5810 - Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Credits: 3 hours


Management, Financial, and Leadership Skills. Choose one of the following courses:

  • PADM 5270 - Human Resources Administration Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 6290 - Leadership and Supervision Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 5890 - Strategic Planning and Performance Management Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 5120 - Public Budgeting and Accounting Credits: 3 hours
  • PADM 6890 - Third Party Governance and Contracting Credits: 3 hours