If eligible, master's and doctoral students in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University may be invited to join Pi Alpha Alpha, the public administration honor society. If you are an undergraduate student, you may wish to join the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance to facilitate your certification and to enhance your learning experience.

There are also numerous professional organizations that you may join. These organizations range from general public administration, such as the American Society for Public Administration, to more specific groups like the Society for Human Resource Management.

Student organizations

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance assists undergraduate students in becoming a Certified Nonprofit Professional.

Pi Alpha Alpha

Membership in Pi Alpha Alpha is reserved for M.P.A. and doctoral students who have completed 50 percent of their coursework and have achieved and maintained a 3.7 GPA.

Professional associations

Public administration

Budget and finance

  • Association for Budget and Financial Management (A section of the American Society for Public Administration)
    The Association for Budget and Financial Management promotes the professional development of financial management personnel and the analysis of financial management practices and processes.
  • Association for Governmental Accountants
    The Association for Governmental Accountants is dedicated to enhancing public financial management through its educational and certification programs, participating in the development of accounting and auditing standards, and conducting research and analysis of government financial management.
  • Government Finance Officers Association
    The Government Finance Officers Association promotes the sound management of government financial resources through the development and dissemination of recommended practices, training and certification programs, and publications.
  • National Association of State Budget Officers
    The National Association of State Budget Officers is the professional organization for all state budget officers. Its major functions of research, policy development, education, training and technical assistance are achieved through its publications, membership meetings and training sessions. NASBO is a self-governing affiliate of the National Governors' Association.
  • National Institute of Government Purchasing
    The National Institute of Government Purchasing promotes excellence and enhancing effectiveness through its training and certification programs, research, technical assistance and networking opportunities.

Health care

  • American College of Healthcare Executives
    American College of Healthcare Executives, offering credentialing and educational programs, is one of the largest publishers of health services management texts and journals, and is known for its career development and public policy programs.
  • Section on Health and Human Services Administration (A section of American Society for Public Administration)
    Section on Health and Human Services Administration fosters the exchange of knowledge, information and technology among health and human services educators, managers and professionals.

Human resources

  • Society for Human Resource Management
    Society for Human Resource Management, the largest human resource management organization, provides education and information services, seminars and conferences.

Local government

  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is a nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.
  • American Planning Association
    The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, advances the field of planning and fosters planning—physical, economic, and social—at the local, regional, state and national levels
  • Citizens Research Council of Michigan
    Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a privately funded, not-for-profit public affairs research organization that generates research reports on issues confronting state and local governments.
  • International City/County Management Association
    International City/County Management Association provides information, best practices, guidance and research on issues confronting local managers and administrators. It also maintains a job center for members.
  • Michigan Association of Counties
    The Michigan Association of Counties is an alliance of Michigan counties working to enhance county government through advocacy, shared services and education.
  • Michigan Association of Regions
    Michigan Association of Regions local governments and citizens by addressing issues and needs that transcend governmental boundaries, providing technical assistance and services that expand local capabilities and administering programs that can be delivered more economically and efficiently at the regional level.
  • Michigan Municipal League
    Michigan Municipal League is a nonpartisan organization that provides technical assistance, information, training and education for local officials. It also endeavors to enhance the public's understanding of municipal responsibilities, governance and administration.
  • Michigan Townships Association
    Michigan Townships Association is the legislative and public advocate for Michigan's townships. It provides education and information for elected and appointed township officials.

Nonprofit administration

  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
    Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action promotes and disseminates research on the nonprofit sector, philanthropy and volunteerism.
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
    Michigan Nonprofit Association provides training and technical assistance, promotes research relating to the nonprofit sector and educates policymakers in critical issues affecting nonprofit organizations.
  • Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (Formerly American Humanics)
    The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance is an alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofits that prepares and certifies students for careers in nonprofit organizations.

Public policy

  • Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management
    The Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education and it provides important resources for anyone interested in public policy as a field of study and career.
  • International Public Policy Association
    The International Public Policy Association aims to promote scientific research in the field of Public Policy and contribute to its international development. This can be a resource to students interested in the international contexts and applications of public policy.
  • American Civil Liberties Union
    The American Civil Liberties Union has close to one-hundred-year history dedicated to ensuring all Americans enjoy the rights and protections guaranteed by the constitution. Students can benefit from resources and opportunities in their many campaigns including on women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, and LGBT rights.