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Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

The School of Public Policy offers professional programs that develop innovative leaders in the art of policy and governance, advance the frontiers of applied interdisciplinary knowledge, and promote local, national and global public good. The curriculums are designed to develop the skills and techniques used by professionals to implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve important societal problems.

Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. Students with specific academic questions may contact Thomas Kennedy, Director, Office of Executive Programs, via email:


The Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy integrates science, technology, and policy concepts to provide a solid foundation for students interested in this domain.

  • Offered in person (major code Z155).
  • Program has a 12-credit, 4-course curriculum that aims to develop a deep understanding of key concepts related to STIP policy; including policies for science and science for policy; providing a range of perspectives on political, institutional, social and market factors affecting science and technology, and equipping students with essential skills for analysis and communication.
  • Curriculum includes two core requirements that focus on technology, change, & innovation and the influence of science on policy, a third requirement in a technology domain option, and an open elective.
  • Develops the knowledge and skills necessary to understand, analyze and implement policies related to science, technology and innovation, including regulatory aspects related to new technologies and approaches for creating and commercializing new technologies and innovations.
  • Targets both mid-career professionals from public agencies, multinational organizations and relevant private and civil society organizations and UMD graduate students. 
  • Can be completed in nine months of continuous part-time enrollment. See Designation of Full-time/Part-time Status.

Program Features

Science and technology have been recognized as key enablers for economic growth and sustainable development and its security remains an enduring challenge. 

  • The ability to foster, stimulate, and secure an innovation-based economy is accepted as an important determinant of national competitiveness and strength and for achieving social and developmental goals. 
  • Advances in science and technology are essential for new industries and jobs; for maintaining national defense; for ensuring energy security; for expanding food supplies; and for improving healthcare. 
  • The program figures centrally in the minds of decision-makers, from the highest levels of national governments to the corridors of city halls. 


Below is a listing of all program courses. For a detailed course description that includes pre-requisites or co-requisites, see The Graduate School Catalog, Course Listing as follows: PLCY Course Descriptions.

Category Course Number Course Title
Core PLCY688J Concepts of Technology Change and Innovation
Core PLCY689L Influence of Science on Policy and Policy on Science
Technology PLCY699B Modernizing the Energy System
Technology PLCY688C Cyberspace: Legal and Policy Implications
Elective PLCY689K Decision Analysis
Elective PLCY780C Science, Technology, and International Security
Elective PLCY798K Integrated Modeling for Policy
Elective PLCYXXX Modeling Strategic Cybersecurity Risk in Critical Infrastructure
Elective BISI708X Scholarly Communication and Public Engagement
Elective ENCE673 Urban transportation
Elective ENES663 Strategies for Managing Innovation
Elective ENME701 Sustainable Energy Conversion and the Environment
Elective ENPM624 Renewable energy applications

Registration Overview

  • See the sample plan of study, below. Students should use this as a guide to develop a plan with the academic program director. 
  • Actual course offerings are determined by the program and may vary semester to semester. Students should note if a course has a pre-requisite or co-requisite. 
  • Specific class meeting information (days and time) is posted on UMD’s interactive web service services, Testudo. Once on that site, select “Schedule of Classes,” then the term/year. Courses are listed by academic unit. 
  • The program uses specific section codes for registration which are listed on the sample plan of study. 

One-Year Sample Plan

Semester Year Course Number In Person Section Code Online Section Code Credits
Fall 1 PLCY688J PCM* PWL* 3
Fall 1 PLCY689L PCM* PWL* 3
Spring 1 PLCY699B or 688C PCM* PWL* 3
Spring 1 PLCY**** PCM* PWL* 3

Two-Year Sample Plan

Semester Year Course Number In Person Section Code Online Section Code Credits
Fall 1 PLCY688J PCM* PWL* 3
Spring 1 PLCY699B or 688C PCM* PWL* 3
Fall 2 PLCY689L PCM* PWL* 3
Spring 2 PLCY**** PCM* PWL* 3


  • Offered in person (major code Z155).
  • Uses the semester academic calendar with classes held in the fall and spring semester (16 weeks each).
  • Classes are held weekday evenings (e.g., after 5:00 p.m.) to accommodate the working professional’s schedule.
  • Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field.

In-Person Learning 

  • Classes meet in UMD College Park campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment. 
  • Instructors present dynamic and interactive seminar-style instruction. 
  • Students enrolled in a program that features in-person instruction are required to submit the University’s Immunization Record Form prior to the first day of their first semester/term. See Health Requirements.

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Quantitative skills for analyzing empirical data related to technology and technology change.
  • Analytical skills for designing and evaluating STI policies and programs, including innovation support mechanisms, and regulatory approaches aimed at addressing the social, environmental and other spillovers of new technologies.
  • Exposure to the main types of STI policy documents and processes, including Congressional hearings, statutes, federal budgets, court decisions, National Research Council reports, and studies from advocacy groups.
  • Communication skills in writing policy memos, preparing Congressional testimony, and making presentations.
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