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Twin Cities Campus

Election Administration Undergraduate Certificate

HHH Politics and Governance Academic Program
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Program Type: Undergraduate credit certificate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2022
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 12
  • N/A
  • Degree:
The undergraduate certificate in election administration prepares professional election officials across the country for advancement in the field as well as undergraduate students interested in entering the field of election administration. Students will acquire and develop the skills and knowledge of election operations and procedures. All courses are offered in an online format and include topics such as election law, election security, data analysis, and voter participation.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • completely online (all program coursework can be completed online)
Admission Requirements
The ideal candidate for the undergraduate certificate in election administration program will have 45 college credits or a minimum of 1 year of work experience in election administration or a related field. A complete application will include: - Application form - College transcripts (if applicable) - Resume (including statement of election administration experience or related field if applicable) - Personal Statement - A valid TOEFL or IELTS exam, with a minimum score of 100 (TOEFL) or 7.0 (IELTS) for international students.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Maintain a minimum of 2.8 GPA to remain in good standing in the program. All courses must be taken A-F unless only offered S/N.
Required Courses
PA 3969 - Survey of Election Administration (3.0 cr)
PA 3972 - Elections and the Law (2.0 cr)
PA 3973 - Strategic Management of Election Administration (2.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Take 5 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PA 3975 - Election Design (2.0 cr)
· PA 3976 - Voter Participation (1.0 cr)
· PA 3982 - Data Analysis for Election Administration (2.0 cr)
· PA 3983 - Introduction to Election Security (1.0 cr)
· PA 3984 - Elections Security: How to Protect America?s Elections (2.0 cr)
· PA 3985 - Physical Election Security (2.0 cr)
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

View sample plan(s):
· Election Administration Sample Plan

View checkpoint chart:
· Election Administration Undergraduate Certificate
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PA 3969 - Survey of Election Administration
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3969/PA 5971
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Survey of building blocks of election administration, from voter registration to recounts.
PA 3972 - Elections and the Law
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3972/PA 5972
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Theories and basic structure of the American legal system. Experience with basic tools and skills for using the law to understand and analyze issues facing election administrators across the nation. Use of election-related and non-election related materials to prepare election administrators for interacting with counsel, legislators and the courts in carrying out their responsibilities.
PA 3973 - Strategic Management of Election Administration
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3973/PA 5973
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Strategic management for election administrators in the political environment. Election official tools and challenges. The role of the lawmaking process in budgeting and organizational planning.
PA 3975 - Election Design
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Election administration design principles, including ballot and polling place design and poll worker training materials. Application of principles of field.
PA 3976 - Voter Participation
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3976/PA 5976
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Voter participation issues and challenges including historical survey of voter participation in US and methods to increase voter turnout.
PA 3982 - Data Analysis for Election Administration
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3982/PA 5982
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Evidence-based election administration. Collection and analysis of quantitative data to solve problems and identify opportunities for improvement. Emphasis on pre-election forecasting for planning purposes and post-election auditing of election results.
PA 3983 - Introduction to Election Security
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: PA 3983/PA 5983
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will examine the history of cyberattacks on the United States and the American election system, with special attention to the 2016 election cycle. Students will explore the types of cybersecurity threats that exist and strategies to protect against them; understand the roles different levels of government can play in the process, and hear from key officials about the issues raised by the official response to election security threats at the federal, state and local levels as well as in related private sector communities.
PA 3984 - Elections Security: How to Protect America?s Elections
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
?Elections Security? uses the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election as a case study to identify the vulnerabilities of US elections (especially state voter registration databases) as well as catalogue new protections. Readings and discussion will focus on best practices and technology options available to the public (social media) and elections professionals (cybersecurity) in guarding against future influence efforts and assuring public confidence in election outcomes. Special focus will be given to describing how local election officials can protect their election technology, most notably those vulnerabilities associated with their voting system and voter registration database. ?Elections Security? will draw heavily on concrete cases and challenges facing election professionals, using government and independent reports and an indepth analysis of new resources created by the US Department of Homeland Security and its collaborations with election professionals.
PA 3985 - Physical Election Security
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring & Summer
U.S. Homeland Security designated election security as a ?critical infrastructure? after threats from foreign governments, and collaborates with states in detecting and responding to foreign interference. This course will provide students with a deeper understanding of the current security context and best practices and processes for physically safeguarding elections based on 2016 and 2020. Students will learn the difference between physical and cyber threats to U.S. systems; tangible steps to protect election offices and their equipment; the use of audits to ensure the accuracy of elections; the integration of security into vendor relationships; and the connection between physical election security and citizen trust in elections. Content will be explored through readings (including government documents and studies), videos, discussions, and writing assignments.