Badges, Microcredentials, & Non-Degree Status


Validate your accomplishments by earning a badge with SPA

The School of Public Administration at The University of New Mexico is rewarding graduate student achievement and demonstrated competencies in the classroom by offering digital badges to non-degree graduate (post-baccalaureate) students or graduate students not enrolled in the MHA or MPA program.

Digital badges provide recognition of competence or mastery in specific areas, allowing graduate students to showcase their experience, skills, and accomplishments to employers.

Graduate students must complete a specified course offered to earn a badge with a “B” letter grade or higher. Badges are dependent on what is being offered in a given semester and conferred by SPA.

Spring 2024 Badges

Course to Take

Non Profit Management

PADM 538 Nonprofit Governance

Grant Management

PADM 590 Grant Writing & Revenue Management




Grow skills and competencies to add to your professional development

The School of Public Administration is offering microcredential options for non-degree graduate (post-baccalaureate) students or graduate students not enrolled in the MHA or MPA program.

Microcredentials are shorter than certificate programs and offer pathways to achieve affordable, accessible, focused, and immediately acknowledged learning opportunities. SPA's microcredentials introduce non-degree or qualifying degree-seeking graduate students to the strategic and technical skills needed to address the challenges and opportunities found in and surrounding healthcare, nonprofit, or public organizations. 

A graduate student must complete two PADM graduate courses in a specified area with a “B” letter grade or higher to earn a microcredential offered by SPA. Recognition is conferred by SPA.

Healthcare Management Microcredential (select two courses):

PADM 561 Health Policy and Management (Spring 2024)
PADM 562 Health Governance in Global Perspective (Spring 2024)
PADM 563 Healthcare Finance
PADM 565 Health Quality Management
PADM 566 Health Economics (Spring 2024)
PADM 567 Healthcare Ethics (Spring 2024)
PADM 590 Topical Seminars (if pertinent to healthcare management)
PADM 600 Introduction to Health Policy and Management (offered Fall 2024)
PADM 610 Cultural Competence and Healthcare Administration (offered Fall 2024)
PADM 611 Healthcare Information Technology
PADM 612 Healthcare Payment Systems (Spring 2024)
PADM 640 Hospital and Clinic Administration

Nonprofit Management Microcredential (select two courses):

PADM 538 Nonprofit Management (Spring 2024)
PADM 590 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
PADM 590 Networked Governance 
PADM 590 Grant Writing & Revenue Management (Spring 2024)
PADM 590 Non Profit Finance

Public Management Microcredential (select two courses):

PADM 523 Administration of State & Local Government
PADM 524 Intergovernmental Administrative Problems
PADM 527 Employment Relations in the Public Sector
PADM 529 Administrative Law
PADM 530 Ethics in Public Administration
PADM 535 Comparative Public Administration
PADM 537 Seminar in Public Management
PADM 546 Budgeting Systems
PADM 577 Practice of Policy Development
PADM 590 Topical Seminar (if pertinent to public management)

Non-Degree & Post-Degree Status

Non-degree courses are the same credit courses in which degree-seeking students enroll and are offered for college credit. Students must hold a baccalaureate degree to enroll in graduate-level non-degree courses. Students who have been previously enrolled at UNM in degree status as an undergraduate student but have not earned an undergraduate degree are not eligible for non-degree status. Must be in non-degree status or enrolled in a UNM graduate program outside of SPA to take PADM courses.

Registering for courses at SPA

Apply to UNM as non-degree status if you are post-baccalaureate and not in a UNM graduate program.
Submission of non-degree application is $10. 


Complete the SPA non-degree petition form and send to for approval to take PADM courses once in non-degree status with UNM or in a UNM graduate program outside of SPA per semester.

Non-Degree Petition Form (PDF)
Non-Degree Admissions Policy (PDF)


Students who take Public Administration courses in non-degree and post-degree status fall into four categories:

Applicants who are denied admission may be advised by the admissions committee to take two core courses (PADM 500, 521, or 525) in non-degree status before reapplying for admission. As non-degree students, they must achieve at least a 3.5 GPA in Public Administration core courses to be reconsidered for admission to the program. Upon completion of coursework, non-degree students must reapply for admission.

Students obtaining a digital badge or microcredential with SPA must have non-degree status if they are not enrolled in another graduate program outside of SPA at UNM and have a baccalaureate degree. Please see the descriptions for badges and microcredentials above.

Individuals who seek to enroll in a course after the admission deadline, but prior to the start of classes. These persons may only register for two core courses (PADM 500, 521, or 525) in non-degree status, and must obtain approval from the Director of the School of Public Administration. A maximum of six non-degree credit hours may be transferred to the MHA or MPA degree.

Students who have already completed a Master's degree may enroll in post-degree status with approval from the Director of the School of Public Administration. Students in this category pursue a particular concentration and enroll in a specialized course of study to enhance their professional degree.

Transferring Credit Hours as Non-Degree at SPA

Students taking PADM graduate-level courses with the intent to transfer into a graduate degree program at SPA in non-degree status can transfer 6 credit hours into the program when the student is admitted.

UNM Tuition Remission Program

The UNM Tuition Remission program provides a waiver of tuition for:

  • Up to eight (8) undergraduate or graduate credit hours or the equivalent of eight undergraduate credit hours for non-credit courses each fall and spring semester
  • Up to four (4) credit hours during the summer semester
  • Mandatory fees are covered (special or lab fees are not covered)

This program is extended to regular full and part-time staff and faculty (from their initial date of hire), and UNM Retirees. 

For more information, please visit Human Resources Educational Benefits

Tuition Remission form

Additional information

Email for inquiries on badges, microcredentials, and non-degree status with the School of Public Administration.