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Certified Public Manager® Program

The Iowa Certified Public Manager® Program (CPM) is the premium nationally accredited professional certification for public sector managers and directors.

About CPM:

The CPM designation is held by over 750 leading public sector professionals in Iowa and is the professional credential of choice for public sector leaders.  Drake utilizes a practice-focused approach that emphasizes practical application of theory to improve effectiveness while meeting the challenges of today's public organizations. 

CPM is pursued as a unified learning group (cohort) of 25 professionals who meet 2-3 days each month over 18 months on the Drake University Campus.  A new "cohort" of learners is launched twice each calendar year.  See the "Schedules" heading below for details. 

We are certain you will find the Iowa Certified Public Manager® Program to be a positive and rewarding experience that will enhance your professionalism and strengthen your organization.  CPM is offered by Drake University in partnership with the State of Iowa.  Contact Lance Noe at (515) 271-2008 for more information. 

CPM Going Virtual

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, CPM moved online beginning in May.  The online learning experience features real-time virtual class sessions and other online engagement.  Once the public health situation allows for safe gatherings, CPM will return to face-to-face sessions supported by online access to materials and activities. 

New Cohort Begins in January!

The next CPM cohort begins January 11, 2021.  NOTE: Classes will meet using an live online group meeting format at least through spring of 2021.  When the current public health situation allows, classes will be facilitated in a face-to-face format on the Drake University campus.  Graduation will occur on June 8, 2022. 

What do I need from a technology perspective?  CPM is a very engaging experience whether offered virtually or face-to-face on the Drake campus.  Since major elements of this CPM cohort will take place online, we ask that each CPM learner have access to a computer or device with an internet connection plus a microphone and camera to allow virtual engagement with others in real-time.  If that resource is not available to you, please contact    

Leads to a Drake graduate degree:

Graduates of the CPM program who are otherwise well qualified for graduate school may reduce the required number of credit hours needed to earn the Master of Public Administration degree at Drake by up to nine credit hours.  For more information contact our graduate office

Admission and Cost:

Admission to CPM is based on professional experience criteria that includes: 1) managing two or more people, or 2) involvement in a professional project, or 3) pursuing a graduate degree.  Applications are coordinated by our State of Iowa partners.  You may apply anytime for admission to the next available cohort.

The cost of the 300 hour CPM program is $3,500.00.  Most CPM learners are sponsored through their employer, however some choose to pursue the program as a private professional.  The fee is paid through the State of Iowa.  For more information about cost and applying contact (515) 281-5456 or see the State of Iowa CPM webpage

Schedules: (updated Sept. 2020)  


CPM Student Handbook September 2020

CPM Project Handbook September 2020


Congratulations graduates - CPM 31, June 2020

The 31st cohort class of professionals completed the 18-month curriculum and now hold the nationally recognized professional designation Certified Public Manager®.  A new cohort begins on September 14, 2020.  Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Lance Noe at or phone 515-271-2592 for more information.