The MMA, in partnership with Suffolk University, offers three programs and a fellowship designed exclusively for municipal employees to further their professional careers in local government:
Local Government Leadership and Management Certificate Program
Municipal Finance Management Seminar
Municipal Human Resources Seminar
Municipal Fellowship Program

On June 27, 2023, 37 local government professionals graduated from the 19 and 20th MMA-Suffolk Local Government Leadership and Management certificate programs in a ceremony held at Suffolk University.

MMA-Suffolk Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management

The MMA-Suffolk Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management is a graduate-level academic program providing a solid grounding in public management. The certificate program links contemporary public management theory with “real world” practice, covering topics such as budgeting and financial management, challenges in human resources management, and strategic leadership.

Five graduate-level courses are taught by Suffolk University faculty over the course of 25 Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., from September through May. Students may earn up to 12 graduate credits.

“Now, more than ever, we need leaders and managers at the local government level to be well-trained and prepared for the realities of the 21st century,” says MMA Executive Director and CEO Adam Chapdelaine. “This program provides a practical graduate education experience and ensures that the Commonwealth’s local government leaders of today are prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.”

Students of the 2022-23 certificate program in Grafton.

Current Certificate Programs
Certificate programs will be held in Barnstable and Danvers during the 2023-2024 academic year; these programs are fully enrolled. The 2024-2025 programs will be held in Pittsfield and Sharon; the program is held in person (40%) and on Zoom (60%). The schedule is likely to begin and end with in-person classes for each of the five modules, with the three classes in between held virtually via Zoom.

The application period launched on Feb. 1. Here’s the fillable PDF.

The cost of the current certificate program is $2,800.

MMA-Suffolk Municipal Finance Management Seminar

The MMA-Suffolk Municipal Finance Management Seminar provides an overview of Massachusetts municipal finance, including the operational aspects of finance structure, systems and processes in Massachusetts cities and towns.

Students will learn about the structure and purpose of local government, municipal budgeting systems and sources of revenue, financial reporting and record keeping, financial management, principles of property assessment, the intersection of human resources and financial resources, and best practices in local government finance.

The seminar is held three times per year – in the winter, spring and fall – over the course of five Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., covering nine topics in municipal finance. The seminar does not qualify toward graduate credits.

The Massachusetts Municipal Management Association established the Rocco Longo Scholarship in 2021. This scholarship will be awarded to one participant in the MMA-Suffolk Municipal Finance Management Seminar each session and covers the full program fee.

Current Finance Seminar Programs
The Finance Seminar is held virtually using Zoom.

Click here for the 2024 Seminar application.

The cost of the Finance Seminar program is $875.

Municipal Human Resources Seminar

The Municipal Human Resources Seminar reviews human resources management, policies and practices specific to Massachusetts cities and towns. Key topics will include hiring and onboarding, benefits administration, policy development, collective bargaining, and employee reviews and evaluations. Students will also review relevant labor laws and best practices in municipal human resources management.

The seminar is designed for municipal employees interested in furthering their career in municipal human resources, employees who are new to municipal human resources, and employees who work in a municipal function with human-resources-adjacent tasks.

The Municipal Human Resources Seminar is held via Zoom over the course of five Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fall 2024 seminar will be held on Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11, and Oct. 18. The cost is $875.

Applications for the fall 2024 seminar are due by June 30. Here’s the fillable PDF. This is a competitive application process; applicants will be informed of their status by mid July.

Planning is underway for future seminars; dates and applications will be posted here when they are available.

MMA-Suffolk Municipal Fellowship program

Students and alumni of the MMA-Suffolk Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management program and the MMA-Suffolk Municipal Finance Management Seminar attend a reception during the MMA’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Trade Show.

In January 2021, Suffolk University and the MMA launched a Municipal Fellowship Program to offer significant support to municipal managers and professionals to attend Suffolk’s Master in Public Administration at its Sawyer School of Business.

The program will provide a scholarship of up to $28,000 while the recipients’ municipality commits to continuing their salary and position while they attend the program part-time.

Applicants must already be accepted for admission to the master’s in public administration program and receive the support of the chief municipal official in their municipality. Consideration will be given to graduates of the MMA-Suffolk Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management. Interested applicants should make sure to apply to Suffolk’s MPA program by May 1.

If you have questions about the MMA-Suffolk programs, please contact Katie McCue at or Kate Evarts at