Nonprofit management certificate program

The Department of Political Science and Public Service offers the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. The certificate program is offered for nonprofit professionals who wish to improve their management skills and professionals new to nonprofit sector positions. The program equips students with knowledge and skills for efficient, effective, and ethical management of nonprofit organizations.

Pfeiffer Hall

The Certificate Program Curriculum

To earn the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, students complete six courses. Three courses are required:

  • Nonprofit Management Fundamentals
  • Ethical and Legal Aspects of Nonprofit Management
  • Nonprofit Resource Development

Students select three of the following courses:

  • Volunteer Management
  • International Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Organizational Theory and Administrative Behavior
  • Human Resources Management in Public Agencies
  • Community Economic Development
  • Government and Nonprofits
  • Strategic Planning in Nonprofit Organizations
  • MPA Internship

Descriptions of these courses are available in the graduate catalog.  Please note that the website may include minor changes to the curriculum that are not yet reflected in the catalog.

The certificate program can be completed in as little as three semesters. Up to three courses taken as a graduate certificate student may be applied to the MPA degree.

Admission Requirements and How to Apply

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management must:

  • hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university,
  • have significant related experience, and
  • submit a statement of purpose for pursuing the certificate;


  • hold a master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a regionally accredited college or university and
  • submit a statement of purpose for pursuing the certificate.

The application process is conducted online.  Two applications are required: an application to the Graduate School at and an application to the certificate program. Please note: The same link is used to apply to the MPA program and the certificate program; you'll find a drop-down menu for specifying that you're applying to the certificate program. The application process is supported by our program’s liaison in the Graduate School, Jessica Dickerson. Please feel free to contact Ms. Dickerson at with any questions about the admissions process.