Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management


Sharpen your service, and do morePhoto of young professional man

The nonprofit sector is growing and connecting with more spheres of activity than ever before. Making change still takes more than a goal: it takes concrete knowledge and abilities. Our six-course, fully online graduate certificate prepares you to succeed in the professional nonprofit world. It is fully integrated with the MPA degree curriculum for students who seek to complete that program.

With peers equally committed to service, you will learn from regional nonprofit leaders as well as academics. For certificate students admitted for Fall 2019 and thereafter, the curriculum requires six 3-credit courses. The certificate is set up so that two courses can be taken each semester if this pattern is followed and it can be begun in any semester:

  1. PADM 6950 Introduction to Nonprofits (Fall only)
  2. PADM 6130 Research Methods (Fall only; MPA core)
  3. PADM 6960 Resource Development (Spring only)
  4. PADM 6210 Seminar in Public Administration (take in Spring; MPA core)
  5. PADM 6190 Financial Management for Healthcare and Nonprofit Organizations (Summer only)
  6. PADM 6240 Sem. in Staff Functions: Personnel Management (take in Summer; MPA core)

See our Courses area for sample past syllabi; you may also examine the learning outcomes for certificate courses.

Courses are offered fully online, which helps meet our students' needs as working adults. You can start the certificate in spring, summer, or fall. You can earn this certificate as a stand-alone credential or in combination with the MPA or PhD. This certificate can also be used for our Graduate Certificate Bridge Admission to the MPA, where a student has an undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 2.69 from an accredited college or university, begins in one of our four graduate certificate programs, completes the selected graduate certificate program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and then transitions to our MPA degree program.

Seek advising before registration every semester to make sound course choices and stay on track for completion (Contact your advisor). Students who want to pursue this certificate along with either the MPA or PhD should seek advising each semester before choosing any electives in the certificate to minimize chances of having to take an extra course while satisfying each set of requirements. 

Program flyer for the certificate; competencies included in certificate-specific courses

Key guiding documents

What thresholds must I meet to be eligible for admission?

  • No standardized exams or tests are needed for admission to this graduate certificate program.
  • Applicants with a GPA above 2.5 from an accredited college or university are eligible for admission. Please note that official transcripts must be submitted via the GradCAS application system (instructions).
    • Students who complete the graduate certificate with a 3.0 GPA or higher earn admission to the MPA program.
  • Applicants with a GPA of 2.7 or higher from an accredited college or university are eligible for admission to our fully online MPA program, and will be able to earn the graduate certificate alongside the MPA.
  • In addition to submitting official transcripts, applicants must submit a current resume or CV and pay the $35 application fee.

How do I apply?

What classes should I take?  What forms must I complete along the way?

How do I get ready to complete my program?

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webpage contact:
Department of Public Administration