Certificate in Nonprofit Management

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This overview of central concepts in managing nonprofit organizations provides a focused experience to prepare you for or help you advance your career in the nonprofit sector. Some students seek this graduate certificate as a way to learn more without committing to a masters degree program. Other students begin in the certificate program and use it to launch into an MPA or MPP.

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Certificate students enroll in regular courses of the Trachtenberg School and earn graduate credit. Regular graduate tuition and fees apply. The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management program is available at the George Washington University's main campus in downtown Washington, D.C. It is not available as a distance learning program.

Courses and Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management requires students complete twelve (12) credit hours and maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in order to be awarded the Graduate Certificate.

The field has two required courses and two elective courses.

Required Courses (2 courses, 6 credits):

  • PPPA 6031  Governing and Managing Nonprofit Organizations 

ONE of the following: 

  • PPPA 6032  Managing Fundraising and Philanthropy

  • PPPA 6033  Nonprofit Enterprise

Elective Courses, Trachtenberg School 

(Students must choose AT LEAST one of the following courses, 3 credits, and may select 2 of the following courses, 6 credits):  

  • PPPA 6016  Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation* (If not taken as a core course for MPAs or tools of analysis course for MPPs)
  • PPPA 6032  Managing Fund Raising and Philanthropy (If not taken as a required course)
  • PPPA 6033  Nonprofit Enterprise (If not taken as a required course)
  • PPPA 6034  Managing Nonprofit Boards 
  • PPPA 6053  Financial Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • PPPA 6055  Contracting Out and Public-Private Partnerships
  • PPPA 6058  International Development and NGO Management
  • PPPA 6062  Community Development Policy and Management
  • PPPA 6063  Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact Investing
  • PPPA 6085  Leading Diverse and Inclusive Organizations

Elective Courses, Other GW Schools

(Students may choose 1 course, 3 credits from the following list):

  • ACCY 6701  Government and Nonprofit Accounting and Auditing
  • SMPA 6270  Advocacy
  • PUBH 6054  Community Engagement and Advocacy
  • MGMT 4900  Social Entrepreneurship that Matters
  • PMGT 6414  Lobbying

In addition to those listed, with the permission of a field advisor, students may supplement or substitute elective courses with other relevant courses in related disciplines.  Field advisors can recommend courses in various school of the university that may address students’ particular interest and career goals.

Admissions to the Certificate Program

Applicants are required to meet the admission standards for admission to the Masters degrees in the Trachtenberg School. Submitting a GRE test score is optional.

Relation to the Masters Programs

If you begin the certificate and decide to apply to the MPA or MPP degree program, you must apply by the posted deadline and meet the admissions requirements of the program. Up to nine credits of your certificate coursework taken prior to admission to a degree program will be accepted in the master’s program within two years of completing the course and if a grade of B or better has been earned in the course. If you’d like to have all 12 credits apply toward a degree, you need to apply and gain admission to the degree before registering for your fourth course. 

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