Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The Trachtenberg School's certificate in nonprofit management prepares students to begin or advance careers in the nonprofit sector. With coursework in fundraising, governance, public-private partnerships, lobbying, social entrepreneurship, leading diverse and inclusive organizations and much more, students learn to become well-rounded professionals in nonprofit leadership.

The highly flexible curriculum requires only two core courses (6 credits). At least one elective course (3 credits) must be taken in the Trachtenberg School. Another elective (3 credits) may be taken in the Trachtenberg School or at other GW schools.

Certificate Benefits

Book Icon

Expand Your Knowledge

The curriculum provides an overview of central concepts required in managing nonprofit organizations. Some students in the program seek to expand their knowledge but who do not wish to commit to a master’s degree program. Others use it to launch into an MPA or MPP.

GW logo

Experience GW

Certificate students enroll in courses within the Trachtenberg School and earn graduate credit, with the option of supplementing elective courses from other GW schools. 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.

Admissions Requirements

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

Relation to the Master's Programs

If you begin the certificate and decide to apply to the MPA or MPP degree program, you must apply by the deadline and meet the admissions requirements of the program. Up to nine credits of your certificate courses 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 wish 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 in the certificate program.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits, including 6 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses. 

PPPA 6031Governing and Managing Nonprofit Organizations
PPPA 6032Managing Fundraising and Philanthropy
or PPPA 6033 Nonprofit Enterprise
Electives, Trachtenberg School
At least one course (3 credits) and as many as two courses (6 credits) selected from the following:
PPPA 6016Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation
PPPA 6033Nonprofit Enterprise *
PPPA 6032Managing Fundraising and Philanthropy *
PPPA 6034Managing Nonprofit Boards
PPPA 6053Financial Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
PPPA 6055Contracting Out and Public–Private Partnerships
PPPA 6058International Development NGO Management
PPPA 6062Community Development Policy and Management
PPPA 6063Policy Issues in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Impact Investing
PPPA 6068Leading Diverse and Inclusive Organizations
Electives, other GW schools
Students may select one course (3 credits) from the following**:
ACCY 6701Government Accounting
MGT 6285Social Entrepreneurship
PMGT 6414Lobbying
PUBH 6054Community Engagement and Advocacy
SMPA 6206Advocacy Communication and Political Networks

*If not taken as a required course.

**Students may supplement or substitute elective courses with other relevant courses in related disciplines with the permission of a field advisor. Field advisors can recommend courses in various schools of the university that address a student's particular interest and career goals.

- A relevant TSPPPA Special Topics course approved by the certificate program advisor.
- A relevant course in another GW academic unit, approved by the certificate program advisor (Limited to one 3 credit course outside of TSPPPA for the certificate).
The certificate advisor may approve alternative courses depending on the student’s interests or experience.