Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

certificates nonprofit

"My generation of third sector leaders had no formal graduate nonprofit management education available. We learned by trial and error, with many bumps along the way. Today's nonprofit executives can take advantage of the School of Public Affairs' superior quality curriculum, focusing on the theoretical and practical applications. With this education the nonprofit leaders of today and tomorrow will be equipped to make an even greater impact in our communities."
Cathy Robbins, El Pomar Foundation


Thriving nonprofit organizations are an essential component of community well-being. This certificate program provides the knowledge and skills to lead and manage nonprofits effectively. Aspiring nonprofit leaders will gain fundamental skills; those already in the field will expand their skills; and nonprofit board members will gain knowledge to enhance their capacity to govern.

pdficon Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management Brochure

The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management consists of five required classes, for a total of 15 credit hours. Please be advised that courses are typically offered alternately online and on campus, not concurrently.  It is recommended that if you prefer either all online or all on campus, that you speak with Crista Hill in the School of Public Affairs before applying.  Ms. Hill can be reached at 719-255-4993 or Upcoming course schedules are available here

For descriptions of courses, or for requirements under previous catalogs, see UCCS Academic Catalog.

Required courses include:

  • PAD 5110 - Seminar in Nonprofit Management
  • PAD 5140 - Nonprofit Financial Management
  • PAD 5150 - Understanding and Achieving Funding Diversity
  • PAD 5160 - Nonprofit Boards and Executive Leadership
  • PAD 5180 - Social Entrepreneurship

Courses may be offered in the classroom or online. Students are not required to apply to a degree program to take these courses but must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Students must earn grades of "B-" or better in each course to earn the certificate, but a "B" or better if transferring the courses to the MPA or MCJ.

Current Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) students may take these courses and earn the certificate in addition to the MPA or MCJ as part of their degree plan. Students who complete the courses within the certificate with a "B" or better may apply the courses to the MPA or MCJ degree, if admitted. However, only courses taken within six years prior to the semester of graduation may be applied to the degree.

These courses also may be used as electives toward the Master of Public Administration degree or Master of Criminal Justice degree at UCCS School of Public Affairs.

New students interested in pursuing a graduate certificate must complete the online graduate application, select their intended certificate and pay the required $60 application fee. An official transcript, showing the undergraduate degree conferred, should be sent to UCCS Admissions, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or electronically to

Current UCCS graduate students must submit a Certificate Declaration to


Gainful Employment Disclosures:

The U.S. Department of Education requires we provide information about each of our certificates. Read Disclosure on Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management.