Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The objective of our Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is to prepare you for leadership positions in nonprofit and philanthropic (grant making) organizations. The curriculum, which centers on technical skills specific to the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, is designed to develop the skills necessary to manage and lead financially stable, innovative, and effective organizations.

Opportunities for nonprofit managers with specialized skills have expanded sharply. Currently, approximately 8% of the U.S. total employment is in the nonprofit sector. Recent graduates serve in all nonprofit sectors in a variety of leadership positions.


Required Courses

PPPM has one of the most comprehensive nonprofit curricular programs in the nation. Our faculty has a wealth of experience working with and for nonprofit organizations, and conducting research on the nonprofit sector.

We offer a wide-ranging curriculum in the important facets of nonprofit management, including the following specialized courses:

  • PPPM 684 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (4 credits)
  • PPPM 522 Grant Proposal Writing (1 credit)
  • PPPM 581 Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations (4 credits)
  • PPPM 680 Managing Nonprofit Organizations (4 credits)

Required courses in the Certificate program are offered annually or more often, usually once per week, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. (with the exception of the one-credit classes), to accommodate professional schedules.

A total of 24 credits are required for completion of the Certificate. In addition to the 13 credits described above, you have two options:

  1. complete an internship plus elective credits totaling 11 or more credits
  2. take 11 or more credits of nonprofit-related elective courses (no internship)

Students who have no significant work experience in the nonprofit sector are strongly encouraged to complete an internship by enrolling in three or more credits of PPPM 604 (Internship).

Elective Courses

The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management has a variety of courses available throughout the year that qualify as nonprofit program electives. These courses are offered annually.

Examples include:

Collaboration (4 credits)
Community Organizing (4 credits)
Creative Placemaking (4 credits)
Cultural Administration (4 credits)
Cultural Policy (4 credits)
Event Management (4 credits)
Impact Philanthropy (4 credits)
Nonprofit Board Governance (3 credits, 1 per quarter; fall, winter, spring)
Nonprofit Law/Management Clinic (4 credits in winter; 2 credits in spring)
Nonprofit Legal Issues (4 credits)

Nonprofit Management Consultancy (4 credits)
Project Management (4 credits)
Seminar: Strategic Communications (4 credits)
Seminar: Visual Communications (4 credits)
Strategic Planning (4 credits)
The Arts in Society (4 credits)
Volunteer Management (2 credits)

You may also receive elective credits for a content-relevant course offered elsewhere on campus, in departments such as:

  • Law
  • Historic Preservation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Education
  • Business
  • Journalism
  • Conflict Resolution

For authorization to receive certificate credits for a course taken outside PPPM, or for other information about the certificate, please contact Associate Professor Dyana Mason at

UO graduate students from any department may apply to the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. If the certificate comprises the electives portion of your main graduate degree, you may not need additional time to complete both the graduate degree and the certificate.

The Certificate program is also available as a stand-alone program for students not pursuing another graduate degree.

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Doctoral Students

If you have a research interest in nonprofit sector issues, the Certificate coursework will provide a grounded look at the practical problems faced in the sector. You will be able to spot the hot-button issues of the day, gauge the potential external interest in possible research topics, and locate data for your research. As faculty members in this field, we have a strong interest in providing academic field-specific socialization and support for nonprofit scholars at UO, regardless of your home department. We can recommend the best conferences, datasets, and journals for your research interests.

If your interests lie outside academia (e.g., you are interested in heading a foundation specializing in your field of interest), you will need the practical skills that the Certificate emphasizes for leadership of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Your experience in the Certificate program will set you apart from and above the crowd. Graduates of our program report that employers, both academic and non-academic, are drawn to the Certificate listing on their curriculum vitae, and are interested and pleased to see this level of preparation for any nonprofit-related research or administrative position.

Dyana Mason, PhD, Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program Director

Resources for Nonprofit Organizations

Although there are nonprofit programs in many universities around the world, University of Oregon’s nonprofit program is one of the largest, with extensive course offerings and services and large numbers of both undergraduate and graduate students. Read Resources for Nonprofit Organizations to find out what you can do for your organization.

PPPM is an accredited member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).



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