Public/Nonprofit Management Certificate

This certificate aims to enhance graduates’ ability to manage and lead public and nonprofit organizations ethically and effectively.

It establishes effective human resource management as a core foundation, with emphasis on the political, legal, and ethical dimensions of public service employment.

Through study of management theories and techniques, students will gain understanding of contemporary organizational challenges and the tensions inherent to competing values and develop the leadership skills necessary to guide public organizations through change.

Through their choice of electives, students may tailor this certificate to focus more specifically on the nonprofit or public sector.


  • The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.
  • Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director.
  • Students who wish to pursue both the City and County Management and Public and Nonprofit Management graduate certificates must seek approval from the MPA Faculty Director.
  • PUAD 834 will count toward both certificates, but the student must take one additional elective to meet the 12 credit-hour completion requirement for each. 
  • Otherwise, students pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count towards both certificates.

Certificate Application Deadlines

  • Spring Admission: January 1

  • Summer Admission: May 1

  • Fall Admission: August 1

Learn More

Other Graduate Certificates

Required Course

(3 credit hours)


Elective Courses Options

3 courses (9 credit hours) from the following or another department-approved graduate course:



See Graduate Certificates for admissions and application requirements.

Questions about  MPA Program?

Program and admission information
Derek Bixler, Graduate Program Coordinator

Issues submitting application
KU Graduate Studies

Internship & professional development
Cari Ann Kreienhop, Graduate Programming Manager