Graduate Certificate Program Nonprofit and Public Management

PSU graduate students in class

Nonprofit and Public Management Graduate Certificate Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Public Management is a 21-credit (7-course) certificate program designed to provide existing and aspiring middle managers in nonprofit and public organizations with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in carrying out their administrative responsibilities. After completing this coursework, some students opt to apply to the full MPA program or MNL program; credits taken in the GCNPM program may count toward the MPA degree or MNL degree.

Degree Details

  • GC
    Graduate Certificate
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
    Fall, Winter, Spring

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Nonprofit and Public Management Graduate Certificate: Why PSU?

Students will be joining a learning community of faculty and professionals who share their passion for leading meaningful social change and working for the common good. PSU's Department of Public Administration offers a faculty of dedicated professors and professional instructors who draw on the best of both theory and applied practice from the nonprofit and public sectors to help students lead for the common good.

What can I do with a graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Public Management?

Program Objectives:
We aim to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy of those who have responsibility for managing nonprofit and public organizations, by providing them with the following knowledge and skills to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Understand the distinctive role responsibilities of middle managers in the nonprofit and public sectors.
  • Develop or enhance knowledge and skills to manage organizational systems, such as budgeting, personnel, management information.
  • Develop or enhance knowledge and skills to manage organizational design, change, and evaluation.
  • Develop or enhance knowledge and skills to manage inter-organizational and inter-jurisdictional relationships.
  • Develop or enhance knowledge and skills to manage conflict.
  • Develop or enhance knowledge and skills to manage cultural and organizational diversity.

This program extends the mission of the University and the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government to those who currently have responsibility for managing nonprofit and public organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest. This certificate enables the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government to carry out this mission more effectively and to work in partnership with nonprofit and public agencies to improve the quality of public service.

Featured Courses

  • PA 511 Public Administration
  • PA 540 Administrative Theory and Behavior
  • PA 513 Administrative Ethics and Values
  • PA 536 Strategic Planning
  • PA 525 Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
  • PA 524 Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • PA 526 Fundamentals of Fundraising in Nonprofit Organizations
  • PA 570 Environmental and Natural Resource Leadership
  • PA 590 Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
  • PA 592 Volunteerism and Volunteer Management
  • PA 543 Creating Collaborative Communities
  • PA 545 Organizational Development
  • PA 549 Cross-cultural Communication in the Public Sector
  • PA 533 Public Policy: Origins and Process
  • PA 521 History And Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
  • PA 522 Governance of Nonprofit Organizations
  • PA 538 Advocacy and Political Participation by Nonprofit Organizations
  • PA 555 Program Evaluation and Management

Featured Electives

Students must take five courses, and should meet with an advisor to plan a suitable complement of courses to meet their individual interests and professional development needs. Substitutions may be made with the permission of the academic advisor. Courses may be drawn from any of six content/skill areas below, as well as from across the PA department course offerings in consultation with Graduate Certificate advisor.

Content/Skill Areas:

  • General Management
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Leadership and Human Resource Management
  • Community Building and Communication
  • Public and Nonprofit Sector
  • Specific Management Skills


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).