Do Good, Better.
Professional in white button up shirt and tie sits in front of an audience of people
Professional in white button up shirt and tie sits in front of an audience of people
Do Good, Better.

Our Online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management Can Help You

Gain the skills to lead and thrive in one of the largest sectors in the U.S. economy with the Kent State University online nonprofit management graduate certificate program.

Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
Approximate Cost per Credit
$549.90 in state
$559.90 out of state
Time to Completion
Graduate in as little as 1 year
Discover Your Next Step
This will only take a moment.

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Take your career to a higher level with our affordable, flexible online MPA or graduate certificate in nonprofit management. Our 100% online programs allow you to keep up with your current responsibilities while you study. Find out how we can help you become the leader you want to be.

Download our guide to learn more about:

  • Career Opportunities
  • Customizing Your Degree
  • The Student Experience
  • Admission Requirements
  • Tuition and Financial Aid

Our Program Is Both Rigorous and Flexible

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I’m a working mom with 18+ years in my career. I needed something that was accredited and rigorous, but also flexible enough to allow me to work, parent and go to school. Kent State fit that description.
Jessica G. MPA ‘19

Time for a Quick Career Upgrade?

Transform your career with as little as one year of part-time courses. We can help you affordably gain the skills you need to lead your nonprofit to success and make a real difference with your service.

Is This Program Right For You?

If you are already working in the nonprofit sector, this program will help you develop your expertise and increase your influence. Our graduate certificate in nonprofit management is also a quick, affordable introduction to the field if you are just starting your career or pivoting from work in another sector. Our admissions staff is happy to provide more information.

Talk With an Admissions Advisor

Learn Principles That Apply to Any Nonprofit

No matter the field or the size of the organization, nonprofit organizations must operate according to the law and specific financial and advocacy practices. Successful nonprofit leaders also keep up with best practices in governance, program management and leadership. The Kent State online graduate certificate in nonprofit management offers you expert-led courses on these key topics.

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Skills You Will Develop

Your coursework for the nonprofit management graduate certificate can help you develop these key leadership skills:

  • Recruiting, selecting, leading and managing people in public organizations
  • Developing and managing budgets for nonprofit and public organizations
  • Fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations
  • Implementing effective nonprofit governance

Start an Application

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Leslie B.
The condensed seven-week courses taken one at a time, instead of two simultaneous semester-long courses, makes it easier to immerse yourself in that one topic and focus on it exclusively, which I feel enhances the learning experience.
Leslie B. MPA ‘19

Nonprofit Industry Career Options

With the expertise you gain in our nonprofit management program, you could start a nonprofit, operate a small, local organization or pursue a satisfying career in a variety of settings. The nonprofit industry encompasses organizations including:

  • Schools, foundations and churches
  • Social and business engagement associations
  • Human services providers
  • Arts, cultural and humanities groups
  • Advocacy, rights and policy organizations1

Nonprofit Numbers

The nonprofit industry is one of the largest sectors in the country, and key roles within it are projected to have much faster than average job growth through 2030.2, 3

  • There are more than 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States1
  • U.S. nonprofit revenues are $2.48 trillion4
  • 12.3 million people draw paychecks from U.S. nonprofit organizations5

Because the industry is so large and diverse, many job roles are available for experts in nonprofit management, ranging from advocacy director to major gifts officer and CEO. Here are some representative nonprofit titles and average national salaries.

Fundraising Manager
Program Manager
Executive Director

Program Overview

Develop the skills most important to your career with our flexible curriculum design. Kent State’s online graduate certificate in nonprofit management:

  • Is open to people with bachelor’s degrees
  • Offers asynchronous online flexibility
  • Has a part-time workload with focused, seven-week courses
  • Has no GRE requirement
  • Has three start dates: January, May, August

See the Course List

Earning your graduate certificate in nonprofit management could be just the beginning of your professional education. You can transfer 12 credits from Kent State’s nonprofit management graduate certificate to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree when you decide to continue.

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Accredited and Affordable

Complete your graduate certificate in nonprofit management for less than $7,000, even though our Public Administration program is one of a select few online programs accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

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We’re proud to be recognized with the Military Friendly® gold designation, for the level of service we offer members of the extended military community and all our students. Our rankings reflect our commitment to helping you achieve your dreams.

Well-Rounded, Expert Faculty

Professors for the online graduate certificate in public management are connected, engaged practitioners and researchers with expertise in diverse areas.

Faculty interests and experience include policymaking and policy implementation, political systems and public management, city planning, professional ethics, nonprofit governance and advocacy, quantitative research methods, international business, and public sector IT management.

With their varied interests, experiences and connections, our faculty can help you chart your course to a successful nonprofit management career.

Read our Faculty Bios

Build Your Professional Network

Our robust learning management system helps you stay closely connected with professors and cohort peers throughout your program. Build your professional network through:

  • Class discussions
  • Student forums
  • Private messaging
  • Live check-ins with professors

Explore the Online Experience


Choose one core management course (3 credits) from the following:

Core Courses

PADM 60375 Public Personnel Administration

This course provides a foundation for leading and managing people in public organizations. This includes an examination of public personnel systems, and the public service values that underlie these systems. The emphasis is on skill development and techniques for public personnel managers, which include recruitment and selection, motivation, performance appraisal, diversity management, and cultural competence.

PADM 60377 Public Budgeting and Financial Management

This course focuses on two aspects of public finance: budgeting and financial management. Relative to budgeting, students are taught about budgets as mechanisms for resource control and allocations, as legal documents, different formats and cross-walking of formats, budget preparation, legislative review, budget implementation, and auditing. Relative to financial management, students are taught budget analysis, debt management, fund accounting, and forecasting.

PADM 60379 Program Evaluation I

Introduction to evaluation of government programs. Emphasis on familiarizing students with the theory and, specifically, the techniques utilized under different evaluation formats.

PADM 60574 Strategic Planning

This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of strategic planning as it relates to program design and implementation by public and nonprofit organizations. Consideration is given to concepts, frameworks, and methods of program/policy analysis; as well as understanding the institutional context, agency-environment linkages, and internal dynamics of organizations.

Electives (9 Credits)

Choose three electives (3 credits each) from the following:

Elective Courses

PADM 60200 Nonprofit Advocacy

This course explores the U.S. public policymaking process as it applies to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits influence policymaking or "advocacy" through a variety of methods, such as lobbying, campaigning, protesting and policy monitoring. The course explores how nonprofit organizations both shape and are shaped by public policy.

PADM 60310 Leadership in the Nonprofit and Public Sector

This course teaches students theory, practice, and skills for leading nonprofit and public organizations. Topics include organizational theory and behavior, organizational culture, integrity and ethics, group dynamics, conflict management, and creating an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion

PADM 60471 Nonprofit Law

Introduction to legal issues for nonprofit organizations in the United States, including types of IRS tax-exempt status; basic requirements for establishing/operating nonprofit organizations specifically in Ohio.

PADM 60472 Nonprofit Board Executive Relationships

Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance, major roles of nonprofit board members and their responsibilities, and governance structures.

PADM 60477 Nonprofit Financial Resource Development

Successful strategies for fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations. Students will be exposed to fundraising in practice and will write a resource development plan.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The online Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Nonprofit Management consists of 12 credits.

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit Hour$549.90$559.90
Approximate Program Cost$6,432$6,552

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For comprehensive tuition information, please refer to the tuition rates posted on the Bursar’s website.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information on tuition and fees either by email at or toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Schedule a Call    Download Application Checklist

What Are Kent State’s Admissions Requirements?

To be considered for admission, students must have completed a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with a GPA of 2.75 or higher will be considered for conditional admission. Contact an Admissions Advisor for more information about this process. The bachelor's degree may be in any area of study.

Further admissions requirements include:

  • Completed online application
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission

The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at or call us toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Schedule a Call    Download Application Checklist

Important Dates

Priority Application Deadline
Summer 2023 Semester
Application Deadline
Summer 2023 Semester
First Day of Class
Summer 2023 Semester

Application Resources

Online graduate programs in public administration application checklist

Our step-by-step application checklist will help ensure the success of your application submission.

Download Checklist

Application FAQs

Each applicant is required to create an account in the online application system, which allows people to save their applications and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at or by mail to:

Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or


Courses are delivered through Canvas, our course management system. Course content consists of text, narrated PowerPoint presentations, video and audio, live chats, discussion groups, and other learning enhancements. To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Advisor at or toll-free at +1 844-234-4073.

Build Your Career With a Degree Built Around You

Explore the immersive online experience, our faculty roster and some post-graduation career options.

Immersive Online Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Practitioner Faculty

Study with specialists, published authors and leaders in public administration and policy.

Public Administration Career Potential

Gain expertise in fundraising, development, advocacy and board relations.

Important Dates

Priority Application Deadline
Summer 2023 Semester
Application Deadline
Summer 2023 Semester
First Day of Class
Summer 2023 Semester