Nonprofit leadership training that drives results

The Nonprofit Management Certificate program (NMCP) gives you the tools and framework needed to meet the increasing challenges facing the nonprofit sector today.


The program provides students with fundamental knowledge of the nonprofit sector through one core course and four elective courses:

  • PUBPOL 550 Managing Nonprofit and Philanthropic Organizations (4 credits). Sample syllabus

This course is required of all NMCP students and is offered only during Autumn Quarter. PUBPOL 550 addresses management and policy challenges in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, emphasizing the environment within which nonprofit work is performed, distinctive characteristics of nonprofits, legal requirements, cultural values, and leadership.

  • Four elective courses (totaling 12-16 credits) in management, leadership, or policy analysis, chosen from a list of approved electivesthat broaden the basic knowledge base for nonprofit management. At least two electives must be taken within the Evans School.
  • portfolio and short analytic paper developed by each student and due Spring Quarter, reflecting upon the key learning experiences of the program. The portfolio will typically consist of a set of papers completed through the NMCP courses, while the analytic paper will act as a reflective analytic summary of the portfolio, coursework, and student learning in the NMCP program.

Completion of the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program will be acknowledged on the student’s official UW transcript.

Students are encouraged to review the UW Graduate School policies on certificate programs, noting in particular the following: “The overlap of coursework applied towards both programs [certificate program and degree program] must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program.”

Eligibility and Admissions

All students currently enrolled in graduate programs at any University of Washington campus with a minimum 3.0 GPA are welcome to apply. For most master’s degree students, the certificate coursework may be taken across one academic year, alongside coursework in their degree granting department. Ph.D. students are welcome to complete the program over multiple years. Only current UW graduate students are eligible to apply for this certificate. 

The application for 2021-2022 will open in Autumn 2021.

The application includes:

  • A coversheet that includes your name, degree program, and contact information
  • One 400-500 word cover letter that describes your background, experience, perspectives on the nonprofit/NGO sector, and motivation for applying to the program
  • Current resume
  • UW transcript (unofficial is fine; minimum 3.0 GPA)

For more information, contact

*Please note, effective 2017-18:  the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program is primarily designed for UW graduate students outside of the Evans School.  Evans School MPA students interested in pursuing a transcriptable option in nonprofit management are encouraged to pursue the Nonprofit Management and Social Innovation Program Option, which may be completed within the 72 credits required for the MPA degree.  Evans School MPA students may apply for the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program, however, completion of both the MPA and certificate program will require 86 or more total credits (as no more than 6 credits can be shared between one’s degree program and certificate program).  Evans School students are encouraged to consult with Student Services staff with any questions.