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Certificate Programs
Nonprofit Management (Online)

The Certificate in Nonprofit Management program is a 15-credit-hour program of study in nonprofit management. The certificate program is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of pre-career and in-service individuals. Graduate students in other disciplines can use the program to supplement their primary fields with course work in nonprofit management, possibly using the certificate courses as part or all of a doctoral or master's degree minor.

Admission Eligibility

The student must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to apply.


An online application and information may be obtained from spea.iupui.edu. Application deadlines for the certificate programs are May 15 for the fall semester, September 15 for the spring semester, and March 15 for summer sessions. Students must pay a nonrefundable application fee.

Program Restrictions
  1. Students admitted to a SPEA graduate degree program are not eligible for admission nor awarding of a certificate in the same concentration of their graduate degree.
  2. Transfer credit, course substitutions, or course waivers are not accepted for fulfilling the certificate requirements.
  3. Students enrolled in a certificate program can only confer the certificate with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) in all required coursework. 
  4. A student may be dismissed if, after 9 credit hours of coursework, the GPA is below a 3.0.
  5. Admission to or successful completion of a certificate program does not guarantee subsequent admission to a SPEA graduate degree program.
  6. Students enrolled in a certificate program who apply to a SPEA graduate degree programs must meet all existing admission requirements, or may request a waiver if they complete at least three classes towards the certificate with a 3.5 GPA or higher.
  7. Students planning to request admission to a SPEA graduate degree program after successfully completing a certificate program cannot apply to an MPA of the same concentration of the certificate.

The fifteen-hour certificate consists of three required courses and two electives.

Required Courses (9 credit hours)
  • SPEA-V 522 Human Resource Management in Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr.) Effective resource management is vital for the long-term success of nonprofit organizations. This course provides an overview of human resource management strategies and practices necessary for the productive functioning of nonprofit organizations. Theories of motivation applicable to the management of staff and volunteers, and personnel topics of recruitment, selection, board-staff relations, compensation, training, and development are covered.
  • SPEA-V 525 Management in the Nonprofit Sector (3 cr.) The course provides a survey of topics important for non-profit management. Internal dynamics, environmental relationships, and public policy are considered. Topics include the legal environment, governance, strategic planning, staff and volunteers, marketing, ethics, evaluation, and change.
  • SPEA-V 526 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr.) This course emphasizes a thorough under-standing of the language and key concepts of nonprofit financial management. The course covers applications of budgeting, and financial and managerial accounting principles and procedures to nonprofit organizations. The emphasis throughout the course is on the practical application of the fundamental requirements of accounting and financial decision making in the nonprofit organization.
Electives (6 credit hours)
  • SPEA-V 521 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector (3 cr.) The theory, size, scope, and functions of the nonprofit and voluntary sector are covered from multiple disciplinary perspectives including historical, political, economic, and social.
  • SPEA-V 557 Proposal Development and Grant Administration (3 cr.) This course provides the opportunity for each student to develop a complete proposal through participation in the entire grant application process. The integration of case studies, visual media, printed materials, and class discussions provides students with practical knowledge for writing successful proposal.
  • SPEA-V 558 Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr.) Important aspects of the fund raising process in nonprofit organizations are covered, including techniques and strategies for assessing potential sources of support; effective use of human resources; process management; theory to underlay practice; analysis of current practice; practice standards; and discussion of ethical problems.
  • SPEA-V 559 Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship (3 cr.) This course will survey issues in social entrepreneurship and engage students in completing class projects applying principles and practices of social entrepreneurship to problems of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and social-purpose business.
  • SPEA-V 562 Public Program Evaluation (3 cr.) Examination of how the programs of public agencies are proposed, established, operated, and evaluated. Discussion of the role and conduct of research in the program evaluation process. In addition, techniques of effective evaluation and analysis are discussed.
  • SPEA-V 598 Governing and Leading in a Global Society (3 cr.) This gateway course will increase student appreciation of the role of public affairs professionals in governance across multiple sectors of society within the global context. Students will learn norms associated with effective practice in public affairs and frame a professional development plan to acquire leadership skills to support these norms.