Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management

Course Requirements

The combination of required courses and electives will allow students either to engage in a broad survey of the field or to concentrate in one of several special streams of study. Potential areas of concentration within the curriculum include context, organizational capacity, advanced financial management, accountability and social/organizational learning. All students must complete twelve-hours of graduate coursework including one 3-hour required foundation course and nine hours of electives from an approved list. In addition, masters and doctoral students are encouraged to complete a practicum, major paper, thesis, dissertation or a scholarly paper (suitable for journal publication) on an approved topic related to nonprofit organization management or third sector institutions. .

Required Foundation: (3 hours) selected from:

  • UAP 5454: Nonprofit Organization & Management
  • UAP 5534: Nonprofit Organization Leadership & Governance
  • UAP 5364: NGOs in International Development
  • UAP/PSCI 5164: Collaborative Governance & Civil Society

Approved Electives: (9 hours) selected from the following offerings:

  • UAP 5454: Nonprofit Organization & Management
  • UAP 5534: Nonprofit Organization Leadership & Governance
  • UAP 5364: NGOs in International Development
  • UAP/PSCI 5164: Collaborative Governance & Civil Society
  • UAP/GIA/PAPA 5034: Democratic Governance in the Economy
  • UAP/GIA 5274: Comparative Social Movements
  • UAP/PAPA 5544: Public & Nonprofit Financial Management
  • UAP/GIA/PSCI 5574: Arts, Culture and Civil Society
  • UAP 5594: Nonprofit Law and Ethics
  • PAPA 5674: Financial Health of Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • UAP/PAPA 5694: Asset Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • PAPA 6114: Complex Public Organizations
  • PAPA 6124: Behavior & Change in Public Organizations
  • PAPA 6324: Public Personnel Processes and Their Policy Implications*
  • UAP/GIA 5004: Power and Policy in the US
  • UAP 5084G: Advanced Community Involvement
  • UAP 5354: Charity, Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • GIA 6214: Democracy Beyond the Ballot
  • GIA 6224: Competing Conceptions of the Third Sector

Special Electives (maximum: 3 of 9 elective hours) requiring program approval:

* For PAPA courses with both a public administration and a nonprofit management stream in the same course, students should participate in the nonprofit management stream sections, lectures, readings and assignments.

Admission & Award Requirements

Admission and award requirements for the Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management certificate program are equivalent to the requirements for the Graduate School and the participating SPIA programs.


For persons not already enrolled in a Virginia Tech master's or doctoral program:

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Graduate School application (Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management)
  • Application Fee (see Graduate School for amount)
  • Transcripts - undergraduate and other graduate degrees, if applicable.
  • Demonstrated acquisition of verbal and quantitative skills through either:
    1. Three years of progressive work experience, or
    2. A cumulative GRE score of 305 (for exams taken after August 1, 2011) or 1160 (for exams taken before August 1, 2011).
  • Reference letters - three letters of recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter describing your substantive interests and possible area of specialization
  • International Students - also include TOEFL examination scores (minimum 590).

For master's and doctoral students:

  • be accepted as a graduate student in an established academic department
  • have at least one faculty member from the School with experience in NPOs/NGOs on your graduate committee
  • have your application signed by your major professor
  • provide evidence of how you will integrate this certificate program into your overall plan of study

Certificate Award

In order to earn the graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management, students must complete all certificate courses with a grade of "C-" or better and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 across the certificate courses.

How to Apply

Virginia Tech graduate students who are currently enrolled and working toward a degree should use the following to apply for entrance into the graduate certificate program in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management (NNMC). Submit the completed form to Max Stephenson (205 West Roanoke St. Blacksburg, VA, 24061). Individuals interest in enrolling in Virginia Tech and pursuing the graduate certificate should apply online at the Virginia Tech Graduate School website. The form can be found here.