Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Interested in expanding or developing your career in the field of nonprofit management? Wayne State's new graduate certificate in nonprofit management is designed to support a variety of nonprofit management and policy careers, including organizational and program managers, nonprofit CEOs and board chairs, professionals in the resource development field, and those working or aspiring to build a career in philanthropic organizations.

The graduate certificate in nonprofit management is a 12-credit program designed to combine academic rigor with practical relevance. Certificate instructors are the core faculty of the nationally accredited top-quality master of public administration (M.P.A.) program, as well as part-time faculty with expertise in nonprofit management.

Through our course offerings, students develop critical nonprofit management competencies and obtain essential skills that are in high demand by the nonprofit sector organizations in metro Detroit, the wider southeast Michigan region and beyond. Some of the competencies include nonprofit financial management, marketing and grant writing, ability to identify funding sources, leadership skills, data analysis and presentation skills.

Certificate courses are taught mostly online. The regular and flexible program offerings enable the completion of the program in as little as one academic year, allowing immediate transfer of the knowledge into the field.

Who can apply?

The graduate certificate in nonprofit management welcomes applications from people holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education who have experience of working in the nonprofit sector, resource development field, and philanthropic organizations, or seeking any of such careers.

Admission also is open to applicants pursuing graduate degrees at WSU or other institutions. The certificate program presents a great opportunity for those professionals who are seeking to develop an alternative career or tailor their existing qualifications to the needs of the nonprofit sector.

Since the launch of the program in Fall 2020, we have welcomed more than 40 graduate certificate students from diverse educational and social backgrounds and all walks of life, including those with many years of experience in the field and those who had already completed degrees in other fields. The program currently has 5 graduates/alumni who are putting their nonprofit competencies to use in Metropolitan Detroit.

View graduate certificate in nonprofit management admissions

Alumna: Alicia Arkwright, development director, North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy

Taking this program while working has helped me understand my role more clearly and connected me to other industry professionals. The faculty are knowledgeable and genuinely committed to their students' success.

"I began the nonprofit certificate program two months after starting my new role with a nonprofit. This job is my first professional role within the nonprofit sector. Taking this program while working has helped me understand my role more clearly and connected me to other industry professionals. The faculty are knowledgeable and genuinely committed to their students' success. I would highly recommend this program to anyone new to the nonprofit sector or a seasoned professional interested in pursuing leadership roles."


For more information regarding this program please email the certificate coordinator Dr. Alisa Moldavanova at

View press release

Who can benefit from obtaining the certificate

  • Current employees of nonprofit organizations holding at least a bachelor's degree who have not had formal nonprofit training and are looking for professional development and career advancement
  • Students who already have (or are currently pursuing) master's and doctoral degrees in the liberal arts and humanities, and who would like to develop marketable competencies for careers in art museums, historical societies, theaters, and other arts and humanities organizations in Detroit, southeast Michigan, and beyond
  • Social work, public health, urban development and other college majors interested in working in community development, environmental, human service, and health nonprofits, or interested in starting their own nonprofit in those areas
  • Current university/college employees working in foundation relations, alumni relations, and development departments
  • Current M.P.A. students or alumni looking to expand their career choices and tailor their competencies to the nonprofit field
  • Prospective M.P.A. applicants who are seeking to start their graduate work from the nonprofit certificate, and later transfer their credits towards their M.P.A. degree

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.