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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Nonprofit Administration

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Dr. Triparna Vasavada
School of Public Affairs
Penn State Harrisburg
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4898
Telephone: 717-948-6363
Fax: 717-948-6320

The graduate credit certificate program in Nonprofit Administration is offered by the graduate program in Public Administration at Penn State Harrisburg. The certificate is designed for administrators and professionals in government and not-for-profit organizations who need to acquire additional knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Management of nonprofit organizations and leadership
  • In-depth understanding of nonprofit organizations’ evolution, current operation, and future direction
  • Understanding of finance, taxation, and competition that affect an organization’s future
  • Working in the nonprofit sector

Admission Requirements

  1. An applicant must apply for admission to the certificate program via the Graduate School application for admission. Admission requirements are stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. International applicants must satisfy the English proficiency requirement
  2. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate work. Applicant must have at least two years of managerial or administrative experience in the nonprofit sector. 
  3. Applicant must have at least two years of managerial or administrative experience in the nonprofit sector.

Participants will apply to the program by completing the online Graduate School certificate application, including payment of the application fee, and will earn the certificate upon successful completion of the three required courses and one elective course (12 credits). All courses must be taken for a letter grade with at least a 3.0 average maintained; no grades below a C will be counted toward the certificate.

If a student who is already enrolled in a graduate degree program wishes to enroll in this graduate credit certificate program as well, he/she must do so by completing the online certificate application and paying the application fee.

Students who are already enrolled in the Public Administration degree program at Penn State Harrisburg must complete a “Notice of Intent” form as well in order to enroll in the certificate program. These students can choose elective courses for their MPA degree program in accordance with the requirements of the certificate program in order to earn the certificate in Nonprofit Administration. Courses taken in the certificate program may be applied toward a graduate degree in Public Administration, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer of Nondegree and Certificate Graduate Credits. 

The certificate program consists of four graduate courses (12 credits). All courses must be at the 500 level. Students are required to take three required courses and one elective course of their choice.



  • 517. Nonprofit Organizations: History and Evolution (3)
  • 518. Nonprofit Organizations: Management and Leadership (3)
  • 519. Nonprofit Organizations: Resource Development and Management (3)

Elective Courses: (choose one)

Students are required to take one elective 3-credit course. Students are free to choose any 3-credit course at the 500 level that is relevant to their interest. Following is the suggested list of courses from which students can choose.


  • 510. Organization
  • 514. Public Organization and Managerial Consultation
  • 516. Strategic Planning
  • 522. Government Financial Management
  • 523. Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting
  • 550. Program Planning and Evaluation

Effective Date: Summer Session 2017
Expiration Date: Summer Session 2022

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2017


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