The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is a collaborative effort between the Lubar College of Business, the College of Letters & Science, and other campus units that have research and teaching interests in nonprofit management and leadership, nonprofit organizations, the nonprofit sector, and philanthropy. The certificate responds to the growing need for trained professionals to assume management and leadership positions in non-governmental, nonprofit sector organizations.

The multi-disciplinary Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue or advance careers within nonprofit sector organizations successfully. It is the first graduate-level program to be provided by any college or university in the State of Wisconsin that has been specifically designed for the leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations.

Combining the Graduate Certificate with Another Graduate Degree

Students in degree programs across campus such as urban studies, public administration, business, social welfare, education, or the arts, have combined the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management with their degree to further enhance their academic preparation for their particular career goals.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Applications are considered on a rolling admissions basis, although we suggest that a completed portfolio be submitted at least 6-8 weeks prior to the beginning of the starting semester.

Applicants should keep in mind that applications for various University fellowships are typically due in January. If you are planning to apply for Financial Aid, all application materials must be submitted by March 1 of each year.


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

Students wishing to earn a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management must complete the required 15 graduate credit hours. No student may complete all 15 credits within a single school or college. The curriculum consists of the following five courses:

BUSMGMT 718Concepts and Practice of Nonprofit Management3
BUSMGMT 721Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations3
BUSMGMT 724Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations3
NONPROF 725Governance of Nonprofit Organizations3
Select one of the following:3
Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
Executive Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations
Professionals and Volunteers in Nonprofit Organizations
Introduction to Nonprofit Revenue Streams and Portfolios
Total Credits15

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.

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