Skip to main content

Nonprofit and Community Leadership Certificate

Gain insight on careers in
the nonprofit community sector

The Nonprofit & Community Leadership graduate certificate program prepares students to be agents of social change for the common good and transformational community leaders by providing them essential administrative and leadership skills.

The certificate is designed for students considering careers in the nonprofit community sector/international NGOs, those interested in developing their leadership capacity, and students generally interested in community service and public life. The program is dedicated to the development of mission-driven leaders, organizations, and communities. It emphasizes fundamental knowledge about nonprofit and communitybased organizations, the current trends, challenges and best practices in nonprofit leadership.

Program details

  • A 12 semester hour certificate program
  • Open to all UD undergraduate students with Junior standing, equivalent to 60 credit hours at time of course registration
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at time of application 
  • Six semester hours can double count as undergraduate elective hours
  • No GRE required for application or enrollment
  • No additional cost to UD undergraduate students

Apply here
  • A 12 semester hour certificate program
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at time of application
  • Minimal additional cost for UD graduate students

Apply here
  • A 12 semester hour certificate program
  • Open to non-degree/certificate only students in Dayton and Cincinnati regions
  • No GRE required for enrollment or application
  • Completed bachelor's degree with minimum overall 2.75 GPA
  • The cost of tuition is competitive with regional state universities

Apply here

NPCL Certificate Courses

  • MPA 561: Nonprofit and Community Leadership

UD catalog requirements
  • MPA 508: Contemporary Issues
  • MPA 516: Program Evaluation
  • MPA 526: Leadership in Building Community
  • MPA 562: Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations
  • MPA 563: NGO Management and Development
  • MPA 565: Grant Writing
  • MPA 566: Nonprofit Community Relations
  • MPA 569: Nonprofit Financial Management
  • COM 561: Corporate Public Relations

UD catalog requirements


The Nonprofit and Community Leadership Graduate certificate program is offered by the Department of Political Science. Please contact Dr. Li-Yin Liu if you're interested in the certificate program.

NPCL alumni testimonials

"I first heard of the program while working as a Community Outreach Counselor for United Way's Greater Dayton Helplink 211. I emailed Dr. Neiheisel and inquired about the program and he was very helpful. I currently work for Homefull, which is another Nonprofit as a Case Manager at a Permanent Supportive Housing Site. The NPCL program has given me the opportunity to learn more about Nonprofits and how they operate and how they are structured. I hope to soon begin the process of starting my own nonprofit based off of my strategic plan that I created as an assignment in one of Dr. Neiheisel classes. I am totally committed to helping others and after meeting him and taking this certification program it has moved me closer to my goal."

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to earn a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate at the University of Dayton. With 6-plus years of experience working in the local nonprofit sector, I returned to UD to pursue my Masters of Public Administration degree and the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program (NLCP). I also served as a graduate assistant while working through my graduate program coursework. I was delighted to discover there were many connections between my work in the classroom and my community engagement work with my assistantship. The program was not only instrumental for my vocational discernment, but it was also challenging and fun. This program is dedicated to the development of mission-driven leaders, organizations and communities. It emphasizes fundamental knowledge about nonprofit and community-based organizations, the current trends, challenges and best practices in nonprofit leadership. The curriculum was relevant, engaging and impactful for my professional development and understanding of effective nonprofit management. Due in large part to the mentorship of my professors in the NLCP, I chose to continue my nonprofit career and landed my dream job in higher education. The robust dialogue in the classroom and thought-provoking assignments continue to have an impact on me years beyond graduation."

"As a working professional in the nonprofit sector, this continuous education program is an opportunity for busy professionals working in a rapidly changing industry to tackle challenges with a strategic approach. The program provides opportunities for professional and personal growth by using 'real world' problems in the industry by applying concepts covered in the classroom. Participants can expect to take nonprofit theory and practices and apply everyday work day challenges and projects to emerge as a better leader and problem solver."

"The NPCL certificate training gave me the opportunity to learn a new business model, as I was working on changing careers from the profit sector to nonprofit. I am now doing marketing for a nonprofit business and all the classes have provided tremendous insight into practices and processes that I had not been exposed to. The certification is set up as well to be convenient while working. I have also really enjoyed meeting other students who work in various nonprofit organizations."


Department of Political Science

St. Joseph Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1425