Certificates

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Certificates

Specialized professional certificates take you further faster

Certificates offer focused programs of study to students looking to advance their expertise in nonprofit administration, politics, or public finance and economic development. The certificates are designed to help students advance to the next stage in their careers. Many students who pursue a certificate are enrolled in another degree program at Penn, or are working professionals looking to deepen their knowledge of a particular area to take their career to the next level. Certificates can be completed in as little as one year, and can also be combined with an MPA degree.

Application Deadlines

ADMISSION CYCLE DEADLINE
Summer May 1
Fall July 1
Spring December 1

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Current Penn graduate students may contact felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu to enroll in certificate courses.

The Certificate in Nonprofit Administration offers current and aspiring nonprofit leaders a practical education to have an even greater impact on their organizations and communities. The certificate has an interdisciplinary curriculum covering the fundamental competencies of nonprofit management such as organizational leadership, governance, policy influence, program evaluation, financial management, marketing, and fundraising.

The Certificate in Nonprofit Administration requires four (4) c.u.*, including two (2) foundational courses and two (2) electives chosen from the list below.

Foundational Courses

  • GAFL 549: Leading Nonprofits
  • Choose one of the following:
    • GAFL 652: Financial Management of Government and Nonprofit Organizations
    • GAFL 529: Nonprofit Financial Management

Electives

Choose two of the following:

  • GAFL 735: The Performance Imperative
  • GAFL 640/GAFL 641: Program Evaluation and Data Analysis
  • GAFL 559: Social Enterprise, Social Finance, and Collective Impact toward System and Policy Change

Additionally, Fels offers workshops throughout the year on topics such as grant writing, fundraising, and social enterprises. Certificate students are strongly encouraged to attend these workshops.

A course may only be counted toward one certificate, and Fels MPA and EMPA students may count no more than two core courses toward a certificate.

*Academic credit (PDF) is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Certificate in Public Finance and Economic Development allows students to learn how to promote economic growth at the community, organizational, and policy levels, while also gaining fundamental competencies of effective financial management needed to work in public finance. Elective coursework focuses on advancing equity and inclusion in development, and how to use data and analysis to make informed financial decisions.

The Certificate in Public Finance and Economic Development requires four (4) c.u.*, including two (2) foundational courses and two (2) electives: one (1) from the economic growth focus, and one (1) from the public finance focus.

Foundational Courses

Choose one of the following:

  • GAFL 621: Public Economics
  • GAFL 622: Economic Principles of Public Policy

Choose one of the following:

  • GAFL 651: Public Finance and Public Policy
  • GAFL 528: Critical Issues in Public Finance

Economic Growth Elective

Choose one of the following:

  • GAFL 506: The Problem of Jobs – The Philadelphia Story
  • GAFL 569: The Politics of Housing and Urban Development

Public Finance Elective

Choose one of the following:

  • GAFL 517: Quantitative Tools for Consulting
  • GAFL 529: Non-Profit Financial Management
  • GAFL 652: Financial Management of Government and Nonprofit Organizations

A course may only be counted toward one certificate, and Fels MPA and EMPA students may count no more than two core courses toward a certificate.

*Academic credit (PDF) is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Certificate in Politics is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and practical skills to effectively navigate complex and diverse political environments. Students who have completed this certificate have gone on to manage political campaigns, run for office, work at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and lead local, state, and federal government organizations.

The Certificate in Politics requires four (4) c.u.*, including two (2) foundational courses and two (2) electives chosen from the list below.

Foundational Courses

  • GAFL 502: Public Communications
  • GAFL 551 Government Relations

Electives

Choose two of the following:

  • GAFL 631: Public Law and Public Process 
  • GAFL 710: Negotiations
  • GAFL 509: Who Gets Elected and Why?
  • GAFL 559: Social Enterprise, Social Finance, and Collective Impact toward System and Policy Change

A course may only be counted toward one certificate, and Fels MPA and EMPA students may count no more than two core courses toward a certificate.

*Academic credit (PDF) is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

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Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326
felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu

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