Public and Nonprofit Management | Online

Program Type
Certificate of Graduate Study (Online)
Certificate of Graduate Study
Modes of Study

Tuition & fees

Costs include tuition & fees. Tuition varies based on residency and mode of study. Students who study fully online receive our e-tuition rate. See cost details

Credit hours

12 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Program duration

Finish in as little as 1 year. Explore program requirements


Apply for fall, spring, or summer term. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Choose a mode of study that is blended (a mix of online and in-person courses) or fully online.
  • Save money with affordable tuition: Students who choose to study fully online receive our e-tuition rate.
  • Make progress toward a future graduate degree: Apply course credits from your certificate toward a USM master’s degree.
  • Learn from expert faculty and research staff with a wide variety of academic, public management, and direct-service backgrounds.
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Program requirements

Our curriculum is designed to provide you with the advanced knowledge, skills, and techniques to respond to the managerial and leadership challenges in the nonprofit and public sectors.

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Experiential learning

You’ll have the opportunity to attend, participate in, and contribute to the Muskie School’s expanding public outreach activities.

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Research opportunities

Participate in research that’s meaningful to you. The Muskie School of Public Service is nationally recognized for applying the university’s analysis and research resources to critical issues in the fields of health policy, child and family well-being, disability and aging, public sector management and innovation, and more.

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Faculty support

Nearly half of our faculty hold joint teaching and research appointments. They are actively engaged in rigorous inquiry about the complex challenges of democratic governance in our diverse communities, states, and nation.

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Future degree planning

Interested in earning your Master’s degree in Policy, Planning, and Management in the future? The credits you earn through this certificate program can be applied to our MPPM. Some restrictions may apply.

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Career opportunities

Prepare for a wide range of career opportunities. Gain the skills to lead and manage in public governance and nonprofit organizations, participate in and contribute to the policy process, analyze and develop public policy, and communicate and interact effectively with a diverse and changing citizenry.

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Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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Admission information: Certificate of Graduate Study in Public and Nonprofit Management

Application deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Application deadlineFall term startSpring term startSummer term start
FinalAugust 1December 15April 15

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay: In a brief essay (300-500 words), please state your reasons for pursuing a Certificate of Graduate Study in Public and Nonprofit Management, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals.

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address