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Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Planning

Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Planning (Online)

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Planning is designed for nonprofit professionals who want to offer their organizations the 21st century leadership and strategic planning skills that are needed to survive in today’s nonprofit economy. The program provides core level training in leadership and strategic planning and gives students the flexibility to focus on the area of nonprofit management that will best fit their future plans.

The program consists of 6 courses (18 semester credit hours) which are outlined below. All courses are taught online by accomplished faculty and industry experts.

4 Required Courses (3 hours each/12 hours total):

POLS 6310

Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations

POLS 6318

Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sector

POLS 6331

 Strategic Planning in Non-Profit Sector

POLS 6380

Internship in Nonprofit Management l

2 Elective (3 hours each/6 hours total):

HUM 6301

Principles of Nonprofit Marketing

SOS 6311

  Principles of Nonprofit Finance

POLS 6306    Government Lobbying and Advocacy

POLS 6311

Program Assessment and Evaluation

POLS 6312

Resourcing the Nonprofit Organization

POLS 6313

Governance, the Volunteer Board,
and Organizational Behavior

POLS 6314

Leadership Trends/Topics
in Nonprofit Organizations

    POLS 6319

 Law and Legal Considerations for Nonprofits

    POLS 6381

 Internship in Nonprofit Management ll

    POLS 6395

Special Project in Nonprofit Management

Admission Criteria

Applicants must hold a BA, BS, or an equivalent degree from an accredited college or university in the US or overseas and have proficiency in English (if a graduate of a university in which English is not the native language) provided by adequate TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores. The recommended/preferred GPA for applicants is 2.5 or higher.

How to Apply

Complete and submit all of the following items in order to be considered for admission. Resumes and personal statements can be uploaded through the applicant portal, emailed to, or mailed to:

Office of Admissions – Graduate Admissions
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street, Suite GSB 308
Houston, TX 77002-1001

Application Checklist:

  • Submit an application 
  • Pay the $35 application fee
  • Request/submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended to the email or mailing address above (including community college work and prior graduate work).
  • Provide a professional/personal resume
  • Provide a personal statement of 750 words or less in response to this prompt: Describe your experiences in the nonprofit sector and explain how those experiences have prepared you to succeed in nonprofit management.
  • Provide TOEFL scores of 550 with section scores of 50 or higher (if a graduate of a university in which English is not the native language).

Gainful Employment Information