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Graduate Certificates

In addition to the MPA degree, the program offers graduate certificates in Nonprofit Management and Emergency Management. Each certificate requires a total of 18 semester credit hours. 

Students completing a graduate certificate may apply for admission to the MPA program. If admitted, they may receive up to 15 hours of credit towards the 36 credit hour master's degree. 

To qualify for admission to one of the graduate certificates, an applicant must:

  1. Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher (on a scale of 4.0) for all college work or a 3.0 for all graduate work.
  3. Submit a narrative essay of 300 to 400 words stating career and academic goals and how the graduate certificate program will help in attaining those goals.
The Nonprofit Management Certificate is designed to provide students and practitioners with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to manage and lead nonprofit organizations. Current staff of nonprofit organizations as well as others wishing to explore a future in the field can benefit from this 18-credit program that consists of nine required credit hours and another nine credit hours that are selected by the student. See full curriculum here.

The Emergency Management graduate certificate is suited for individuals currently employed or interested in emergency management in local, state or federal government or in universities, schools, hospitals, other nonprofits, or private businesses. Students may complete the certificate at their own pace with most of them taking a year or two by enrolling in one to three courses per semester. In addition, they may choose to pursue the certificate in a mix of online and face-to-face classes or in a completely online format.

The core courses are taught online, and the electives are taught either online or on weekday evenings (6:15 to 9 p.m.), and they include a mix of lecture, seminar, small group, and service learning. See full curriculum here.

ScrapNati Class


In addition to the MPA degree, our program offers micro-credentials that can demonstrate your mastery of relevant workplace skills, abilities and competencies. Micro-credentials can be professional assets not only to you, but also to your employer. NKU micro-credentials may be displayed on online platforms—including your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook pages—as well as on your resume as you look to secure a job or advance professionally.  

Micro-credentials offered by the MPA program:

Arts Administration - Learn to work with a variety of nonprofit arts organizations.

Disaster Readiness - When uncertainty strikes, preparation saves lives. Become more aware of and prepared for both natural and man-made disasters with relevant knowledge, skills and strategies.

Leadership in the Public Sector - Stay focused on professionalism, effectiveness, ethics and fairness as you serve the public as a leader or manager.

GIS and Mapping - Use modern tools to manage and analyze geospatial data.

Serving Veterans and Families - Prepare to work more effectively with veterans transitioning to non-military workplaces and settings, and their families.

NKU has partnered with Acclaim, a secure platform for earning, distributing and displaying digital micro-credentials.  Each micro-credential requires a total of 6-9 semester credit hours.

More information on micro-credentials can be found here.


Northern Kentucky University - Master of Public Administration
FH 572B, Highland Heights, KY 41099
Email / Phone 859.572.5326