The Certificate serves as a credible interim credential while the student continues his/her educational program toward the completion of a graduate or undergraduate degree.

Why a Certificate?

Pursuing a graduate certificate can help you “test the waters” to see if you want to continue on to receive a Master’s degree. A certificate can further your understanding and knowledge while helping you to become more effective in your current and future jobs to become a change agent or to fill a job requirement for continuing education.  Some of the benefits of certificates are following.

  • Our certificate can be completed in a shorter period of time than a normal degree program
  • The certificate serves as an outreach tool and re-entry point to bring people back to the university who have been away from higher education for some period of time
  • The certificate is valuable to informal community leaders who want to enhance their leadership skills
  • All non-degree seeking certificate credits can be transferred to degree-seeking credits later on when a student is interested in furthering his/her education 

Currently, we offer an Undergraduate Certificate in Community Leadership, and a graduate certificate in Public, Nonprofit & Community Leadership.

Graduate Certificate in Public, Non-Profit & Community Leadership Certificate - 15 credit hours (5 classes)

The Leadership Certificate is a valuable academic credential that reflects the participant's scholarly achievement in the areas of politics and public policy. Equally important, the Leadership Certificate Program offers participants the opportunity to develop the political skills and acumen necessary for leading effectively within his/her own organization, community, or jurisdiction. The Academic Certificate Program consists of five courses representing 15 semester hours of credit. 

With departmental approval, up to 12 credits can be transferred from the certificate program into a full graduate degree program. To set up an appointment or speak with a departmental advisor to pursue this option, please email

Undergraduate Certificate in Community Leadership - 15 credit hours (5 classes)

The Certificate program in community leadership is offered to those who take five courses of interests in community/labor organizing tracks. While a certificate program will be offered on the weekend as part of a regular ND class, there is no requirement of getting a BA prior to taking a certificate in labor and community organizing related classes.  The certificate program will be offered not only by faculty members at the political science department but also by well-known practitioners in fields of expertise (such as labor laws, collective bargaining, labor movement history, labor organizing, social media and organizing, rank and file leadership, etc.).


  • BA degree from an accredited college or university for an MA certificate
  • High school degree from an accredited high school for a BA certificate
  • Complete 5 courses (15 credits) with ND programs as a non-degree-seeking student

Tuition: Varies by fiscal year and level

  • The tutition and fees for a typical 3 credit graduate course for FY 2017-2018 will range from $1300-$1350*
  • The tutition and fees for a typical 3 credit undergraduate course for FY 2017-2018 will range from $1400-$1450*

*Please note that textbook costs are not included in these estimates.