Is the certificate an actual credential or just verification of attendance?

The Maryland Higher Education Commission has approved the certificate as an accredited graduate credential.

If I decide to pursue a master’s degree, can I get credit for the certificate courses?

Yes, but it depends on the requirements of the master’s program you decide to pursue.  The nonprofit management program has a dual degree arrangement with the Master’s in Public Management, the Master’s in Museum Studies and the Master’s in Communication. Various arrangements are possible. Contact nonprofit@jhu.edu or your academic advisor.

How is this nonprofit management certificate different from others offered elsewhere?

It’s important to understand that many universities offer a nonprofit management certificate that is not an accredited graduate credential. Some are certificates of completion, awarded after a student completes a self-guided program of lessons; others are continuing education or professional development programs.  The Johns Hopkins University Certificate in Nonprofit Management is an accredited graduate program for which participants receive graduate credit.

Would I get the same content in these other programs?

You would likely get perfectly fine and useful content in any nonprofit management program, including workshops offered by your local United Way or association of nonprofits. Choose whatever seems the best fit. We designed our program to take advantage of some unique elements. One is the reputation of Johns Hopkins itself and the leverage a Hopkins credential can offer. Another is the university’s global reputation for its nonprofit studies and education. The fully on-line format gives our program a global reach, which we think is of immense value in today’s world, and so we have built a global perspective wherever appropriate in all of the courses. Thanks to the reputation of the university, we are able to attract people with deep expertise and national and international reputations to teach our courses. Add all of these factors to the program’s accreditation as a graduate credential, and we have a unique offering.

Is there an opportunity for the students to meet each other?

There is no formal opportunity for students to meet each other in person. But students who live in the same region have gotten together, and individuals have sought out each other.

Is there an opportunity for students to interact personally with faculty?

There are many ways that students connect personally with faculty. Depending on location, students and faculty will meet in person, talk by phone, meet over Skype, or simply communicate one-on-one by email. Of the five faculty members, three are in the Baltimore/Washington DC region, one is in Minnesota and one is in New York.

Are there older people in the program?

Yes!  Most of the students are working professionals in their 30’s or 40’s, but there are some younger students who have just graduated from college and older students who have over 30 years of experience in their fields. Some are thinking about changing careers or retiring and pursuing encore careers. Others have focused on family responsibilities and are now ready to return to the workforce. The internet is a great equalizer – no one in fully on-line classes remains aware of the age differences for long, and the mix of seasoned insights and youthful aspiration makes the exchange of ideas especially enlightening for all.

How did you choose the nonprofit management courses?

Johns Hopkins faculty have been teaching these courses in face-to-face classes for several years, so we have evidence of their value. In the wider world of nonprofit studies, scholars have worked with practitioners to create an ideal curriculum. Our courses represent the core of that ideal curriculum.

How does an on-line course work?

On-line courses are structured very similarly to face-to-face graduate seminars. They are conducted over the length of a regular semester. There is usually one topic a week with reading material, audio presentations and links uploaded by the instructor to a course website. There is a discussion forum for each topic where everyone in the class contributes. The instructor may weigh in during the discussion or formally wrap up a week’s topic. There may be written assignments along the way. Most instructors assign a final paper. Here is where students usually have a lot of freedom to pursue the nonprofit subject that’s of greatest interest, whether it’s the arts or international development, health, advocacy, and so on.

Is time zone difference a problem?

The fully on-line format means the courses are offered asynchronously, which means everyone is not required to be on-line at the same time. The courses have schedules and deadlines, but within that, the students can tackle the work at a time and place of their choice. Our students live and work all over the United States and in all parts of the globe.

What are the biggest challenges for students taking on-line courses?

Students say that time management can be a challenge when there isn’t a face-to-face class on the schedule. When students are asked about their experience with on-line classes in general, we hear two themes in particular. The first is that they are afraid they won’t know what is expected of them, and the second is that they are afraid the professor will disappear. Our faculty are clear about expectations, and they are deeply engaged in the courses and with the students. Students sometimes say they liked the on-line courses better than they expected!

How many students are in each on-line class?

Classes are the size of a typical graduate seminar – usually between 12-15 students, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less.

How many courses can I take per semester? About how much time should I expect to spend on each class per week?

Since this is a part-time graduate program, most students take one to two courses a semester. You may take up to three classes per semester, with approval from your advisor, but a high course load is not recommended if you work full-time or have other responsibilities. You can expect to spend approximately 12-15 hours per week for each class. Fully on-line classes are more intense than face-to-face ones.

I work full-time and am not sure how many courses I’ll be able to handle each semester. How long do I have to complete the program?

You have five years to complete the six courses. They are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. However, there are two courses that are only offered in the Summer. Students may take two consecutive semesters off without formal permission. If you are not taking a class in either the Fall or Spring semesters, you may have to pay a small fee to stay enrolled. If you do not take classes for an entire year, you must apply for a leave of absence.

As an on-line student, do I have access to JHU library resources and services?

Yes. The JHU library offers students access to periodicals, journals, databases and other resources that are available on-line. Most readings assigned by your professor are either uploaded directly to the Blackboard course site or are accessible through electronic reserves (also called e-reserve).

Are courses offered all year-round?

Yes, courses are usually offered all three semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer. Fall and Spring semesters are 14 weeks. Summer has two offerings, 14 weeks and 12 weeks.

How long does it take to know if you’ve been admitted?

In general, we ask that students allow six to eight weeks at the most. The timing depends on when the review committee can meet. If we are expecting your application, we can process it quickly.

I graduated many years ago and don’t think I can find anyone to be an academic reference. What should I do?

Although the university prefers that at least one of the two required references be from your academic experience, we recognize that’s not always possible. Ask both of your references to attest to your ability to succeed in a graduate-level program.

How important is the grade point average (GPA) for admission?

This program requires at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale or equivalent for admission. It’s an important indication of one’s potential for success in a graduate-level course. But people with significant work experience and achievement will be considered, particularly if their postsecondary education occurred many years ago. Contact nonprofit@jhu.edu for guidance.

Do Canadian citizens with postsecondary degrees from a Canadian university also have to have their courses evaluated by a third party service?

The university requires all students who earned degrees outside the United States to have their courses evaluated for equivalency to the U.S. system, and as a matter of policy, the university applies this requirement to everyone. But please contact nonprofit@jhu.edu for guidance.

Where do your students get jobs?

Our students have jobs in government agencies, international management consulting firms, labor unions, think tanks, microfinance, corporations, the charter school movement, environmental organizations, political organizations, associations of all kinds, youth-serving and charitable nongovernmental organizations in other countries, public health projects and nonprofit hospitals. In a recent survey of all graduates of JHU’s Advanced Academic Programs, 93 percent said their graduate education at the university helped them get a new job.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.