The School of Philanthropy
Academic Programs

Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies provides students with education in the field of Philanthropic Studies.  The degree program introduces students to the critical issues and values of philanthropic practices. It is designed for those who have an interest, and perhaps career need, for this education but who do not wish to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies. It will provide opportunities both for students interested in learning more about the field as well as career professionals looking to expand their knowledge. The certificate may be completed on its own or in conjunction with other graduate study, e.g. Museum Studies, Public Affairs. 


The student must have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply.  Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.


Those interested should apply online through the IUPUI graduate school, but no letters of recommendation or GRE are required. Applicants whose native language is not English must pass the TOEFL with a score of 550 or higher. The deadline for Fall admission is May 15. The Spring deadline is November 15.

Please submit a resume with a cover letter stating why you are interested in the PHST graduate certificate.  


1. Students enrolled in a certificate program must complete it within 12 credit hours of approved course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B). Failure to do so results in automatic dismissal from the certificate program.
2. Students who have completed more than two PHST graduate courses must request permission to apply.
3. Transfer credit, course substitutions, or course waivers are not accepted without prior approval of the Director of Graduate Programs.
4. Admission to or successful completion of a certificate program does not guarantee subsequent admission to a PHST graduate degree program.
5. Students enrolled in the certificate program who apply to PHST's graduate degree programs must meet all existing admission requirements. If a student has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better at the completion of the certificate, the student can request a waiver of the GRE requirement in applying to the M.A.
6. Students must complete the certificate in five years.


Students must take a total of 12 credit hours. This total includes the following three required courses:

PHST-P521 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
PHIL-P542 Ethics and Values in Philanthropy or PHST-P530 Topics: Ethics and Philanthropy
PHST-P558 Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations  or SPEA-V558

In addition, the student must take one elective from the following courses:

PHST-P523 Civil Society and Philanthropy
PHST-P524 Civil Society in Comparative Perspective
PHST-P527 Cross Cultural Dimensions of Philanthropy
PHST-P535 Law of Nonprofit Organizations
ECON-E514 The Nonprofit Economy and Public Policy
PHST-P515 History of Philanthropy
HIST-H516 History of Philanthropy in the US
REL-R539 Religion and Philanthropy

Available online

Courses taken for the PHST certificate can also be counted toward other degrees. All 12 credits can transfer to the Philanthropic Studies M.A. or Ph.D. degrees.

Please contact Michele Farris at or (317) 278-8979 for more information.

Click here to view and print a PDF version of the certificate program checksheet

Student consumer information about this program