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Executive Leadership and Governance

Make an impact on your community by effectively leading mission-driven operations. In this graduate certificate program in Executive Leadership and Governance, you’ll develop knowledge in board and senior-level leadership, value-centered leadership, strategic planning, and culture development within nonprofit and/or nongovernmental organizations. Learn to better navigate organizational challenges and changes by leveraging tools in leadership, change management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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At a Glance

Classes Begin
June 17

Term Length
10 Weeks

4 Course Certificate


6 Course Certificate


Evening or Online


As few as 6 months

As few as 12 months

Top-Ranked University

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Brian Cicero

Talk to an Enrollment Manager

Free Application


University College is committed to educational access, and given the difficult circumstances currently impacting millions of people, we are waiving application fees.

Skills You’ll Learn

Using leadership skills, strengths, and behaviors, develop sound leadership development plans

Make a positive impact on your organization’s health through evaluation of effective leadership

Assess organizational operations, capacity, governance, and program delivery


Specialized Graduate Certificate in Certificate of Advanced Study in Executive Leadership and Governance requires completion of 16 credit hours (4 courses).


Concentration Courses

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Graduate Certificate in Certificate of Advanced Study in Executive Leadership and Governance requires completion of 24 credit hours (6 courses).



Concentration Courses
Elective Courses

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Featured Instructors

Sample Schedule

Plan your schedule to complete your graduate certificate. Finish quickly in just six months or take up to two years (four course certificate) or three years for a six-course certificate.

Year 1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
4-Course Certificate Classes 2 2 0 0
6-Course Certificate Classes 3 3 0 0
Year 1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
4-Course Certificate Classes 1 1 2 0
6-Course Certificate Classes 2 2 2 0
Year 1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
4-Course Certificate Classes 1 1 1 1
6-Course Certificate Classes 1 2 2 1

Interested in a master’s degree?

Explore our Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership with a concentration in Executive Leadership and Governance.

Take a Course Before You Apply


We know how important it is to get started when you’re ready and that’s why you can enroll in a course before you officially apply.

Career Outcomes

Predicted outcomes for graduates of Executive Leadership and Governance

According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies (2016), nonprofits are creating jobs three times faster than for-profits and is the third largest industry in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found there were nearly 12.3 million jobs in the nonprofit sector in 2016, which amounts to 10.2% of employment in the United States. The Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact study found that nonprofits make 11.3% of the states GDP and accounts for over 333,000 jobs.

A report done by the Philanthropy Outlook projects charity giving will grow 3.8% over the next year. This increase of funds will help community service agencies to create new positions.

Job Titles

Nonprofit President
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Operating Officer

Executive Director
Director of Membership
Associate Director





Nonprofit Director Salary​: National Average



Get Ahead with Career Services


One-on-one career coaching and mock interviews


Job database dedicated to DU students and alumni


Résumé and cover letter guidance

Hear from Our Students

Theme: Job Satisfaction

Nonprofit Fundraising During Tumultuous Times

These times are tumultuous, yet nonprofit organizations still need to move forward to make the world a better place. How are we navigating our organizations and fundraising programs through this time of uncertainty? Let’s come together and discuss how we all can survive and even thrive in these times. In this session, seasoned nonprofit professionals who are Nonprofit Leadership faculty, will address the challenges of creating a fundraising strategy in the age of COVID-19 and practical tips to make your fundraising program work in times of crisis.

Flexible Online Classes


We understand the demands of balancing work, friends and family, and school can be challenging. That's why at University College, you can complete your program entirely online. Our online learning platform makes it easy to work anywhere at any time.

Online Experience5


Higher Learning Commission

University College programs maintain the highest level of accreditation offered by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The University of Denver and all of its academic programs are regionally accredited by this commission, and regional accreditation is the highest standard for universities in the United States.

Nonprofit Academic Centers Council
The Nonprofit Leadership program at DU's University College is a proud member of several leading nonprofit associations, including the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).



Colorado Nonprofit Association
The University of Denver's Nonprofit Leadership program through University College is proud to be a sponsor of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, a valued community partnership for more than a decade.

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