The Core Certificate Program equips nonprofit leaders with the skills, content, networks, and faculty experts they need to make strategic, mission-driven decisions.

This 22 session program consists of three core components:

  • Weekly Management Seminars, taught by core faculty and supported by guest lecturers, that survey the fundamentals of management and leadership
  • Weekly Practice Seminars conducted in small groups that engage in action-oriented problem-solving regarding specific challenges confronted by participants and their organizations
  • One-on-one mentorship with an experienced nonprofit or private sector leader working in your area of interest

You'll walk away with:

  • A certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University
  • A concise and compelling core “story” about your organization – its mission, vision and strategy, strengths, challenges, impact, and future
  • The skills to more effectively manage the financial and human resources of your organization
  • A stronger and distinctive voice to confidently lead within your organization

Schedule and Locations

Our academic year lasts from mid-September through early May. The program meets one evening per week on the following schedule:

  • Management Seminar: 4:00pm-6:00pm
  • Practice Seminar: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    • Greater Boston: Wednesday or Thursday
    • Merrimack Valley: Wednesday
    • Rhode Island: Tuesday
    • Cape Cod and the Islands: Meets on special schedule; contact us to learn more.

Application Process 

Applications for the 2017-18 program year will be available by mid-November. Learn more about the application process here.


“This is more than professional development. It’s a finishing school.”

—Pat Kirby,  Chief Growth Officer and Executive Director, Citizen Schools Massachusetts

Who are Core students?

The Core Certificate Program is a good fit for active managers, directors, and executives who:

  • Lead across nonprofits of all sizes and foci or in the public sector
  • Supervise staff and complex, multi-stakeholder activities
  • Seek to develop and hone their management and leadership skills
  • Are committed to their own and others' learning in an inclusive environment

We actively seek to engage diverse classes in order to advance a leadership pipeline that reflects our communities and to strengthen the learning experience. 

Questions? Feel free to email us at any time to discuss your interest in the program.


Most frequently, organizations fund their employees’ tuition. Core Program tuition is determined on a sliding fee scale based on organizational size:

  • $3,200 for employees of organizations whose operating budget is under $1 million
  • $3,500 for employees of organizations whose operating budget is between $1 - 5 million
  • $3,800 for employees of organizations whose operating budget is over $5 million

Many students are eligible for a Workforce Express Grant in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, which will reimburse organizations for up to 50% of the tuition.

Continuing Education

This program has been approved for 88 Social Work Continuing Education hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 258 CMR.