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

It's more than a class. The Core Program includes:

  • 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 '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

The Core Program is offered in four sites, and enrolled students commit to the schedule of their specific class. Our current schedule follows.

Boston, Merrimack Valley / Essex County, and Providence classes meet weekly with Management Seminar 4:00-6:00pm and Practice Seminar 6:30-8:30pm. Current schedules are:

  • Boston: Wednesday or Thursday (students are assigned to one day or the other) (4:00-8:30pm)

  • Lawrence: Wednesday (4:00-8:30pm)

  • Providence: Tuesday (4:00-8:30pm)

Cape Cod and the Islands classes meet once a month for a full day and approximately 3 practice seminar sessions per month in the morning or early afternoon on Martha’s Vineyard.

Our academic year lasts from mid-September through early May; a detailed schedule is provided during the enrollment process.

Learn More 

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions, or contact us to learn more.


Who are Core Program students?

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

  • Work in nonprofits of all sizes and sectors, as well as public sector leaders

  • Supervise staff and/or complex, multi-stakeholder activities

  • Seek to develop, hone, and apply 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.


Core Program tuition is $3,500 for the full year.

Many students are eligible for a Workforce Express Grant in Massachusetts or Incumbent Worker Training Grant in 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.