Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Public and Nonprofit Financial Management
2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23294
Contact this Certificate
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Amanda Fawkes:
Leisha LaRiviere:

Certificate Overview

The graduate certificate in Public and Non-profit Financial Management is designed to develop students' and professional financial managers’ understanding of the concepts and practice of financial management in the public and nonprofit sectors.  The certificate integrates financial management perspectives from the Federal, State, Local and Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organizations while synthesizing the concept of financial resiliency for organizations. 

As public service organizations continue to face financial difficulties, financial mastery can no longer simply be the sole purview of accountants and other specially trained individuals. In the new public service landscape, financial competency is a must for all employees, and financial mastery is increasingly a pre-requisite for high-level positions in public service organizations. Available throughout the Commonwealth through virtual classroom technology, the Public and Non-Profit Financial Management certificate is designed for full-time students as well as part-time and working professional students. The shared format allows for a productive mix of viewpoints and experience levels, which enhances learning for all students. Students earning this certificate are prepared for a public service labor market that will demand financial literacy, whether they are pre-career students seeking first jobs or working professionals looking to broaden their horizons and for opportunities for advancement. Students are exposed to a full spectrum of financial management issues through both theoretical instruction and case studies. Classroom discussion and both group and individual assignments simulate real work scenarios and prepare students for real life application.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements

Non-degree candidates may apply for admission to graduate study using the Virginia Tech Graduate School's online application system at Admissions. Interested students must submit an official copy of their college transcript documenting receipt of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an acceptable grade point average to the Virginia Tech Graduate School as part of the application process.

Degree and non-degree candidates must submit the Application for Graduate Certificate form to the Graduate School.

Course Requirements

All students must complete SPIA 5024 and at least three of the other four courses listed below for a total of 12 hours of graduate coursework. Students are required to complete four courses with a GPA of 3.0 or better in order to earn the certificate.


  • SPIA 5024 - Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Financial Management  Fundamental concepts and tools of public and nonprofit financial management. Organization, administration, leadership and ethics. Budgeting, accounting, cash management, auditing and internal controls. Capital and debt financial management. Financial resiliency and financial condition analysis. 

Three of the following:

  • SPIA 5544 - Public and Nonprofit Financial Management  Role of finance in the management of complex public, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations. Functions of financial management, including planning and budgeting, reporting, resource acquisition, and internal controls in the nonprofit context. 
  • SPIA 5654 - Capital & Debt Financial Management for Public & Nonprofit Organizations Capital budgeting, debt limits and debt policies. Connections among Federal, state and local government capital budgeting. Debt issuance, internal controls, interest earnings and the role of financial institutions. Benchmarking techniques and best practices for the financial health and resiliency of public and nonprofit organizations. 
  • SPIA 5674 - Financial Health of Public and Non-Profit Organizations  Concepts, tools and techniques, analytical capacities necessary to evaluate financial condition and the overall financial health of governmental and nonprofit organizations. Resiliency and the impact of policy on the organization. 
  • SPIA 5644 - Budget Performance Management & Outcomes for Public & Nonprofit Organizations Budgeting, performance management, and outcome measurement for public and nonprofit organizations. Connections among Federal, state, local and nonprofit budgeting processes. Budgeting as strategic planning. Performance budgeting, benchmarking, and resiliency in the development of public and nonprofit organization budgets.