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Please work with the CAS director to select electives that meet your goals.

The Certificate of Advanced Study in Civil Society Organizations is designed for students aiming to prepare themselves as professionals in the expanding field of non-governmental organizations and for students whose research interests focus on the roles of non-state actors in global civil society. This certificate is based on 15 hours of coursework that includes a foundational course, discipline-specific coursework, an internship/fieldwork requirement and a proseminar.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize theories used to understand civil society organizations.
  • Have an experience with a civil society organization either through a capstone exercise or internship.
  • Identify functions civil society organizations perform in global governance.
  • Identify challenges civil society organizations face and strategies to address them.

Program Requirements

Current students, please visit our Answers page for instructions, forms and current lists of available courses. For complete CAS requirements, please visit the Course Catalog.


Foundational Perspectives Course (3 credits)

Explore perspectives on global civil society organizations and transnational NGOs. Select one of the following courses, or another course approved by the director of the certificate program:

Anthropology: Culture in World Affairs (3 credits)

Public Administration and International Affairs:

  • Seminar on Nonprofit Management (3 credits)
  • Humanitarian Action: Challenges, Responses, Results (3 credits)
  • NGO Management in Developing and Transitioning Countries (3 credits)

Discipline-Specific Coursework (6 credits)


Complete at least 6 credits (two courses) of discipline-specific coursework selecting from a pre-approved course list or, with approval, draw upon graduate courses offered in your own department that are relevant to the topics of non-state actors and civil society or that help to develop research skills in this area.

Proseminar (3 credits)

Study the organizational challenges facing these actors (coordination, accountability, impact assessment) as well as the functions they perform.

Internship/Fieldwork Requirement (3 credits)


Participate in an internship program with a non-governmental organization or engage in research field work in an organization (in which case you will need to register for an independent study course).

Application Information

To obtain the certificate you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Consult with your faculty advisor, who will determine whether you can pursue the certificate consistent with the requirements of your degree program.

2. Apply to the director of the certificate program, Professor Brian Taylor, by completing the following documents: Graduate School Internal Admission Application Form which will be submitted by the Moynihan Institute to the Graduate School for processing.

3. After you have obtained your approval from the director of the certificate program, Professor Brian Taylor, please provide all completed forms to the regional program manager in the Moynihan Institute, 346-E Eggers Hall, for processing.


Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor

Professor, Political Science Department

Director, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Senior Research Associate, Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration

345 Eggers Hall
315.443.3713 |

Eleanor Langford

Eleanor Langford

Regional Program Manager, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

346 Eggers Hall
315.443.2935 |

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
346 Eggers Hall