Graduate Certificate in the Social Economy and Co-operatives

Graduate Certificate in Social Economy and Co-operatives

The Graduate ­­­­­Certificate in the Social Economy and Co-operatives is designed for working professionals and graduate students who are looking to deepen and refine their understanding of the vital roles played by co-operatives, non-profits, and social enterprises in today’s economy.

Alongside the public and private sectors, there is a rich diversity of social economy organizations—co-operatives, credit unions, non-profits, charities, community associations, social enterprises, and more—working to provide goods and services to individuals and communities. Some of these organizations have operated for decades, such as retail co-ops and credit unions, while others are relatively new initiatives in areas ranging from renewable energy to car shares to platform co-ops, aiming to change how regular business is done. All of these organizations share a common characteristic, which is to prioritize social objectives over the accumulation of profit. Through engagement in seminar courses and independent research, participants in the certificate program will explore a number of broad issues, including: 

  • What is the role of co-operatives and social enterprises in today’s economy?
  • How do ethical leadership and decision-making affect an organization’s performance?
  • Why is governance so important and how is it different across the range of social economy organizations?
  • What policy conditions support the health of the various sectors comprising the social economy?

Offered in partnership with the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and with generous funding from CHS Inc., this certificate program is comprised of three graduate-level classes that can be completed entirely online or through a combination of in-person and online courses.

Learning Objectives

As a student in the Social Economy and Co-operatives certificate program, you will gain an understanding of the historical and current conditions leading to the creation of co-operatives and social economy organizations. You will also learn how to:

  • Evaluate the role of co-operatives and social economy organizations in delivering goods and services
  • Appraise the governance structures and practices of co-ops, non-profits, foundations, and other social economy organizations
  • Reflect on a range of leadership and decision-making practices
  • Apply concepts learned in the program to specific co-operative and social economy organizations using real-life case studies.


For more information, please contact:

Amy Hassett, Manager, Graduate Programs (On-site delivery)
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan
142-101 Diefenbaker Place
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B8
Phone: 306.966.1675

Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy is taught through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. The program offers courses on co-operatives as well as the possibility of a thesis on a co-operative topic. For a program description, qualifications, course information, fee schedule, and information about the internship option, click here.

PhD in Public Policy

The PhD in Public Policy is offered through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Like the Master's degree, the PhD offers the possibility of participating in co-operative courses as well as choosing a dissertation topic focussed on co-operative organizations. For a description of the program, application qualifications, course requirements, and information about tuition, funding, and exams, click here

You can find the application information for both of these programs here

Application deadlines are here.

Interdisciplinary Concentration in Co-operative Studies

A third option is the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Co-operative Studies, available through the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Students in this program undertake graduate studies and research with an interdisciplinary cohort of faculty who share a common research interest. Students who are part of a concentration are enrolled as graduate students in the Interdisciplinary Program and receive a Master's or PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Information about the Interdisciplinary Program can be found here.

Students interested in pursuing a Master's or PhD in the Co-operative Studies Concentration should contact the Centre Director.