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Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership (MA NML )

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Curriculum & Courses

The Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership (MA NML ) -- formerly the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizations (MNPO) -- is an advanced professional degree for those desiring careers as leaders of nonprofit organizations. The curriculum for this program includes core courses in key aspects of this field, supplemented by supervised internships and electives for specialization.

The primary objective of the program is to educate graduate students for careers in the nonprofit sector. To this end, the curriculum provides

Graduate students in the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership program are expected to develop and demonstrate their mastery of content and skills through a variety of core courses, internships, electives, and supervised research projects. Student progress will be measured based on course performance, individual self-assessments, the views and reactions of others (students, faculty, professionals), and coded assessment instruments and exercises. The curriculum is designed to be completed over three semesters and one summer. This allows sufficient time to educate generalists in nonprofit organizations and at the same time permit some degree of further specialization (for example, in human resources management or financial management). Part-time students are welcome. The scope of the curriculum and the areas of emphasis reflect our discussions with faculty and managers of nonprofit organizations as well as comparative analyses of other leading universities' programs in this field.

Program of Study


The specific structure and content of the curriculum include three major components:

1. Five core courses (3 hours each = 15 semester hours. You are required to take the following three courses:

The two remaining courses may be chosen from the Core Courses listing (see below) .

2. Two semesters of an internship, 3 hrs. each = 6 semester hours (MNML/MNPO 7055)

One semester of an internship, including an independent research project = 6 hrs.  This option requires prior approval by the program director.

 3.   Four related elective courses for specialization (3 hrs. each = 12 hours)



Two (2) of the following core courses are required for your program of study.  In addition, you may choose from this list of core courses for your electives. Note that the course prefix MNPO will change to MNML in Spring 2018, along with some of the course numbers. Please register for MNML course beginning Spring 2018.

7010 is the program’s course number for any course that is not offered on a regular basis. Although the course number is the same, the title and instructor will vary from section and semester. Ex: Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations.

Relevant courses from other departments can be selected to fulfill core course requirements with approval from the Program Director.  Examples of such courses include:  PADP 7210 – Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector: Theory and Practice; PADP 7900 – Managing Volunteers in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors. 


Students’ choices of electives should include courses that are relevant to their academic interests and career aspirations regarding nonprofit management and leadership.  Students are encouraged to talk with others about dimensions relevant to elective choices, such as course coverage, relevance to career goals, instructor expectations and teaching style, quality, etc.  All electives must be approved by the program director.