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Top 25 Master’s in Nonprofit Management Degree Programs

TOP-50-NONPROFIT-MANAGEMENT-MASTER’S-DEGREE-PROGRAMS-2016Students aspiring to become nonprofit managers require a unique combination of skills in business, organizational leadership, philanthropic operations management, and fundraising. Many schools offer nonprofit management degrees, providing students the training necessary to oversee grassroots volunteer-run organizations, religious institutions, hospitals, schools, and retail manufacturers.

Earning a degree in nonprofit management and leadership prepares graduates with many of the same skills as managers of for-profit companies, but with additional considerations for limited budgets, and the social, environmental, and financial impact of the organization. Nonprofit management degree programs often include an internship or field experience at a nonprofit agency, and many culminate in a capstone in a focus area such as strategic management or public administration. Graduates qualify to assume leadership positions within organizations aimed at strengthening community relations and benefiting the greater good.

Methodology

This Top 50 list was ranked on the following criteria: estimated cost, reputation and prestige, student satisfaction, and accreditation. Each criterion was given equal weight in order to gather a well respected and high quality program. Data was gathered from each program’s website, US News and World Report, the Princeton Review, and the National Center for Education Statistics. Let this ranking help you find the highest quality on-campus master’s degree in nonprofit management.

For more resources on nonprofit management, visit our Nonprofit Management Resource Guide .

Check out the Top 50 Online Nonprofit Management Master’s Degrees Ranking.

#25 John Carroll University College of Arts and Sciences – University Heights, Ohio

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John Carroll University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Jesuit Catholic university that was founded in 1886. Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are offered through their College of Arts and Sciences and the Boler School of Business to over 3,600 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

John Carroll University’s College of Arts and Sciences, in partnership with their Boler School of Business, offer a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration. This 36-credit hour program prepares students to be future administrators of nonprofit organizations. The core required courses and electives explore topics of leadership, team-building skills, ethical values and practices, nonprofit financial and resource management models, strategic planning procedures, and practical administrative tools.

#24 Salve Regina University Center for Adult Education – Newport, Rhode Island

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Salve Regina University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1947. They offer a liberal arts education with 80 undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs to over 2,700 students. The university is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Salve Regina’s Center for Adult Education offers an Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. This 36-credit hour program consists of foundational business management courses and concentration electives. The Nonprofit Management concentration offers courses in: Human Resources Management, Nonprofit Management, Fundraising and Marketing for Nonprofits, and Nonprofit Financial Management.

#23 University of San Francisco School of Management – San Francisco, California

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The University of San Francisco is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Jesuit Catholic University that was established in 1855 as Saint Ignatius Academy. USF was founded on the values of social justice, leadership in service, diversity, and ethical responsibility. Today USF reaches more than 10,600 through its five campuses and online resources. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

USF’s School of Management offers a Master of Nonprofit Administration. This 36-credit hour program provides students with a deep understanding of the political, economic, legal, and social environments of nonprofit organizations and the essential managerial skills needed to become a globally engaged and effective leader of nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations. Courses within this program include: Nonprofit Ethical Leadership, Nonprofit Strategic Governance, Nonprofit Fundraising & Philanthropy, Nonprofit Finance & Accountability, and Nonprofit Marketing & Communication.

#22 University of Tampa Sykes College of Business – Tampa, Florida

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The University of Tampa is a four-year, private, nonprofit university, orignially named Tampa Junior College in the 1930s. Today, UT offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, through four academic colleges, to approximately 8,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

UT’s Sykes College of Business offers a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. This 40-56-credit hour, AACSB-accredited program covers the critical topics for business managers today, including topics in global business knowledge, business leadership, innovation and technology, critical thinking and ethics/social responsibility. This program gives students flexibility within the program with full-time and part-time completion options and a choice of eight different concentrations. Within the Nonprofit Management concentration, students will focus on effective board governance, strategic planning, understanding and creating budgets, marketing and fund development, conducting feasibility studies, and tapping leadership potential. Courses within this concentration include: Thinking Strategically, Managing for Performance and Control, Marketing, Development and Communications, and Leadership and Innovation.

#21 College at Brockport SUNY School of Education and Human Services – Brockport, New York

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The College at Brockport is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1835. They offer over 40 undergraudate majors and over 50 master’s degrees to over 8,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Brockport’s School of Education and Human Services offers a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management. This 39-credit hour, NASPAA-accredited program prepares students for management and leadership in governmental, nonprofit, health care, and other public service organizations. The flexible program is designed with the working profession in mind with courses offered in the evening. Courses within this program include: Financial Management, Public Policy, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Statistics for Managers, Marketing for Public Service Organizations, Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector, and Nonprofit Management.

#20 University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts – Eugene, Oregon

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The University of Oregon is a four-year, public university that was established in 1859. Today, they offers over 270 undergraduate and graduate programs, through six professionals schools, to over 24,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Through the School of Architecture and Allied Arts and the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon students are able to enroll in a Master of Nonprofit Management program. This 72-credit hour program provides training for students to advance in their careers and become effective and creative leaders in the nonprofit sector. The curriculum consists of core courses, an elective field of interest, internship and professional development training, and a management capstone project. This program allows students to tailor their studies with an option of ten different fields of interest. Fields of Interest include: Policy, Planning and Community Development, Equity, Diversity and Social Justice, Environmental Sustainability, International Development, Nonprofit Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Development, Arts Management, Education or Social Services, and Public Relations & Advocacy.

#19 DePaul University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences – Chicago, Illinois

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DePaul University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Catholic university that was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission. DePaul’s mission is to create an educational experience for students that weaves together mind, place, people, and heart. Today, DePaul offers nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate programs, through ten colleges and schools, across four campuses, to over 23,700 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers a Master of Nonprofit Management. The 52-credit hour program equips students with the best practices in nonprofit management. The curriculum covers the core competencies of leadership, management, ethics, and advocacy. Courses within the program include: Introduction to Public Service Management, Nonprofit Financial Administration, Fundamentals of Human Resource Management, Marketing for Service Organizations, Advocacy and Lobbying, and Ethical Leadership in Public Service.

#18 Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences – Boone, North Carolina

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Appalachian State University is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1899 as the Watauga Academy. They started as a school training teachers in the area, and have grown to offer over 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees to over 18,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Appalachian State’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Not-for-Profit Management. This 42-credit hour program is designed to prepare students with the foundational knowledge and analytical and practical skills to be public service leaders. The curriculum consists of MPA required courses, concentration courses, electives, and an internship. The Not-for-Profit Management concentration specifically equips students who desire to direct, manage or start a not-for-profit organization. Not-for-Profit Management courses include: Not-For-Profit organizations, Grants Strategies and Preparation, and Public Management.

#17 University at Albany, SUNY Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy – Albany, New York

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The University at Albany, SUNY is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1844 as a normal school to train teachers. Over the past 170 years, UAlbany has grown to be a comprehensive, major research university offering 120 undergraduate majors and minors and over 125 graduate programs to more than 17,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

UAlbany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy offers a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Concentration. This 49-credit hour program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and consists of core curriculum courses, concentration courses, and an internship or career experience credits. The Nonprofit Management Concentration provides students a strong foundation to become effective leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations and programs. Courses within this concentration include: Nonprofit Governance, Cost management for Government and Nonprofit Organizations, Financial Management for Nonprofits, Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits, Culture and Public Policy, Developing Creative Communities, Organizational Theory and Behavior, and Strategic Planning and Management.

#16 University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences – Fayetteville, Arkansas

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The University of Arkansas is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1871 and is the flagship of the University of Arkansas System. UofA offers more than 230 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, through ten colleges and schools, to over 26,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

UofA’s Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Studies. This 42-credit hour program consists of required courses, electives, special interest concentrations, a comprehensive exam, and a professional portfolio. Students can choose one out of eight concentrations, including a concentration in Non-Profit Management. Courses within this concentration include: Grantwriting for the Social Sciences, Performance Measurements for Service Sector Management, Issues in Service Sector Management, Management of Service Sector Organizations, and Seminar in Urban Planning.

#15 Case Western Reserve University Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences – Cleveland, Ohio

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Case Western Reserve University is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that was established in 1826 as Western Reserve College. CWRU is a comprehensive school that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to over 10,700 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

CWRU’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences offers a Master of Nonprofit Organizations. This 39-credit hour program offers a specialized curriculum focused on nonprofit work, including the five critical areas of finance, revenue development, strategic planning, organization management, and use of data. The curriculum consists of required coursework, elective courses, and an internship. Required courses within the program include: Law of Nonprofit Organizations, Financial Management, Data-Based Decision Making, Nonprofit Organization and Management, Revenue Planning and Development, Ethics and Professionalism, and Strategic Planning. Students are also given the choice of completing a Certificate of Nonprofit Management for an additional 15-credit hours.

#14 Seattle University College of Arts and Sciences – Seattle, Washington

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Seattle University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Jesuit Catholic university that was founded in 1891. SU consists of nine schools and colleges offering over 60 undergraduate programs and over 30 graduate programs to more than 7,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Nonprofit Leadership. This 45-credit hour, cohort-style program emphasizes leadership and management theory, as well as the critical practical skills required of nonprofit leaders. The program is designed for the working professional with classes in the evenings and on Saturdays. The curriculum consists of core courses, electives, a practicum, and a capstone project. Courses within this program include: Leadership, Board Governance, Strategic Marketing, Financial Management, Fundraising, Nonprofit Advocacy, and Leading Staff.

#13 George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration – Washington, District of Columbia

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George Washington University is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1821, and dedicated to educate and prepare future leaders in our nation’s capital. Sitting four-blocks from the White House, the university offers extraordinary undergraduate and graduate experiences with guest lecturers, networking contacts, and insight into our nation’s institutions and leaders. GWU students are placed at the intersection of economic and political knowledge and practical global business lessons. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

GWU’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management field of study. This 40-credit hour MPA is designed with rigorous academic study and professional management and policy experiences to prepare future leaders in public service. The curriculum consists of core courses, fields of study courses, and elective courses. The courses in the Nonprofit Management field of study are designed to equip students for careers in managing nonprofit organizations and fund-raising programs. Also available for future nonprofit managers is an 55.5-credit hour MBA with a certificate in Nonprofit Management.

#12 University of Missouri Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs – Columbia, Missouri

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The University of Missouri is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1839 and is the flagship campus of the greater University of Missouri System. Mizzou is Missouri’s most comprehensive university, offering more than 300 degrees through 19 different academic colleges to over 35,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Mizzou’s Truman School of Public Affairs offers a Master of Public Affairs with a specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management. This program consists of 45-credit hours of core courses, specialization courses, a capstone course, and an internship. Within the Public and Nonprofit Management specialization, students will learn how public organizations compete effectively in the marketplace, how to understand community needs and priorities, and how to deliver appropriate services within a budget.

#11 University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy – Los Angeles, California

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The University of Southern California is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that started in 1880 with 53 students. Over the past 136 years, USC has grown to be one of the nation’s leading research universities. They offer a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to over 42,000 annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management. This 40-43-credit hour, cohort-model program covers the challenges of leadership in nonprofit organizations, including funding, laws and regulations, and govenrment and business relationships. The curriculum consists of core courses in Theory and Context, Leadership and Management, and Analytical Skills; a capstone course; and elective courses. Core courses within the program include: The Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations, Economics for Policy, Planning and Development, and Strategic Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organizations.

#10 CUNY – Baruch College School of Public Affairs – New York, New York

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Baruch College is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1847 as the Free Academy, the first free public college in the nation. Today, Baruch College offers undergraduate and graduate programs to over 18,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs offers a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Administration. This 45-credit hour, cohort-model program is designed to equip students to become effective administrative leaders and thoughtful policy analysts that work in either the nonprofit sector or government agencies. The curriculum consists of MPA and specialization courses accredited by the NASPAA, as well as an internship. The Nonprofit Management specialization prepares students to think like nonprofit leaders, with the understanding and skills to handle fundraising, decision-making, emergency preparedness, and ethics and philanthropy within the nonprofit sector.

#9 Columbia University in the City of New York School of Professional Studies – New York, New York

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Columbia University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Ivy League University that was founded in 1754, originally as King’s College by a charter of King George II. Today, Columbia houses 21 academic schools and provides an exceptional education to over 27,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Columbia’s School of Professional Studies offers a MS in Nonprofit Management. This 36-credit hour program is designed for professionals who are beginning their journey in nonprofits to senior development and executive leadership positions. The curriculum consists of five core courses, five elective courses in nonprofit leadership and management, and two capstone courses. Core courses within the program include: Foundations of Fundraising and Development, Annual Campaigns, Capital Campaigns, and Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Grants, and Nonprofit Financial Management.

#8 University of Denver College of Professional and Continuing Studies – Denver, Colorado

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The University of Denver is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1864. They offer a variety of bachelor’s thru doctorate degrees to over 11,800 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Denver’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers a Master of Science in Leadership and Organizations with a concentration in Philanthropic Leadership. This 48-credit hour program develops future leaders by instilling collaborative leadership skills, teaching strategies to inspire individuals, and training them how to effectively manage change. Out of the four concentrations available, students can choose to further their studies in Philanthropic Leadership. This concentration gives students insight on how to build community support and establish philanthropic organizational excellence. Also available to future nonprofit leaders, is a 60-credit hour Master of Public Policy with an emphasis in social policy and nonprofit management.

#7 Indiana University Bloomington School of Public & Environmental Affairs – Bloomington, Indiana

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Indiana University Bloomington’s College of Professional Studies offers a nationally recognized MPA; the concentration in nonprofit management is among the most popular, attracting more than 50 students in this major in 2017. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs oversees the nonprofit management program, boasting a 1:5 faculty-student ratio and a placement rate over 90% for all MPAs in this specialization. The curriculum consists of core, elective, and concentration courses, and also incorporates an experiential learning component, involving an approved internship, professional experience, or group project. Students may opt to participate in an overseas education program as part of their internship. All tracks culminate in a capstone requirement.

#6 University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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The University of Pennsylvania is a four-year, private, nonprofit, Ivy League university that was chartered in 1755. Penn is stated to be first American university as well as the first medical school in the American colonies. Today, they educate over 24,800 students and award over 100 different degrees every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice offers a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership. This MSNL program is designed for individuals preparing for leadership roles within the nonprofit sector, whether as an entrepreneur or managers within foundations, international NGOs, education systems, social services agencies, or social enterprises. This program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and the curriculum consists of ten courses plus a Leadership Practicum for full-time students. Courses within this program include: Design Thinking for Social Impact, Nonprofit Storytelling, Ethics and Social Impact, Strategic Management and Leadership of Nonprofits, Social Finance, Social Innovation, Building Nonprofits that Thrive, and Philanthropy & Fundraising.

#5 University of Georgia School of Social Work – Athens, Georgia

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The University of Georgia is a four-year, public university that was established in 1801. Now, over 200 years later, UGA stands as a comprehensive land and sea grant university comprised of 17 schools and colleges, offering over 60 degree plans to over 35,000 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

The University of Georgia’s School of Social Work offers a 33-credit hour Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. This program is open to part-time and full-time students and is an advanced professional degree for future leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations. The curriculum consists of core courses, internships, electives, and supervised research projects. Courses within the program include: Theory and Management of Nonprofit Organizations, Fundraising, Nonprofit Human Resources, Ethical Issues in Professional Practice, Managing Volunteers, Innovation and Change in Nonprofit Organizations, and Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations. Also available to future nonprofit leaders is a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Administration through their School of Public and International Affairs, which is designed to prepare students for managerial and analytical careers in public service.

#4 Northeastern University College of Professional Studies – Boston, Massachusetts

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Northeastern University’s MS in nonprofit management blends theoretical academic coursework and hand-on experience. The program offers seven concentrations, in topics ranging from global studies to social media and online communication.

Through fulfilling core course requirements, students explore nonprofit management career skills, including grant writing, financial management, and fundraising and development for nonprofit organizations. All concentrations culminate in a capstone course. Most students complete the MS in nonprofit management in one-and-a-half to two years. Learners may enroll in full- or part-time study, and the program offers four entry points throughout the year, in fall, spring, summer, or winter terms.

#3 University of Texas at Austin Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs – Austin, Texas

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The University of Texas at Austin is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1883. UT Austin is one of the largest public universities in the country and a member of the greater University of Texas system. Over the last 130 years, UT Austin has grown to house 17 colleges and schools with 24,000 faculty and staff educating over 51,000 students annually. The university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Within UT-Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, students can enroll in a Master of Public Affairs with a specialization in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies. This 48-credit hour MPA is designed to prepare students to be future leaders in government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The curriculum consists of core courses, elective courses, a choice of seven specializations, an internship, and a yearlong capstone research project. The Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies Specialization focuses study on three different pillars: Nonprofit Studies, taking a broad look at the history and foundation of the nonprofit sector; Philanthropy, studying the operational practices and issues within a charitable organization; and Volunteerism and Community Service, understanding the role and management of volunteers and advocates as a critical part of the nonprofit sector.

#2 Binghamton University, SUNY College of Community and Public Affairs – Binghamton, New York

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Binghamton University is a four-year, public university that opened in 1946 as Triple Cities College to serve veterans after World War II. Today, Binghamton stands as a comprehensive university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through six different academic colleges and schools to over 16,000 students every year. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Binghamton’s College of Community and Public Affairs offers a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management & Leadership specialization. This 42-credit hour flexible program is designed to prepare students to become future leaders, innovators, and public service managers. The curriculum consists of core courses, specialization and elective courses, application credits, and competency experience courses. Core courses within this program includes: Research Design & Methods, Foundations of Public Service, 21st Century Governance, Budgeting & Financial Management, Evidence-Based Decision Making, Managing People in Organizations, and Managing Information and Technology. Also available to future nonprofit leaders is a Nonprofit Certificate for an additional 15 credits, where students can develop a broad understanding of the nonprofit sector and management practices.

#1 Washington University in St. Louis University College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences – Saint Louis, Missouri

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Washington University in St. Louis is a four-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1853. Washington University in St. Louis is comprised of nine schools and colleges offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees to over 14,000 students. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Washington University in St. Louis’ University College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, jointly offer a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management. This 36-credit hour program is designed for working adults looking to acquire the management skills needed to lead non-profit organizations. Courses within this program include: Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Resource Development for Nonprofit Organizations, Statistics & Research Design, Organizational Behavior and Administration, History and Development of the Nonprofit Sector, Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Human Resources Management, and Legal Issues Impacting Nonprofit Organizations.

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