Non-Profit Administration Graduate Programs in Pennsylvania
Nonprofit Management Graduate Programs seek to prepare students to lead a nonprofit organization and help them achieve success. Courses may focus on both the creation of long-term plans and how to conduct day-to-day administrative duties.
Did You Know?
According the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonprofits accounted for 11.4 million jobs in 2012. That represents 10.3% of all private sector jobs.[i]
Nonprofit management and administration combines both business and managerial skills to positively impact a community. While similar to for-profit businesses in many ways, nonprofits face unique challenges.
For instance, as opposed to having to generate a profit, nonprofits look to make an impact. To do that better, they need to retain donors and create a sustainable plan for the future. Nonprofit management graduate programs cover these unique facets and more, so students might help these organizations run smoothly and effectively.
Nonprofit management degree programs look to teach the skills and knowledge for better leadership. As a result, classes cover a wide variety of topics. Coursework may focus on how to create budgets, manage staff, and ensure an organization is working towards their mission.
Other classes may look at how to show the board of directors and donors the ways services are succeeding. Typically, this is through data and statistics. ii
Additional non profit administration course topics may include how to meet face-to-face with important donors, apply for government grants and organize fundraising events. Coursework and research may also look into leadership approaches and use case studies to demonstrate theories and best practices.
Finally, while earning your graduate non profit management degree, you may study business principles tailored specifically to nonprofits. Some of these are accounting, finance, and business law.
Specific courses you might take are below.
These are just a a few examples. Nonprofit management schools each have a unique set-up and course offerings, so contact an advisor for details.
To meet the needs of a variety of students, nonprofit management graduate programs are offered at a three different levels. While each have similar objectives, the depth of study, admissions requirements, and length of study may vary.
For instance, a Strategic Fund Development certificate course will typically require less research and critical analysis than a doctorate level course of the same name. Below is a brief overview of each level to help get you started.
A graduate certificate in nonprofit management is a shorter, non-degree program. Many focus on teaching the latest trends in nonprofit administration. This is often done by analyzing specific organizations to learn how to apply those theories.
Other programs may allow students to explore a specific topic in detail to enhance their knowledge or see if nonprofit management is a fit for them.
Many certificate programs are made for part-time students who work full-time. Therefore, this might be a perfect option for those looking to further their education around their busy schedule. In fact, most certificates only require four to six courses. At some schools, you may be able to earn your certificate in as little as a year.
Typically certificate in nonprofit management programs require that you’ve earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university. Some also ask that you maintained a minimum GPA. However, admissions rules vary from school to school.
Masters in nonprofit management programs seek to prepare students to step into leadership and management roles. Typically, degrees are offered in four different forms. They are MA, MS, MPA, and MBA. Each have similar goals and are academically equal.
However, where they may differ is in their emphasis and areas of focus. For instance, an MPA may focus more on public policy, while a MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management may cover more general business principles.Therefore, these programs may require that students have a few years of professional experience.
Other nonprofit management masters programs, such as the MS and MA, may focus more narrowly on charitable organizations.
Regardless of the degree type, most students earn a non profit masters degree in approximately 2-3 years of full time study. Programs may require coursework as well as internships, practicums or the completion of a thesis. Schools vary so be sure to follow up directly for exact requirements.
A PhD in nonprofit management is the terminal degree in the field. That means it is the highest degree that you can earn in non profit administration.
Courses strive to provide a deep understanding of important principles and may be more research focused. Sample topics include tax and regulatory issues, financial reporting, and fund development.
Typically, upon completing all required courses, students propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation to a board of faculty. This is where students may contribute new ideas to the field.
Given these requirements, most full time students earn their PhD in four to five years. Some schools however offer a two-year program.
To apply to PhD nonprofit management programs, students typically must hold a masters degree from an accredited university, with a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, programs vary so follow up for details.
Often, there are three ways to earn a nonprofit management degree, each with their own potential benefits. Every format may appeal to different students for various reasons. Some better suit certain learning styles. Others provide additional convenience and flexibility. Consider your needs to find a perfect match for you.
Nonprofit Management Schools (Traditional): Earning a non profit degree in a traditional, on-campus format may offer students discipline. That’s because classes meet at a certain time and place. This format also provides face-to-face interactions, which could lead to more networking opportunities and a more interactive classroom experience.
Some non profit administration schools may also have partnerships with nearby organizations or active alumni groups. Contact individual schools to learn what facilities and resources may be available to you.
Online Nonprofit Management Degree Programs: Pursuing an online non profit administration degree may provide you the freedom to perform coursework at your convenience. That’s because online courses are often accessible anytime and any place with an internet connection. While programs vary, many schools also offer online students access to campus facilities and services, like online libraries, career services or tech support.
Hybrid Programs in Nonprofit Administration: Hybrid degrees combine the two formats to try to provide the best of both worlds. This way you may be able to access the flexibility of online learning without sacrificing in person interactions.
Some hybrid nonprofit management graduate programs offer a mix of completely online courses and on campus. Others may have courses which combine the two formats together. In these, students could have scheduled campus visits each semester. Programs vary, so contact preferred schools for format details.
After earning your nonprofit management degree, there are a few careers you may be ready to pursue. Depending on the role and the size of the organization, specific duties might vary. For instance, at a larger nonprofit, a community service manager may be responsible for only one program. At a smaller organization you may have the same title, but may be in charge of a number programs.iii
Some example careers, and their 2015 median annual salary, are listed below.
Most of the management positions listed above only require a bachelors degree and a few years of experience. However, some organizations, especially larger ones, look for candidates with a masters degree. ix
Are you ready to earn your nonprofit management degree? Then take the next step here! Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual programs. This includes program descriptions, courses, and admissions requirements. You can even reach out to the schools you like directly to request more information.
Looking for specific types of nonprofit managmenet graduate programs? Use the menu bar to sort by format or degree level. You can even search by state. Then start contacting schools right away!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141021.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-2 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-2 | [iv] bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm#tab-5 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-5 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-5 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-5 | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-4 |
As an administrator in social services, health care, a government agency, or higher education, you’ll reach your field’s...
The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership is a blended program. Classes will be held online with some face-to-face class time required.