MA in Nonprofit Management

Program of Study
Course Descriptions

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers two graduate programs in nonprofit management, the Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Management and the Graduate Certificate of Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofit organizations strengthen, inspire, and protect our communities, heritage, and world as well as offer unique challenges to their leaders and managers. Built on a foundation of ethics and mission, Notre Dame's nonprofit management programs combine business methods, management theory, and social commitment to prepare dedicated individuals to serve as effective leaders in the nonprofit sector.

The Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management degree provides middle- and upper-level managers the opportunity to learn practical strategies, grounded in business theory, in an atmosphere of frank exchange and interaction with other nonprofit practitioners. The Graduate Certificate of Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations is designed for those who seek the challenge of graduate-level exploration but not necessarily a full degree.

Nonprofit professionals explore the rapidly evolving environment of nonprofits, responding to social and policy challenges, funding stream patterns, and technological advancements. They examine the changing relationship between nonprofits and government, the evolving strategic alliances among nonprofit and for-profit organizations. This curriculum prepares people of commitment to manage the “business” of the mission-based organization effectively and efficiently. These courses guide nonprofit professionals in skill development that crosses the broad range of management responsibilities of the skills necessary to develop strategic direction, seek funding streams, manage staff and volunteers, evaluate finances, and evaluate programs. The program is grounded in practical experience, and students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-life challenges in every course. In the capstone project, students have the opportunity to integrate the theoretical and practical experiences into a project of the student's own design.

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Program of Study

The program of study leading to the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management requires completion of a minimum of 36 credits of coursework. The core curriculum of 30 credits develops a broad-based foundation. Courses incorporate the environment of the nonprofit sector, managing and leading, resource management, strategic positioning, marketing and social media, and program evaluation. The remaining six credits permit the student to explore areas of particular personal interest, whether in additional study in the core areas or in management, marketing, finance or technology. Students integrate their educational experience with a capstone project of their own design.

A baccalaureate degree is required for admission. However, there are no undergraduate prerequisite courses.

Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average to remain in good academic standing. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on probationary status. Students on academic probation will be given three semesters (in which they register for a course) to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0. Failure to do so, or receiving more than two grades below a B, will result in dismissal from the graduate program. These provisions do not apply to students admitted on probation; provisions governing that status are identified in the letter of admission.

Part-time graduate Nonprofit Management students may enroll in a maximum of six credits during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Full-time graduate students may enroll in nine credits per semester. All graduate students are restricted to 3 credits during the Winterim semester. Classes are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate working professionals.

At the conclusion of this program, students are expected to be able to:

  • Apply Nonprofit Sector fundamentals in simulated and real-world situations.
  • Assess operational effectiveness in nonprofits and propose strategic alternatives.
  • Apply Nonprofit best practices in all external relationships including marketing and fundraising.
  • Compare and evaluate effective business practices for the nonprofit sector.
  • Integrate nonprofit theory and research and apply to real-world situations.
  • Analyze strategic and ethical leadership in mission-driven organizations to effectuate real-life policy, process and procedure.
  • Identify and evaluate important sources of information in the nonprofit sector for future learning and networking

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Curriculum (36 Credits)

Central Core (30 Credits)
NPM-501 Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Sector (3)
NPM-510 Leadership and Organizational Development in Nonprofits (3)
NPM-520 Board Development and Human Resource Management in Nonprofits (3)
NPM-545 Fundraising and Grant Writing (3)
NPM-531 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofits (3)
NPM-551 Government – Nonprofit Relationships (3)
NPM-560 Nonprofit Law and Ethics (3)
NPM-570 Nonprofit Marketing (3)
NPM-580 Program Evaluation Methods (3)
NPM-690 Masters Project Seminar (3)

Electives (6 Credits)
NPM-691 Master's Project Seminar II (3)
BUS-520 Health Care Administration (3)
BUS-533 Advanced Financial Analysis (3)
BUS-541 Legal Issues in Human Resource Management (3)
BUS-542 Performance Management Systems (3)
BUS-554 Women in Leadership (3)
BUS-558 Leadership and Leading (3)
BUS-562 Leading Organizational Change (3)
COM-505 Business Communication (3)
COM-620 Public Relations Management
CST-554 Principles and Issues in Information Systems (3)
CST-534 Data Driven Business Decisions
CST-580 Managing Information in a Web Based World (3)
CST-593 Web Development (3)
CST-621 Database Management (3)
ECO-548 Economics Theory in Management (3)
ENG-503 Graduate Writing (3)*

* After careful review of a student's admissions essay and Notre Dame graduate admissions exam scores, a student may be required to complete ENG-503 within their first nine credits at the University.

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NOTE: Course descriptions for business and economics courses can be found in the Leadership and Management section of this catalog. Course descriptions for communication, CST, and English courses can be found in the Contemporary Communication section of the catalog.


NPM-411 Topics in Nonprofit Management

Provides students an opportunity to study a variety of current issues related to nonprofit management. Recent topics have included: grant writing, nonprofit marketing and fundraising strategies, and planning for service. [3 credits]