MA in Nonprofit Management

Business and Economics Department

Leslie Korb, PhD., Chair

Degrees offered



Main Campus


Nonprofit organizations strengthen, inspire, and protect our communities, heritage, and world as well as offer unique challenges to their leaders and managers. Notre Dame of Maryland University is built on a foundation of ethics and mission and offers two graduate Programs of Study in Nonprofit Management: the Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Management and the Graduate Certificate of Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations. These 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 or case study of the student's own design.

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 27 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 nine 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 Academic Good Standing. Students whose Cumulative Grade Point Average falls below 3.0 will be placed on Academic Probation 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 Academic 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:

      • Cultivate the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as leaders in nonprofit, philanthropic, social enterprise, and voluntary action.
      • Implement management processes, practices, forms and structures in nonprofit, philanthropic, social enterprise and voluntary action organizations.
      • Understand the theory, context of the nonprofit, philanthropic, social enterprise and voluntary action sector in a global, national, local and regional perspective.
      • Express critical thinking through strategic, ethical, socially responsible, well-reasoned action and communication.

Curriculum (36 Credits)

Central Core (27 Credits)

          NPM-502 Introduction to Nonprofit Management (3)
          NPM-510 Leadership and Organizational Development in Nonprofits (3) or BUS-558 Leadership and Leading (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-560 Nonprofit Law and Ethics (3)
          NPM-570 Nonprofit Marketing (3) or BUS-560 Marketing Management (3)
          NPM-580 Program Evaluation Methods (3)
          NPM-690 Masters Project Seminar (3) or BUS-651 Strategic Organizational Leadership (3)

Electives (9 Credits)

Students may complete 9 credits of coursework in any area of special interest in nonprofit management, business, economics, communications, knowledge management, computer studies, leadership, or project management, A list of possible elective courses are listed below.

          NPM-501 Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Sector (3)
          NPM-551 Government – Nonprofit Relationships (3)
          NPM-691 Master's Project Seminar II (3)
          NPM-511 Topics in Nonprofit Management (3)
          BUS-511 Topics in Leadership (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-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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