M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management
Department of Leadership Studies
- 84% of alumni have been hired into a new position or received a raise
- 86% apply the knowledge and skills gained from the program on a regular basis
- 100% would recommend the program to others interested in graduate school
Designed by, for, and with nonprofit practitioners, this integrated course of study melds state-of-the-art leadership theory with cutting-edge management models, strategies and tools designed to teach professionals how to create and manage high-performance nonprofit organizations.
The curriculum is focused on applied learning, which facilitates the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice. Each course is designed with specific learning outcomes in mind. Through the process of conducting and producing organizational audits, market research and marketing plans, development plans, and legislative campaigns; designing research-based programs and evaluation models; and creating capital campaign feasibility studies, students learn how to be politically and technically proficient in bringing best practices to nonprofit organizations. The resulting products ultimately comprise a portfolio illustrating the students' proficiency in a number of key areas, and deliverables are put into action in real nonprofit organizations as well as stored in an online library of best practices as a public resource.
Points of Distinction
- Highly-regarded faculty from USD's School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
- Renown practitioner faculty who are leaders in the fields of health care, arts administration, human services, finance, organizational development and community organizing.
- An emphasis throughout the program on applied projects with local nonprofit corporations, where students immediately utilize the concepts they learn in the classroom.
- A close-knit learning community that convenes regularly outside the classroom to build on the learning experience.
- A student body comprised largely of nonprofit professionals who have proven leadership ability.
- Courses offered during evening hours and some weekend days which allow students to work full time while attending the program.
- Discounted tuition and scholarships for all students employed by 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Regular events and symposia with speakers of national significance on issues that are front and center in nonprofit leadership & management.
- Optional certification with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance for students and alumni.
- Support for each student to obtain an intellectually broadening exposure to at least one other culture for the purpose of improving his/her nonprofit leadership ability.
- Access to an active network of local professionals, including members of our advisory board, who represent some of the most prestigious public, private and nonprofit entities in the county.
What can I do with this degree?
The goal of this program is to provide existing and aspiring nonprofit practitioners with practical tools that can be used to create successful nonprofit organizations. Alumni are assistant, associate and executive directors of nonprofits as well as consultants, executives, development officers, program managers, and more.
Who should apply?
This program is appropriate for nonprofit professionals, many of whom will work full-time while completing the program. The program has a strong preference for applicants with at least four years of professional work experience.