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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Nonprofit Management

Majors Overview June 5, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in nonprofit management and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Nonprofit Management

Nonprofit managers often earn master’s degrees before starting their careers with community associations, religious organizations, and social welfare groups, among other philanthropic organizations. In master’s degree programs in nonprofit management, business practices, such as finance, marketing, and personnel management, are taken and applied to the nonprofit sector. Students are imparted effective leadership and decision-making skills. They also learn strategies that are specific to nonprofits such as volunteer management, fundraising, and grant writing.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Nonprofit Management degree program is often an enrollment choice for students seeking a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Many schools also offer nonprofit management specializations via a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) curriculum. Some schools offer nonprofit master’s degree programs in online or on-campus formats.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In some schools, applicants may also have to attend a personal interview. Incoming students may also have to submit a writing sample, a resume, a purpose statement, and recommendation letters. They may also have to submit Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Coursework

Program coursework often requires the completion of a capstone project by students along with the development of professional oral and written communication skills. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Maintaining patron support
•Evaluating program effectiveness
•Working with board members
•Managing nonprofit volunteers
•Understanding laws that affect nonprofits

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for social and community service managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $59,970 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Master’s degree holders, particularly those seeking careers in academia or research with nonprofit organizations, may choose to earn a related doctoral degree in social welfare or public administration. The Society for Nonprofit Organizations also offers continuing education courses that may benefit nonprofit management professionals.

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