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Course Descriptions for MA in Nonprofit Management

Select a course number/title below to see the full course description.

Core Courses

Financial management is a central function of successful non-profit management. It is the foundation in which human, physical and financial resources are maintained and monitored. Non-profit managers are the source of financial information to both internal and external stakeholders and successful financial analysis is essential for sound strategic planning and governance. This course guides students through key topics of financial management including accounting practices, interpreting financial statements, creating mission-driven budgets, analyzing cash-flow, and cost-benefit analyses.

This course is designed to identify and develop leadership skills that will help nonprofit organizations prosper. The course will highlight the importance of teambuilding, integrity, creativity, and leadership change in leading a nonprofit organization. The course will incorporate the use of social media, technology and data in decision making and communicating. Students will conduct three case studies of nonprofit organizations with different levels of leadership.

This highly experiential course takes an in-depth look at program assessment and evaluation in nonprofit organizations. The course will teach assessment and evaluation strategies in a variety of organizational structures. The course will also provide basic statistical analysis and utilize statistical analysis to enhance the efficiency of the organizations. It will also include analysis of the value of assessment and evaluation in the nonprofit sector and the areas in the nonprofit sector where assessment and evaluation can enhance the efficiency and success of the organization.

This course will introduce students to the principles of development and branding. Students will work in teams to prepare case statements, marketing plan and strategy, and a fundraising schedule for an actual or mock nonprofit to generate revenue. The course will address the methods for successful funding of nonprofit organizations.

This course is designed to prepare students with the comprehensive knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage organizations in the nonprofit and public sector. It will review areas essential to administering in such organizations such as the communication, supervision, and motivation of volunteers and employees. It will also cover management issues including those that are unique to nonprofit and public affairs organizations including hiring and firing practices, documentation, ethics, principal-agent issues, and volunteer motivation and retention. In addition the course will show the student how to run a productive and efficient organization when financial profit is not the end goal.

This course introduces students to strategic planning in the nonprofit and public sectors. It is a required course for the MNPM degree program. This course introduces students to the importance of planning and decision making, the difference between types of planning used in nonprofit and government, as well as those borrowed from the for-profit world; situational analysis and asset mapping; creation of mission, vision, and core value statements; and the development and management of a complete strategic plan with an action plan. Overall, the course will address the importance of strategic thinking, change management, and leadership.

The processes of nonprofit and public performance measurement and management are explored in depth. Theories of public and nonprofit performance are reviewed with a clear focus on application in the management setting. Types of measures are reviewed and their relationships are explored through program logic models. The selection of key performance indicators and proximate measures are discussed. Tools and methods of performance measurement, including benchmarking and trend analysis, are introduced. Data collection, analysis, and reporting are reviewed. Students learn how to align performance measurement with strategic organizational goals and objectives in order to facilitate learning and improved effectiveness. Studies will include a variety of readings and resources from nonprofit and public sectors. Prepares managers - and those aspiring to become managers and organizational leaders - to use performance information more effectively in improving programs and delivering better outcomes..

Elective Courses

Explores the trends and issues affecting the marketing of non-profit organizations, with a particular focus on arts and humanities institutions. Topics include marketing planning, market segmentation and positioning, branding, launching new offerings, marketing communications, public advocacy, and evaluation. May include analysis of marketing materials as well as readings on marketing theory and case studies.

This course is an introduction to the interaction between interest groups and policymaking. The course focuses on lobbying and advocacy efforts, strategies, and tactics that interest groups, nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofits pursue in order to achieve favorable policy outcomes.

Helps students identify and address the ethical challenges that occur in private, social, and professional contexts. Focus on real world ethical dilemmas with diverse approaches to decision making using ethical reasoning and applied ethics. Legal considerations will include first amendment issues such as freedom of speech and press, copyright, libel, privacy, access, administrative law of advertising and broadcasting, and other legal problems in professional writing situations.

This course will provide students with a comprehensive seminar in the application of law in the nonprofit sector. In specific, this course will familiarize students with legal aspects that impact the functioning of a nonprofit, focusing on the legal formation of a nonprofit and applicable employment law issues. This course will address how nonprofits have been impacted by, and how they can impact, American institutions and culture.

Acquaints students with various computer software programs and their applications to specific disciplines such as criminal justice, medical and science writing and technical communication. Projects include documents as well as slide presentations incorporating analyzed research data. Students will expand their knowledge rhetorical principles and techniques for reporting statistical analyses and conveying them to specialized audiences.

Design, planning, and preparation of proposals of varying scope, complexity and type primarily for non-profits. The course will cover identifying possible funding sources; designing and evaluating grant proposals; preparing need and narrative statements, letters of intent, outlines, goals, and objectives; creating and justifying a budget, evaluation, including social impact, feasibility, and organizational and program sustainability.

This course is designed to identify and develop specialized leadership skills that will help non-profit organizations prosper. The course will highlight key trends, topics, and issues that focus on the development non-profit organization. The course will be divided into modules with each focused on a particular trend in non-profit leadership. Modules will include Human Resources and Team Building, Development of Organizational Culture, Ethics and Ethical dilemmas in Non-Profit Organizations, Public Policy and Government Affairs in Non-Profits, and Fundraising and Social Entrepreneurship. Other topical issues will be added as needed. The course will incorporate the use of social media, technology and data in decision making and communicating. Students will also work in teams and existing nonprofits to experientially learn key topics.

This course takes an in depth look at the role of ethics in the political, public, and nonprofit sector. It will cover classical ethical decision-making theories, decision making by individuals and organizations dealing with the public, and decision making by individuals within public and nonprofit organizations. Topics will include ethical dilemmas and situations in transparency, accountability, performance evaluation, whistle blowing, and fund raising.

This course is designed to provide students with the ability to effectively manage nonprofit organizations with volunteer boards. Topics include the successful implementation of programs when staff and board have different motives, efficiently creating a team building atmosphere, strategies to reach specific goals, maximizing personal political power and implementation ability, and understanding the importance of relationships. A distinction will be made between strategies in governance and management.

Explores the trends and issues affecting corporations, crisis management, public affairs, communication, consumer affairs, employee relations, environmental problems, and issues of multinationals. May include the analysis of various examples of publicity materials (news conferences, feature placements, special events, media tours, case studies) as well as readings on the history and theories of public relations and propaganda.

Nonprofit managers are often called upon to be recruiters, trainers, organizers, and supervisors of a volunteer workforce. Volunteers should assist managers in realizing organizational goals. This will be a practical course designed to give course participants a toolbox to accomplish the tasks of volunteer recruitment, training, retention, recognition, risk assessment, and evaluation.

Provides a culminating experience for nonprofit graduate students who wish to work directly with a faculty member for a high impact experience. It includes one on one interaction with the faculty member in a department approved research project that will be designed for publication and/or improvement in an existing nonprofit organization. The project allows the student to produce professional level research in nonprofit management and prepares students for research success in the workplace.

This course is a one-hour workshop in nonprofit management. In face-to-face offerings students will be required to commit to attending the weekend workshop on the specific course dates and times. The topic will change based on industry demands and student interest. Prior to each workshop, students may be required to prepare readings assigned in advance. This course may be taken up to three times when topic varies. Students may not repeat the course for credit unless under a different topic.


This course is for credit in the Master of Arts in Non-Profit Management degree program and the Certificate in Leadership and Strategic Planning program. It includes 120 hours of work in a pre-approved non-profit internship location and completion of assignments associated with internship including strategic planning leadership, and management. Internship offices must be pre-approved by the instructor and include graduate level responsibilities.

This course is for credit in the Master of Arts in Non-Profit Management degree program. It includes 120 hours of work in a pre-approved non-profit internship and completion of assignments associated with internship. Assignments will apply student skills in nonprofit organizations in the areas of fund raising, management, and budgeting. Internship offices must be pre-approved by the instructor and include graduate level responsibilities.