What Are the Best Schools for Nonprofit Management?

Learn about nonprofit management degree programs and tips for selecting the program that best fits your needs. Find out details of three top schools offering degrees in this field and their rankings, areas of specialization offered and the kind of coursework you should expect to take. Review a list a of ten additional nationally ranked schools in nonprofit management. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Schools for Nonprofit Management?

Nonprofit management programs can be found at a variety of program levels, ranging from the undergraduate to the doctoral. You may find that the best schools offer opportunities to work with nonprofit agencies on real-world projects. Look for schools that have relationships with professional associations, like the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, or that sponsor relevant philanthropic or management centers.

What Are Three of the Best Schools for Nonprofit Management?

Arizona State University in Tempe

ASU was ranked 9th in the U.S. News & World Report 2016 rankings list of graduate nonprofit management programs, which are the most recent rankings available for this field. The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at ASU administers the school's nonprofit management programs and offers conference and forum events. ASU offers the following degrees:

  • Social Entrepreneurship & Community Development Certificate
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management Graduate Certificate
  • Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • Master of Nonprofit Leadership & Management
  • Ph.D. in Community Resources and Development

Indiana University in Bloomington

IU Bloomington's graduate nonprofit management program was ranked #1 in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report, and the university tied for 86th in the same publication's 2016 ranking of national universities.

Nonprofit management programs are administered through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. As an undergraduate, you can complete one of two nonprofit management certificates or take public and nonprofit management as a major within the public affairs degree program. At the graduate level, you can complete a 15-credit certificate program in nonprofit management or a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) with a nonprofit management concentration. You also could pursue a dual MPA degree program in information science, law, journalism, library science or area studies.

As an Indiana University system graduate student, you have access to resources of the Center on Philanthropy and the Fund Raising School in Indianapolis. The following degree programs are available:

  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management (undergraduate)
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs - Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.)
  • Ph.D. in Public Affairs
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy

New York University in New York, NY

In 2016, NYU's nonprofit management graduate programs were ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. NYU was ranked 36th in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 National Universities list.

NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service administers an MPA program in public and nonprofit management and policy in which you may specialize in management, policy, finance or international policy and management. You'll complete a research or consulting project that will last a full year. You can also enroll in an executive MPA program or combine the MPA with a variety of graduate degrees. You'll have access to the resources of the Center for Global Public Service and Social Impact, the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) and the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship.

You can also access the Wagner School as an undergrad by minoring in social entrepreneurship, public policy and management or social and public policy minor. If you major in urban design, metropolitan studies, economics, international relations or sociology, you may enter a combined degree program that would allow you to earn your B.A. and your MPA in five years. Applicable degree programs include but are not limited to:

  • B.A. in Public Policy
  • MPA in Public Health
  • MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy
  • BA-MPA or BA-MUP in Public Policy, Health Policy, or Urban Planning
  • Ph.D. in Public Administration
  • Advanced Professional Certificate in Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations

Top Schools for Nonprofit Management Majors

College/University Institution TypeLocation
American University 4-year, Private Washington, DC
University of Georgia4-year, Public Athens, GA
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey--Newark 4-year, Public Newark, NJ
University of Southern California (Price)4-year, Private Los Angeles, CA
Harvard University (Kennedy)4-year, Private Cambridge, MA
University of Nebraska--Omaha4-year, Public Omaha, NE
Indiana University-Purdue University4-year, Public Indianapolis, IN
University of Minnesota--Twin Cities4-year, Public Minneapolis, MN
Syracuse University (Maxwell) 4-year, Private Syracuse, NY
University at Albany--SUNY (Rockefeller) 4-year, Public Albany, NY

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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