An online masters in nonprofit management can lead to many rewarding career opportunities.
Working for a nonprofit organization allows employees the chance to work towards making the world a better place and truly have an impact on a variety of different people. Although those working in the nonprofit sector may have a lower salary than those working for a large corporation, many people find the meaningful work to be worth the cut in pay.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nonprofit organizations account for 12.3 million jobs and 10.2% of private-sector employment. A masters in nonprofit management may be well worth it.
A masters degree in nonprofit management teaches students the tools they need to efficiently and effectively run a nonprofit agency. Some critical skills you will learn in your studies include:
- Fundraising and development techniques
- Financial management
- Grant writing
An online master’s in nonprofit management can help you achieve your goals and move up in the nonprofit industry. The online courses offer flexible schedules that allow you to continue working throughout the semester. Many students who are already employed through a nonprofit organization may find this option especially convenient.
To compile this list of some of the best schools for online nonprofit management programs, we evaluated the following components:
- The cost of the program
- The length of the program
- The quality of the instruction
- The relevance of the coursework
- The reputation of the university
- The rigor of the application process
Since all of the master’s in nonprofit management programs are online, they are relatively flexible. However, some of the schools offer classes in shorter semesters which may be more convenient for some people.
See Also: 25 Best Online Colleges for Undergraduate Degrees
What are the Best Online Master’s in Nonprofit Management?
10. Lewis University
Lewis University, a small Roman Catholic school, offers an online master’s degree in organizational leadership with a concentration in nonprofit management. The degree program requires 37 credits to complete this degree. Students can earn their masters in as quickly as 18 months, but have up to seven years to complete the master’s in nonprofit management.
The core courses are divided into eight-week cohorts which allows you to finish quicker but also accelerates the coursework. While this may be a perk for some, it might be a drawback for others. One of the unique aspects about this online master’s in nonprofit management is that it does offer some on campus courses for those who live in the northern Illinois area and prefer to attend in person classes. However, the master’s degree can also be completed entirely online.
The coursework in the nonprofit management track emphasizes areas such as:
- Proposal writing
- Volunteer management
- Overseeing diverse organizations and populations
The small class size is another benefit of this nonprofit management online program so you can get more personalized attention from professors and classmates.
Some of the admission requirements for this degree in nonprofit management include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of a 3.0
- Two letters of recommendation
- An essay describing the applicant’s personal goals
This best school for nonprofit management prefers applicants with significant experience in leadership Additionally, Lewis University offers provisional admission status, which allows students to become full degree candidates after improving on deficiencies in their application. Additionally, students can enter at high status, which is considered a non-degree candidate student. The admissions process is rolling, so you can enter the program six different times throughout the year.
9. New England College
New England College offers a MBA in management with a concentration in nonprofit leadership. Graduate students can complete this master’s degree in less than two years and will study topics such as:
- Strategic planning
- Project management
- Financial and resource management
Graduates and current students in this online master’s in nonprofit management are extremely satisfied with the flexible class schedule and the support from the professors. They report that their financial and resource management skills and marketing skills were strong, and they had more useful knowledge to contribute to their organization. One of the great factors about this particular program is that it provides students with a strong foundation in accounting principles such as auditing, tax laws, and auditing.
This online master’s in nonprofit management requires ten core courses to finish the degree and places an emphasis on small class size with a 12:1 student to faculty ratio. The program has a rolling admissions process that allows students the opportunity to start every seven weeks. A baccalaureate degree is required, although GRE and GMAT scores are not.
New England College offers 30 bachelor degree programs, 13 master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. program. The college is located in New Hampshire, although the nonprofit leadership program is entirely online so students from all over the globe can enroll. The tuition for this affordable online masters in nonprofit management program costs $599 per credit as of 2022. Financial aid is available for graduate students who qualify.
8. Regis University
The master’s of nonprofit management program at Regis University is accredited by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council. This graduate program requires students to complete 36 credits of coursework. The core courses are offered in an eight-week format, and the online master’s program typically takes about two years to complete if you take one class at a time. This particular master’s degree focuses on social justice and the history and theory of the nonprofit sector. You must complete a capstone research project and a field experience in the industry. Some of the classes you can expect to take to complete this degree include:
- Human Resource Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations
- History, Theory and the Future of the Nonprofit Sector
- Social Justice and the Nonprofit Sector
- Program Evaluation
To apply to this nonprofit organization master’s program, you must complete the online application, submit the $50 fee, and send the transcripts from your bachelor’s degree. You will also need to submit a current resume and admission essay based on the provided topics.
Regis University is located in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Although it offers a multitude of online programs, Regis is a private Jesuit college that offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees. This best online master’s in nonprofit leadership program is offered through the Regis University College of Business and Economics, and this college also offers degrees in:
- Public Administration
For a private school, the program is extremely affordable, only costing $572 per credit hour. Financial aid is also available.
7. Louisiana State University, Shreveport
The Louisiana State University at Shreveport offers an online master’s in nonprofit administration. One unique aspect about this program is that it focuses on community and diversity in the business place, which are paramount in the nonprofit workforce. Of course, students will still take courses in finance and strategic planning, but community development is regarded as equally important.
You can choose from one of three tracks: administration, development, and disaster preparedness. It takes a total of 30 credit hours to finish this degree, which breaks down to ten courses, as well as an additional three hours for a final project.
Some of the required courses for this online master’s in nonprofit leadership include:
- Development of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations
- Administrative Law and Human Services Organizations
- Nonprofit Human Resource Administration
Louisiana State University has the Institute for Nonprofit Administration and Research, which does research and interprets data both for and about nonprofits organizations. It is a large school with multiple locations in Louisiana, as well as several online options. Additionally, Louisiana State University is accredited by the National Academic Centers Council (NACC).
To apply to this best school for nonprofit management, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA and have taken the GRE (with a score of at least 800.) Students can be accepted into the program in the fall, spring, and summer, and all three semesters have separate admissions deadlines.
6. Johnson & Wales University
This top master’s in nonprofit management offered by Johnson and Wales University is one of the most accelerated online master’s degrees on the list. Students interested in this program can complete their degree in as little as fifteen months. Although the pace is fast, it is still a thorough graduate program covering all aspects of nonprofit management. The courses are broken into 11-week cohorts. Some of the required classes include:
- Corporate Financial Accounting
- Theory and Practice of Nonprofit Management
- Methodological, Decision-Making and Analytic Techniques
- Nonprofit Program Evaluation
Johnson and Wales feature renown faculty with significant experience in the nonprofit industry so students can benefit from leaders in this field.
To apply to this affordable online master in nonprofit management, you must submit the application along with your undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) transcripts. Additionally, you must submit a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation. If you achieved a GPA of over 2.85 in your undergraduate program, the GMAT is not required for admission.
Johnson and Wales University was ranked as one of the best colleges for its:
- High graduation rates
- Low levels of debt
- Quality of teaching
Johnson and Wales University offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees online, as well as significant tuition discounts for members of the military.
5. University of Maryland University College
The University of Maryland University College is affiliated with the University system of Maryland and offers over 100-degree programs, including many online. The online master’s degree program requires 36 credit hours to complete the master’s in management: nonprofit and association management.
Some of the courses you will take include:
- Nonprofit and Association Organizations and Issues
- Marketing, Development and Public Relations in Nonprofit Organizations and Associations
- Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations and Associations
- Nonprofit and Association Law
- Governance and Nonprofit and Association Financial Management
You will also complete a capstone requirement. Through this degree, you may also choose to take Effective Graduate Writing, a class that will significantly improve your writing abilities. Writing is an important skill to have in the nonprofit industry. The masters in nonprofit management online places a particular emphasis on areas like:
- Financial management
- Revenue generation
- Cost control issues
- Legal foundations and governance
The application fee for United States citizens is $50, and students interested have the opportunity to call before applying to the program to speak with an advisor about any questions or concerns. This best school for nonprofit management requires students to already possess a bachelor’s degree before applying.
4. The University of Houston- Downtown
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) offers an entirely online Master of Arts degree in nonprofit management (MANPM) that requires 36 hours of course work to complete. There are 18 credits worth of core courses and 12 credits worth of electives for students to choose from.
As a graduate student, you are required to complete an internship and a capstone assignment. Some of the course requirements include:
- Principles of Nonprofit Marketing
- Principles of Nonprofit Finance
- Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations
- Program Assessment and Evaluation
- Resourcing the Nonprofit Organization
Some of the elective courses include:
- Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
- Law and Advocacy in Nonprofit Management
- Governance of the Volunteer Board
- Organizational Behavior
The final internship is worth six credits.
The University of Houston-Downtown is one of the largest universities in Houston, although it offers several top programs online. Students can choose from nearly 60 different bachelor or masters programs.
One of the requirements for this online master’s in nonprofit management is that students must have completed a bachelor’s degree with at least a GPA of a 3.0 for the past 60 credit hours. Students who graduated from a university in which English is not the native language will be required to achieve a minimum of a 550 on the TOEFL exam.
Applicants must submit their transcripts, resume, and three letters of recommendation. Additionally, students must submit a personal statement describing in 1,000 words or less their experience in the nonprofit industry. This statement should include why they believe this experience will help them find success and contribute to the nonprofit sector.
3. Rutgers University
Rutgers University offers a masters in public administration with a concentration in public and nonprofit performance management. Although you have the option to take classes on campus, there is also a 100% online degree program available. You must take 11 three-credit hours, totaling 33 credits towards the core curriculum. You will then take nine credits towards the nonprofit performance management track. Additionally, you must take the foundation courses including:
- Introduction to Public Administration and Technology
- Public Administration
- Two courses of Research and Analysis
- Three courses of Management
- One course of Financial Management
- A capstone project
Although this online master’s in nonprofit management does not require students to participate in an internship, it is strongly encouraged. Additionally, Rutgers assists students in securing these internships with organizations in their area, which is a unique and helpful aspect of this program.
Rutgers University is one of the largest universities in New Jersey and offers several online programs. If you’re interested in applying, you can submit an application, which includes:
- A resume
- Undergraduate transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation
- A 2-3 page personal statement
Applications are accepted all year round on a rolling basis, so students are eligible to enroll in the following semester after they have been admitted to the program. Transfer credits can be accepted if a student was previously registered in a similar program. However, the university will evaluate the courses first.
2. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida Division of Continuing Studies offers an online master’s of nonprofit management that requires 36 credits to complete. A perk here is that you can complete the program in as little as six semesters since the university recommends taking two courses per semester.
In addition to the online degree program, you have the unique opportunity to pursue the National Nonprofit Leadership graduate certificate option which includes an internship. This experience can be extremely beneficial for many students. Some of the classes that are required for this degree include:
- Volunteerism in Nonprofit Management
- Nonprofit Financial Management
- Nonprofit Resource Development
The University of Central Florida is one of the largest universities in Florida and offers more than 200 programs at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. UCF is a large research university with many opportunities for students and faculty support. One of the best parts about this online master’s in nonprofit management is that it offers the same curriculum as the residency program at less than half the cost of out-of-state tuition.
To apply, students must have a 3.0 GPA in their previous studies, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of goals. If you are considering a job as an Association Program Director, Community Engagement Director or a Nonprofit Executive Director, this master’s in nonprofit management will be worth it to you.
1. Northeastern University
Northeastern University is the best pick for the online master’s degree in nonprofit management for many reasons. First, Northeastern is a top university with a high level of research activity that students can participate in. This online nonprofit management program requires 45 credits to complete the degree.
While this time frame is longer than some of the other programs, you will learn more about the field and be more readily prepared to make a significant impact in the nonprofit management and leadership industry.
The online program’s schedule is extremely flexible, so you do not need to log in at a certain time every day or night, as long as the course work is completed in a certain amount of time. Co-op and internship experiences are available, but not required. This is important because students who are already employed do not want to take time off of work to participate in an internship or co-op, but those who are not employed in the nonprofit industry and are looking to gain some experience can benefit from the work.
Some of the courses that students will include Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations and Legal and Governance Issues in Nonprofit Organizations. You also have the option of choosing from one of seven concentrations including:
- Global studies
- Human services
- Social media and online communities
- Sports and social change
- Leadership, organizational communication
- Project management
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