The growth in nonprofit management degree programs on the nonprofit sector supports the need for the United States’ nonprofit growth sector, up 11.3% over the decade from 2003 to 2013, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. So Top Nonprofits’ list of Top 100+ Nonprofit Degree Program by State is a great resource when considering an undergraduate or graduate degree program for bachelor’s or master’s credentials.
While nonprofit administrators often move to the sector from business and specialties, many seeking careers in nonprofit prepare by earning a focused degree, usually at the undergraduate level.
Very often the executive director or administrator of a nonprofit has previously worked in the delivery of services. Today, more degree opportunities are available for those already working in the sector–the social worker or clergyperson who wishes to add a degree, for the liberal arts major who wants take a nonprofit path, or the visual or performing artist who wants to better manage an arts entity.
Available graduate degree options include such options as master’s of public affairs and nonprofit administration, while undergraduate degrees are often a broader business degree with a nonprofit emphasis or a degree in leadership and/or nonprofit management. Thus, these degree programs better equip graduates for work in social, human services, and arts organizations, foundations, and academic centers that support the nonprofit sector.
Before shopping for a nonprofit degree program, start by evaluating your prior professional and academic experience. There are likely strengths and weaknesses–such as prior career experience or grade-point average–that may be relevant in pairing an applicant with an institution.
Questions for those considering undergraduate programs might include:
For those seeking a graduate credential:
More institutions offer degrees or master’s programs exclusively, this list can be a guide to some institutions where a student can pursue an emphasis in nonprofit administration throughout both undergraduate and master’s degree studies.
Regionally, there are ample programs in each segment of the continental US. So if being within reasonable distance to family or “home base” is a factor, there are graduate programs in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Midwest and Western regions.
Explore Top Nonprofits list of Top 100+ Nonprofit Degree Program by State for 2015.
For more on top graduate programs in nonprofit and public affairs, check out the US News Rankings.