Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management
This 36 unit degree presents an integrated course of study combining leadership theory and practice with proven management models, strategies and tools designed to produce thoughtful and effective nonprofit leaders. The program is designed for individuals who want to be part of an intentional learning community of practitioners and scholars in the nonprofit field. Students learn new ways of conceptualizing their work through their studies with noted faculty from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences as well as from prominent nonprofit practitioners who teach in the program.
Students in the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program take a specified number of required courses, and select complementary elective coursework to meet their specific needs and learning objectives. The nonprofit curriculum is focused on applied learning, which facilitates the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice. Most courses include applied projects in which students work independently or in teams to provide consulting services to nonprofits and foundations. These projects give students an opportunity to incorporate real-world expertise into their learning while building their professional networks. Examples of applied projects include organizational audits, governance documents, development plans, legislative campaigns, research-based programs and evaluation designs, and community engagement campaigns (among other products). Examples of noteworthy applied projects can be accessed through our online library.
Students should note the following unique opportunities associated with this degree:
- BA/BS to MA Combined Program (see Degree Requirements tab, option B)
- Arts and Culture Leadership Certificate
- Optional National Credential with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA)
The National Credential is open to all current students and alumni of the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. Students wishing to receive the credential must complete the following:
Nonprofit competency requirements (which is a part of the MA program coursework). Competency areas of study include: nonprofit fundamentals, ethics, volunteer management, board development, fundraising and resource development, finance, management and marketing
At least 300 hours of work in a nonprofit (this can be actual work experience in a nonprofit or volunteer work)
Attendance at the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Institute or an equivalent professional development meeting (i.e. Nonprofit Governance Symposium, State of Nonprofits Philanthropy Summit, etc.)
Personal essay on leadership
Additional Admission Requirements
See the Admission page for basic admission requirements.
|Column 1||Column 2|
|Entrance Semesters||Fall and Spring|
|Application Deadlines||Visit www.sandiego.edu/soles/admissions/deadlines.php|
|Minimum Grade Point Average||3.0 (4.0 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework|
|Standardized Admission Test||Applicants whose Grade Point Averages are below a 3.00 (on 4.00 scale) should contact the program director in advance of application and may be asked to submit the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test for consideration.|
|Statement of Purpose|
|Two letters of recommendation|
|Required Core Courses||27|
|LEAD 500||Research, Design and Evaluation of Nonprofit Programs||4|
|LEAD 501||Nonprofit Sector: Theory & Practice||3|
|LEAD 503||Nonprofit Finance||3|
|LEAD 505||Developing Human Capital||3|
|LEAD 506||Resource Development and Marketing||3|
|LEAD 507||Community Partnerships & Civic Engagement||3|
|LEAD 510||Board Development||2|
|LEAD 545||Survey of Leadership Theories||3|
|or LEAD 550||Integral Leadership Theory|
|LEAD 559||Organizational Theory and Change||3|
Select 9 elective units from list below
|Total Degree Units||36|
Please note: In rare instances where a student has a demonstrated competency in one of the core curriculum subjects the student may approach the program director and subsequently, the course professor, about opting out of that course. If the director and professor agree, the student may substitute elective units for those required courses. No other course substitutions will be granted.
|LEAD 504||Human Relations for Leaders||1|
|LEAD 508||Grant Making for the Greater Good||2|
|LEAD 509||Legal Issues, Human Resources and Risk Management||2|
|LEAD 511||Strategic Planning and Positioning||2|
|LEAD 512||Policy Advocacy Leadership||3|
|LEAD 513||Advocacy Skills and Strategies||2|
|LEAD 514||Presentation Skills||2-3|
|LEAD 515||Social Entrepreneurship-Innovations in Creating Social Value||2-3|
|LEAD 517||Capital and Endowment Campaign Planning||2|
|LEAD 518I||Nonprofits and Civil Society in Guatemala||2|
|LEAD 519I||Understanding Bi-National Nonprofits In The Us-Mexican Border||2|
|LEAD 520||Volunteer Engagement||1|
|LEAD 525||Leadership in the Arts and Culture Sector||3|
|LEAD 526||Leading Visitor-Facing Nonprofits||3|
|LEAD 527||Arts and Cultural Leadership Institutional Tour||3|
|LEAD 555||Ethical Leadership for Global Social Justice||3|
|LEAD 597||Portfolio Seminar||1|
|Other electives may be added.|
The majority of the courses offered in this program will contain an applied consulting project, completed on behalf of a nonprofit organization. A student may not undertake more than 50% of his or her applied projects with a single nonprofit client.
At SOLES, all masters and doctoral students participate in an international experience designed to support the growth of cultural competency. Our goal is to inform best practices in working with culturally diverse populations locally, nationally and globally. International experiences are approved by each student's faculty advisor and can be credit based or non-credit based activities.
The terminal project for this degree is a portfolio of demonstrated competencies which will be evidenced by a submission of no fewer than three applied projects with accompanying supporting documents. Each portfolio will be evaluated by a nonprofit program faculty member and an external executive level nonprofit practitioner.