Nonprofit Management (MNM)

The master of nonprofit management (MNM) is a comprehensive professional degree that prepares students for executive leadership of nonprofit and philanthropic (grant-making) organizations.

Due to the astonishing growth of the nonprofit sector over the past 30 years in the U.S. and the equally rapid growth of nongovernmental organizations internationally, the sector has professionalized. Nonprofit employers now seek master's degree graduates with specialized training that will allow them to propel their organization forward.

This degree is distinct from a master of business administration and a master of public administration due to the nonprofit sector's unique funding and management structures. For example, multiple revenue streams require expertise in sources such as membership, capital campaigns, government contracts, grants, crowdfunding, and income from entrepreneurial ventures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Synthesize foundational concepts and theories in nonprofit leadership and management: Students will learn and apply the leading theories and evidence-based best practices surrounding organization management and governance to written assignments and in hands-on applied projects.
  • Develop critical thinking skills to ethically manage, govern and lead nonprofit and philanthropic organizations: Through the use of discussions, current events, case studies and real-world examples, emerging leaders will develop the skills necessary to consider and critically analyze multiple perspectives and sources of information.
  • Learn how to best develop and steward nonprofit financial and human resources: Through a series of courses focused on management, students will learn and apply skills necessary to fundraising, financial management, grant writing, working with under-served populations and volunteer management.
  • Apply learned competencies to real-world organizational challenges: Students will develop professional expertise and demonstrate competence by partnering with local organizations throughout the program, including serving as a member of a board of directors, completing a capstone project with an organization, and engaging in other coursework on strategic planning, project management, philanthropy and grantmaking, grant writing, and an internship placement, among others.
  • Articulate individual aspirations in nonprofit professional practice to address broader societal needs and outcomes: In PPPM students become change agents and problem solvers. Students have opportunities to comprehensively explore their personal and professional goals through coursework, internships, one-on-one advising with instructors and faculty leaders. The flexible curriculum also allows students to take electives across campus in various fields of interest important to them.

Nonprofit Management

The master of nonprofit management (MNM) is a professional degree designed to train students to lead nonprofit organizations. Due to the growth of the nonprofit sector over the past three decades in the US and the growth of nongovernmental organizations internationally, the sector has professionalized. People currently working in the nonprofit sector and others seeking to switch to or enter the nonprofit sector now seek master’s-level training to advance their careers, specializing specifically in the administration of nonprofit organizations.

Critical skills for nonprofit administration are common to all nonprofit fields, including handling financial management challenges and tax-exempt reporting structures, raising funds from individual donors and institutions, and managing a mission-oriented workforce.

Unique Aspects of the Program

The program melds relevant best-practice elements from the business and government sectors with the management imperatives of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Woven into the course work are opportunities to obtain practical experience at nonprofit organizations, so that participants in the program have significant administrative experience upon graduating. Examples include the review and consultation portion of the Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations (PPPM 581) course, the nine-month board membership required for the Nonprofit Board Governance (PPPM 687) course, and the projects student teams complete for nonprofit organizations in the Nonprofit Consultancy (PPPM 688) course.

Students may combine the master of nonprofit management with another graduate degree from within the department or from other academic units across campus. In most cases, a student is able to obtain two master’s degrees within three years. The normal time to completion for the master of nonprofit management degree is six terms (two years).

Application Procedures

To be eligible for the master of nonprofit management, an applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree. The department strongly encourages applications from people of all backgrounds, and is dedicated to fostering a diverse academic environment.

Applications for admission are due February 1 for students entering the program in the following fall. In certain cases, students may be admitted at other times of the year. The online application requires the following (please follow the detailed checklist available on the department website):

  • Official transcripts from undergraduate college or university, and from graduate study, if applicable
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for nonnative English speakers
  • A personal statement, two to three pages in length, describing your motivation and preparation for entering or furthering a career in the nonprofit sector, and providing a hypothetical blueprint for the next twenty years of your career
  • Comprehensive employment and education résumé
  • Three recommendation letters, with one or more of the letters by a faculty member
  • University of Oregon online graduate admission application

Nonprofit Curriculum

After completion of the core curriculum (33 credits focusing on financial, management, and revenue-development skills), students complete an internship and 20 credits of concentration electives. Students complete a management-based capstone sequence that culminates in successful completion of a consulting project for a nonprofit organization. The two-year program takes 70 credits to complete.

Master of Nonprofit Management Requirements

CORE COURSES (31 credits)
PPPM 522Grant Proposal Writing1
PPPM 581Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations4
PPPM 586Philanthropy and Grant Making2
PPPM 618Public Sector Theory4
PPPM 620Planning and Management Research Skills2
PPPM 623Professional Development1
PPPM 656Quantitative Methods5
PPPM 680Managing Nonprofit Organizations4
PPPM 684Public and Nonprofit Financial Management4
PPPM 686Nonprofit 48-Hour Charrette1
PPPM 687Nonprofit Board Governance (three-term sequence, one credit per term)3
PPPM 604Internship: [Topic] 13
Plus 20 credits from courses focused on a specific field of interest 220
PPPM 688Nonprofit Consultancy4
Plus 12 credits from the following (can also serve as electives):12
Seminar: [Topic] (Strategic Communications; Public Sector Leadership; Advocacy/Lobbying Seminar)
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Community Organizing; Museum Practice; Event Management)
Introduction to Public Law
Project Management
Strategic Planning for Management
PPPM 532
PPPM 552
Program Evaluation
The Arts in Society
Creative Placemaking
Cultural Programming
Performing Arts Management
Volunteer Resource Management
Impact Philanthropy
Nonprofit Legal Issues
Public Management
Social Enterprise
Seminar: [Topic] (Issues in Arts and Cultural Leadership)
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Visual Communications)
Cultural Administration
Community Planning Workshop
Community Planning Workshop
Experimental Course: [Topic] (Nonprofit Law/Management Clinic)
Managing Conflict in Organizations
New Venture Planning
Opportunity Recognition
Aid to Developing Countries
Other course (with MNM faculty advisor approval)
Total Credits70

Accelerated Master's of Nonprofit Management

This 5-year Accelerated Master’s degree program enables students who graduate with a Major in PPPM or Minor in Nonprofit Administration to add one additional year of coursework to earn a Master’s of Nonprofit Management degree. University of Oregon is one of the few universities in the world with a master’s degree fully dedicated to professional training for executive leadership of nonprofit organizations. Graduates are in high demand, and pursue remunerative and rewarding careers.
Many of our undergraduates choose to pursue graduate work in nonprofit management, but often not at the UO since there is a significant amount of course overlap between our undergraduate and graduate offerings. This program will allow highly qualified and motivated undergraduates to stay with us for one additional year and earn a Master’s degree.
This is a 4+1 program as envisioned by much the materials and guidance for an accelerated master's program. Students will take 15 credits in master's-level coursework their senior year. They will take an additional 45 minimum graduate study credits (500+ courses) for graduate students seeking a master’s degree in their 5th year.

Fourth Year
PPPM 680Managing Nonprofit Organizations 4
PPPM 413Quantitative Methods 4
Electives and UG requirements  4-8
 Total Credits: 12-16
Fourth Year
PPPM 581Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations 4
PPPM 522Grant Proposal Writing 1
Electives and UG requirements  4-10
 Total Credits: 9-15
Fourth Year
PPPM 586Philanthropy and Grant Making 2
PPPM 684Public and Nonprofit Financial Management 4
Electives and UG requirements  6-10
 Total Credits: 12-16
Fourth Year
Electives and UG requirements  1-8
 Total Credits: 1-8
Fifth Year
PPPM 618Public Sector Theory 4
PPPM 686Nonprofit 48-Hour Charrette 1
PPPM 687Nonprofit Board Governance 1
PPPM 623Professional Development 1
Graduate Electives  4
 Total Credits: 11
Fifth Year
PPPM 620Planning and Management Research Skills 2
PPPM 687Nonprofit Board Governance 1
PPPM 604Internship: [Topic] 6
Graduate Electives  6
 Total Credits: 15
Fifth Year
PPPM 687Nonprofit Board Governance 1
PPPM 688Nonprofit Consultancy 4
Graduate Electives  8
 Total Credits: 13
Fifth Year
Graduate Electives  4-8
PPPM 604Internship: [Topic] 1-10
 Total Credits: 5-18
First Year
PPPM 687Nonprofit Board Governance 1
PPPM 688Nonprofit Consultancy 4
Electives  8
 Total Credits: 13
  • Potential Electives with advisor approv
PPPM 507Seminar: [Topic]1-5
PPPM 525Project Management4
PPPM 526Strategic Planning for Management4
PPPM 5324
PPPM 543Natural Resource Policy4
PPPM 544Environmental Policy4
PPPM 546Socioeconomic Development Planning4
PPPM 548Collaboration4
PPPM 5524
PPPM 560Health Policy4
PPPM 565Program Evaluation4
PPPM 570The Arts in Society4
PPPM 571Cultural Policy4
PPPM 572Creative Placemaking4
PPPM 573Cultural Programming4
PPPM 575Performing Arts Management4
PPPM 583Volunteer Resource Management2
PPPM 586Philanthropy and Grant Making2
PPPM 587Impact Philanthropy4
PPPM 588Nonprofit Legal Issues4
PPPM 601Research: [Topic]1-16
PPPM 605Special Problems: [Topic]1-16
PPPM 625Community Planning Workshop5
PPPM 626Community Planning Workshop5
PPPM 670Cultural Administration4
PPPM 685Social Enterprise4