Master of Science in Nonprofit Management

Program Coordinator: Dr. Shiko Gathuo
Phone: 508-929-8892

The NPM program prepares students for leadership positions in the local nonprofit sector and in international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The program attracts a wide range of applicants from the local nonprofit sector, undergraduate students who join the program as 4+1 students, retirees seeking a second career or voluntary service in the sector, and international students with experience or interest in the NGO sector. Students take the NM 901: Nonprofit World: Nonprofits, NGOs and Civil Society as their foundational course. A three-course thesis series consisting of Action Research and Thesis I and II at the end of the program allows students to apply knowledge acquired throughout the program in an action research project.

Admission Requirement

  • Online application with essay and application fee (
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field, with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a professional or academic source.

The program has the following convenient features:

  • A full-time/part-time option

  • An evening schedule to suit working professionals

  • A rolling admission that allows students to start their studies in any semester

  • A 12-credit transfer allowance from other accredited graduate institutions

  • An opportunity to register for as many as 6 credits before matriculation

  • Flexibility in choice of electives

  • An opportunity to intern in a nonprofit organization

  • Faculty of academics and nonprofit and public sector practitioners

  • No standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT or MAT) are required for admission


Items Needed to Apply:

  • Online application found at
  • Essay explaining reason for pursuing this degree program, including career goals
  • Application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources
  • Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Official transcript evaluation for any transcript from outside the United States
  • An English language proficiency test if the student’s academic background is not in English

Program Requirements

  • Thirty-six (36) graduate credits broken down as follows:

  • Twenty-two (22) core credits

  • Six (6) elective credits

  • Eight (8) thesis credits

Core Courses(22 credits)
NM-901The Nonprofit World: NGOs, the State & Civil Society3
NM-934Ethics and Management of Human Resources3
NM-942Organizational Theory3
NM-945Financial Management for Non-Profit Organizations3
NM-949Strategic Leadership and Planning3
NM-951Grant Writing4
NM-993Marketing and Resource Development3
Elective Courses(6 credits)
Any two electives offered in the program6
including an independent study and/or an internship
Thesis Project(8 credits)
NM-990Action Research3
NM-980Thesis I1
NM-981Thesis II4
Total Credits36

Elective Courses

Students may choose any two electives offered in the program. They may also choose to do an Independent Study and/or an internship. The Independent Study and the Internship count as elective credits. Only one Independent Study may be taken during the student’s program of study. All electives, the Independent Study, and the Internship are three (3) credits each.

Thesis Project

NM-990, NM-980, and NM-981 constitute the Nonprofit Management program’s master’s thesis series. Students may take Action Research after completing five (5) core courses. Thesis I must be taken concurrently with Action Research. Thesis II is taken after the successful completion of Action Research and Thesis I.

Nonprofit Management Courses

NM-900 Directed Study: Nonprofit Management

Directed study offers graduate students, who because of unusual circumstances may be unable to register for a course when offered, the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with agreement from a faculty member. variable credits.

Fall and Spring and every year. 1-6 Credits

NM-901 The Nonprofit World: NGOs, the State & Civil Society

This course will examine nonprofit organizations and international nongovernmental organizations at a macro level, that is, the civil society. Current trends in the nonprofit sector such as funding, increased pressure to perform, increased government and private citizen scrutiny of nonprofits, and increased demand for nonprofit services will be explored within the framework of outer environments including the global and technological environment; the social-cultural environment; the political environment; and the economic environment. Students will keep abreast of the nonprofit sector while developing an appreciation of the outer forces that impact it, the collective power of civil society, and the vulnerabilities of the sector. Close attention will be paid to the relationship between the state and the nonprofit sector.

3 Credits

NM-902 Internship

With the help of an internship coordinator, local students who do not have nonprofit experience and all international students will identify suitable nonprofit organizations in which to do an internship. The internship must provide valuable, career-related experience and learning goals. The goals of the internship will be established in conjunction with the coordinator and the host organization. These goals should take into account the student's career interest, for example, development, fundraising and grant-writing, human resources management, financial management etc. Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours in the organization and write a summary of the internship experience.

3 Credits

NM-908 Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Issues In Health Care

An overview of the legal and regulatory framework governing health care from both the manager and the client's point of view. Legal rights and duties of patients and health-care providers, hospital liability, hospital-physician relationships, patient's rights, informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, negligence and malpractice.

3 Credits

NM-911 Global Health Issues and Human Rights

Understanding health and human right issues from a global perspective of the economic political, social and cultural forces which impact on health and health services.

3 Credits

NM-934 Ethics and Management of Human Resources

Leaders and managers of nonprofit and public organizations face moral and ethical dilemmas in dealing with their publics (clients, staff, volunteers, donors, government agencies, board of directors, collaborating partners, the community, etc.). These dilemmas are particularly pronounced in those organizations because the organizations operate under strict ethical guidelines, are accountable to the general public, and have to deal with many different publics. This course will explore the ways in which leaders resolve these ethical dilemmas while sustaining their organizations. Additionally, this course will explore the human resources management functions including planning, recruitment & selection, motivation, compensation & employee services, development, labor relations, evaluation, and separation, as well as compliance with state and federal government regulations.

3 Credits

NM-940 Leadership Skills and Group Dynamics

Explores the nature and principles of effective group and organizational leadership. Students participate in a group which studies its own leadership process. Examples will be taken from therapy groups, business/organizational situations, classrooms and other case studies. Emphasis upon the com- ponents of effective leadership and fellowship in small groups and organizations. Group formation, group roles, group stages, and group conflicts are studied.

3 Credits

NM-942 Organizational Theory

Organizational theory and development strategies considered. Formal and informal aspects organizations, authority structures, specializaion and integration of functions, and the role of professional managers.

3 Credits

NM-944 Politics and Public Policy

An explication of the nature of political power and the influence of power upon the delivery of various types of nonprofit, public, health care and human services.

Every year. 3 Credits

NM-945 Financial Management for Non-Profit Organizations

Theoretical and practical approaches to the allocation and control of financial resources in non-profit settings. Conventional and nonconventional budgeting techniques, cost/benefit analysis and preparation of financial statements.

Fall and Spring. 3 Credits

NM-946 Seminar in Program Analysis and Evaluation

Explores philosophical issues, politics, and specific evalution instruments involved in effective program analysis upon utilization of computer systems.

3 Credits

NM-949 Strategic Leadership and Planning

This course will critically examine the revolutionary changes emerging in the globalized economy through the exploration of the strategic planning process, and discuss the various strategic decisions and the leadership skills necessary to formulate and implement the strategic plan successfully.

Fall and Spring. 3 Credits

NM-950 Unions and the Public Sector

An intensive examination of key collective bargaining topics. Topics include grievance-arbitration processes, productivity bargaining, and impasse resolution in the public sector.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

NM-951 Grant Writing

This "how to" course will a hands-on experience that will cover the skills and strategies essential to the full range of the grant writing process, from needs assessment and identification of potential funding sources through proposal writing and submittal, to planning for evaluation and continuation.

4 Credits

NM-972 Special Topics in Non-Profit Management

In depth exploration of contemporary topics or issues in the field of Non-Profit Management

1-6 Credits

NM-980 Thesis I

Prerequisites or Corequisite: NM-990

This course is offered every fall term and takes a practical approach, providing students with the opportunity, through individual consultation with the instructor, to design their individual research projects based on sound research principles as explored in NM 990. Students will also prepare their applications to the WSU Human Subjects Review Board (H.S.R.B.).

1 Credit

NM-981 Thesis II

This course is offered every spring term and builds on the skills acquired and work completed during NM 990 and NM 980. Students will submit their H.S.R.B. applications. Upon gaining approval from the board, students implement their research design by collecting and analyzing data on their chosen topics, and present their findings, conclusions and recommendations orally, and in a written report. Students consult individually with their instructor throughout the semester as they work on their individual projects. The final report is expected to be of publishable quality.

4 Credits

NM-990 Action Research

Prerequisites: 5 courses From courses NM-901 NM-934 NM-942 NM-945 NM-949 NM-993 NM-951;

NM 990 is offered every fall. The goal of this course is to prepare students to undertake nonprofit-relevant research projects in areas of their choice, by developing an understanding of fundamental concepts of research design. By the end of the course, students develop a research proposal

3 Credits

NM-993 Marketing and Resource Development

This course will focus on three major functions that nonprofits must perform in order to survive and thrive: fundraising, marketing, and the development of resources. The course will cover the role of institutional planning in the setting fundraising goals, creating the annual development plan, preparing for and implementing capital campaigns and planned gift programs. This course will also examine the development and management of volunteers, boards of directors, and individual donors in nonprofit organizations. The course will also examine how marketing concepts are applied to nonprofit and public organizations. Marketing research, product development, pricing, advertising, publicity, and market control will be studied.

3 Credits

NM-994 Assigned Readings

Independent study under faculity supervision. Student will define area of advanced study in an area of nonprofit,health care, public agency, human service or human resource training and development.

3 Credits

NM-998 Research

Supervised research in nonprofit, healthcare, human service, public agency, or human resource training and development Students will learn a variety of research tools specifically relevant to research in nonprofit organization.

3 Credits

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nonprofit sector including their organization, IRS designations, and pertinent mandates, rules, laws, and regulations governing the sector
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of the changing political, legal, social-cultural, economic, ecological, and technological environments within which nonprofits operate
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of the internal environment of a nonprofit organization including operations, market, competition, and collaboration
  • Students will have demonstrable knowledge of the interconnectedness of the public, private and nonprofit sectors
  • Students will demonstrate the skills needed to lead and manage a diverse pool of nonprofit employees in an under-resourced and high employee-turnover sector
  • Students will demonstrate the skills required to communicate with and manage the wide array of stakeholders of a nonprofit organization
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of the role of social construction of populations in the delivery of social and nonprofit services
  • Students will demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, implement and evaluate special projects while being engaged in the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization
  • Students will demonstrate the skills to plan, acquire, harness, allocate and manage the resources required to sustain a successful nonprofit for the long term
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with technological tools required for the efficient operation of a successful nonprofit organization
  • Students will demonstrate their grasp and application of research concepts and the ability to make evidence-based tactical, operational, and strategic decisions
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to innovate solutions and solve problems creatively
  • Students will demonstrate job readiness through engagement with real-life nonprofit organizations and problems
  • Students will demonstrate an empathetic understanding of the range of human experiences and the social responsibility of nonprofit workers to treat clients equitably and act as global citizens