5 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Non-Profit Management in 2023

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Students interested in pursuing leadership positions in nonprofit organizations may want to consider earning an online master’s in Non-profit Management program. This master’s degree will equip them with necessary strategic and managerial skills to help them become a force of positive change and make a lasting impact in the nonprofit field.

As part of nonprofit leadership positions, graduate students who successfully earned the master’s program can apply the necessary skills in solving legal and governance issues, implementing resource management practices, facilitating program development plans, and coming up with community solutions for nonprofit organizations.

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Many universities and colleges offer online master’s in non-profit management programs. An online program in Nonprofit Management prepares students to take on a variety of careers in the field, equipping them with management and leadership skills such as fundraising, financial management, and strategic planning, among others.

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The nonprofit world performs an ever-crucial role in society, and successful nonprofit leadership requires professionals to have a wide range of skills to keep up with the needs and concerns faced by nonprofits. Thus, on top of hands on experience, they also need to choose the best education they can get to give them the best foundation in this dynamic field.

We can help make that choice a little bit easier. We have put together a list of 5 best graduate schools that offer a Master’s in Nonprofit Management program, based on the following features:

  • Offers the master’s degree entirely or mostly online to accommodate adult learners seeking to complete the graduate program for career advancement,
  • Features a Non-profit Management online curriculum emphasizing the development of skills for nonprofit leadership positions, while also preparing students for a doctorate in the same field,
  • Equips students with the skills for leadership positions in nonprofit career types and settings,
  • Taught by faculty who are experts in nonprofit management,
  • Features financial aid options that help graduate students manage program costs,
  • Holds the proper accreditation credentials,
  • Recognized by organizations relevant to the nonprofit management discipline and profession.

Visit our Methodology page to get a closer look at our ranking process.

Best Online Master’s in Non-profit Management Programs

University of Memphis

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM)

As a nationally ranked higher learning institution, the University of Memphis offers more than 220 areas of study. Founded in 1912, the university is recognized as a major research institution where students can develop intellectual engagement and empower them in their chosen fields.

  • The master’s in nonprofit management online program requires students to complete a total of 36 credit hours.
  • Students can expect to gain theoretical and practical knowledge integral to leading and transforming nonprofit organizations and addressing various complex social issues, all of which are essential for a successful practice and leadership in nonprofit sectors.
  • The online learning format provides students with the flexibility they need to meet their career and professional goals.
  • Online students can benefit from the program’s tight link with the Memphis community, connecting them to nonprofit networks and community partners through internships and special projects.

Standout Features of the University of Memphis’ Online Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program:

The program online Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program is a member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council. The latter is international membership association made up of academic programs at accredited schools focusing on the study of nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations along with voluntary action, and philanthropy.

Did You Know?

The University of Memphis is home to more than 12 colleges and schools. This includes the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional & Liberal Studies, and Graduate School, among others.

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, OK

MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management

Dedicated to equipping students with the confidence to succeed with the help of transformative learning experiences, the University of Central Oklahoma is home to 14,000 students across 119 undergraduate study areas and 81 graduate programs. It earned the Higher Learning Commission’s regional approval.

  • The online Master of Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma allows students to choose the Public and Nonprofit Management emphasis.
  • Students can opt for full-time or part-time attendance, which will either way allow them to enjoy a rigorous curriculum featuring a blend of theory and applied learning.
  • The program equips students with skills that help them advance in their existing organizations or switch to the nonprofit field.
  • Students are expected to complete a total of 36 credit hours, of which 24 are dedicated to core courses and 12 for the specialization track.

Standout Features of the University of Central Oklahoma’s Online MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management Program:

This online program has an accreditation from the Networks of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), making it one of only two institutions in Oklahoma to be accredited and one of the 208 programs globally. This puts the University of Central Oklahoma’s MPA program in an elite group.

Did You Know?

Founded in 1890, the University of Central Oklahoma is one of the state’s oldest institutions for higher education. In 2013, the U.S. News and World Report ranked UCO as the top public regional university in the state of Oklahoma, including it in the 2013 Best Colleges list.

Columbia University

Columbia University

New York, NY

MS in Nonprofit Management (Part-Time Online Option)

Columbia University is a private research university in New York City. Founded in 1754, not only is it an Ivy League University, it is also one of the country’s oldest higher education institutions.

  • Columbia University’s MS in Nonprofit Management is offered in a full-time on-campus format, as well as a part-time online format. It is a powerful program preparing students for leadership roles in mission-driven organizations in a wide range of contexts, both local and global.  
  • The program is ideal both for experienced nonprofit professionals seeking increased executive responsibilities and for those who are new to the nonprofit field.
  • The program curriculum emphasizes public-private partnerships, ethics, cutting-edge technology, and the international aspect of managing nonprofit organizations.

Standout Features of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Nonprofit Management Program:

Students to the program can expect the depth and quality of education that comes with enrolling into an Ivy League institution. The program’s curriculum is not only innovative, students are also taught by faculty who are experts in their field.

Did You Know?

Columbia University is well-placed when it comes to the nonprofit sector. Being in New York City, students have the possibility of connecting with the large international nonprofit community that is also based there.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University - Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Washington, DC

MA in Nonprofit Management

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university based in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1876, and since then, has continued to be one of the country’s leading institutions in generating valuable research.

  • Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management prepares students with the skills they need as change agents in leading nonprofit organizations in the wide range of missions and tasks they fulfill.
  • The 100% online program consists of 10 courses over a completion period of 12-24 months.
  • Students can place greater focus on their education with one of the following focus areas: Project Management, Evaluation and Leadership, International Mission-Based Organizations, or Social Enterprise.

Standout Features of Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management Program:

The program design, with its international scope, prepares students to thrive in the nonprofit sector. The curriculum teaches students a wide range of management and organizational skills, and integrates real-world practice and application in its coursework.

Did You Know?

Johns Hopkins University also offers a Combined-Credential, online & onsite MA in Public Management and Certificate in Nonprofit Management program. The Certificate in Nonprofit Management program is also offered standalone and online.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - School of Government

Chapel Hill, NC

MPA in Nonprofit Management

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in the city of Chapel Hill. Founded in 1789, it was the first public higher education institution in North Carolina, and is currently the flagship of the University of North Carolina System. 

  • The Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management program offered by UNC Chapel Hill develops students to become action-oriented professionals who are change agents with expert skill sets.
  • The concentration in Nonprofit Management requires students to complete 9 credit hours’ worth of electives.
  • The program makes use of real-world case studies and insights from actual nonprofit leaders and practitioners, and develops students’ functional expertise through projects that let them develop and establish new nonprofits, analyze existing ones, and more.

Standout Features of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management Program:

The program is founded on the recognition of the critical role that nonprofits play in society. As such, students get a well-rounded curriculum that explores the legal frameworks, philosophies, historical events, and ethical tenets that shape and govern the nonprofit sector, and cover practical skills that are crucial to the wide range of contexts that nonprofits operate in.

Did You Know?

Throughout its long history, UNC Chapel Hill has produced alumni that have gone on to make crucial contributions in their respective fields, including 9 Nobel Prize Laureates and 23 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Frequently Asked Questions

What career options await online Master in Nonprofit Organization Management degree holders?

An online master’s in non-profit management program opens a range of opportunities for interested students, allowing them to pursue leadership positions in various non-profit sectors. They can advance their profession in the nonprofit field.

Some of the professions they can pursue include statewide coordinator, community service manager, communications specialist, and public relations manager, among others. Social and community service managers can earn a median pay of $74,000 per year, according to BLS.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s in Nonprofit Management online program?

Typically, online students in a nonprofit management program are required to complete a total of 36 credits. This can take them 2 years to earn the degree program. In some cases, accelerated programs can cut down the time it takes for them to complete the online MS in Nonprofit Management, allowing them to earn the degree in as few as 12 to 18 months.

What are the common admission requirements to enroll in the online master of nonprofit management programs?

Interested students may need to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, although it does not have to be in nonprofit management or a related field. Some universities might require students to meet a minimum GPA and submit GRE or GMAT scores. Other typical admission requirements are letters of recommendation, a personal statement, official transcripts, and resumes.

Online Master's in Non-Profit Management - fact

Summary Points

  • Nonprofit organizations fulfill an important positive role in society in various scales, settings, and core missions, including social justice, disaster preparedness, basic social services, mental health support, and more.
  • Master’s Degrees in Nonprofit Management deal with the special leadership, management, and administrative needs that are unique to the nonprofit sector.
  • Master’s Degrees in Nonprofit Management cover a wide range of practical skills, including grant writing, resource management, strategic planning, social entrepreneurship, program development, program evaluation, volunteer management, taxation, and more.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor