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Master of Nonprofit Studies

The Master of Nonprofit Studies (MNS) offers an advanced level of knowledge and leadership development for nonprofit managers, for those seeking to transition from positions in the corporate sector and for those who seek to lead or establish a nonprofit organization.

The master’s degree requires five core courses, four elective courses and an integrative seminar.

  • The core courses provide a thorough understanding of the nonprofit sector and address key aspects of nonprofit leadership and management.
  • The elective courses offer an opportunity to specialize on a focused nonprofit function, including social entrepreneurship and program evaluation combined with mission alignment.
  • The program culminates with the integrative seminar, which addresses specific critical issues facing nonprofits, often through a community-based, hands-on learning project.

Class sizes are small (the average is 12-15 students) and adjunct professors are professionals in the fields they are teaching, able to provide both theoretical knowledge and applied, practical experience in the classroom. Face-to-face, classroom-based learning experiences are valued in the program, although some classes may be offered online or as in-class/online hybrid experiences.

The MNS requires 30 hours of coursework. There is no thesis requirement. All 18 semester hours of coursework from the graduate certificate in NPS may be applied to the master’s degree.

New for 2020: 15-Month Track

Effective for summer 2020, we’re scheduling a 15-month track for completing the Master of Nonprofit Studies. The program is ideal for those seeking to complete a master’s degree focused on nonprofit organizations in just over a year.


Master of Nonprofit Studies

MNS Program of Study

Total: 30 semester hours


15 semester hours

  • NPS 501U Understanding the Nonprofit Sector
  • NPS 520U Financial Management and Budget Development
  • NPS 530U Law, Ethics and Governance
  • NPS 540U Resource Development and Promotion
  • NPS 550U Strategic Human Resource Management


12 semester hours. Select 6 hours (2 classes) from each group below.

Content Specialization

6 semester hours. Topic for NPS 598U must relate to content specialization as determined by the program chair.

  • NPS 566U Public Policy and Advocacy
  • NPS 571U Social Entrepreneurship
  • NPS 598U Selected Topics

Systematic Design and Inquiry

6 semester hours. Topic for NPS 598U must relate to systematic design and inquiry as determined by the program chair.

  • NPS 562U Assessment and Program Evaluation
  • NPS 570U Program Design and Proposal Writing
  • NPS 598U Selected Topics
  • EDUC 680U Content Specialization and Research I

Integrative Seminar

3 semester hours

  • NPS 590U Integrative Seminar

Contact Us

Nonprofit Studies Program
Professional & Continuing Studies
Special Programs Building
490 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 289-8133