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School of Arts, Sciences, and Business

Master of Arts and Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Preparing innovative leaders committed to social responsibility.


Note Dame of Maryland’s nonprofit management programs help students cultivate the skills and develop the knowledge needed to succeed as leaders in today’s nonprofit sector. Our program was created over a decade ago to satisfy an unfulfilled need: educating committed, mission-driven individuals who have dedicated their lives to nonprofit service. With the assistance of executives in local nonprofits both large and small, a curriculum was developed to address the unique challenges of nonprofit leadership and management while also teaching the fundamentals of nonprofit business operations.

The program equips current and future nonprofit leaders to effectively manage the challenges, risks and opportunities in nonprofit management. Courses emphasize leadership, resource management, program development, fundraising and strategic planning. Practical application of theories distinct to nonprofits is a core component of the program; for those currently working in a nonprofit, coursework can become an extension of the programs and projects you are already passionate about. And our new Coached Leadership Practicum pairs students with a professionally trained leadership coach to further develop leadership skills. Under their guidance of their personal leadership coach, students develop and implement a project that addresses workplace or community needs and is aligned with the student's values and aspirations. Learn more about this unique and career-enriching program in Universitas, the Notre Dame magazine.

Notre Dame of Maryland’s graduate program caters to working professionals, with evening classes to accommodate busy schedules. Most courses are held on Notre Dame’s beautiful Main Campus in Baltimore City,  and a selection of online and hybrid electives add flexibility.


In order to meet the needs of our working student population, Notre Dame offers both a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership.  The program is designed so that students who begin the Certificate Program and later decide to undertake the Master of Arts course of study can do easily.

Credits Required
Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management - 36 credits (30 credit core and 6 credits of electives)

Certificate in Nonprofit Management- 18 credits (3 credit core and 12 credits of electives in NPM offerings)


Offered on the main campus in Baltimore, with some classes offered in the Hybrid and Online format

Courses Offered
NPM-501 Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Sector
NPM-510 Management and Leadership in Nonprofits
NPM-520 Human Resource Management
NPM-525 Starting a Nonprofit Organization

NPM-531 Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofits

NPM-545 Fundraising and Grant Writing

NPM-551 Government-Nonprofit Relationships
NPM-560 Ethical Issues in Nonprofit Management
NPM-570 Nonprofit Marketing  

NPM-580 Program Evaluation Methods
NPM-690 Masters Project Seminar

Admissions Criteria

Tuition and Fees

NPM -501 Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Sector
Explores the size and scope of the nonprofit sector, its similarities to and differences from the for profit and public sectors. Based on this examination of the sector environment, learners engage in strategic planning for the specific nonprofit program of their choice. 3 credits.

NPM 510 Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Applies management and leadership principles to the nonprofit sector. Learners expand their management skills through exploring the differing needs and cultural perspectives of staff, volunteers, board members, donors and consumers. Learners focus particular attention on assessing their leadership strengths and weaknesses through textural readings and case studies. 3 credits

NPM 520 Human Resource Management

Examines basic human resource management issues — strategic workforce planning, hiring, training, personnel evaluation and compensation.  Learners apply the theory of each of these areas to one position of their choosing, developing a portfolio of practical, useful Human Resource applications. 3 credits.

NPM 531 - Managing Financial Resources for Nonprofits

Introduces the underlying concepts, languag and reporting methods of accounting and financial analysis. Emphasizes understanding and using accounting and financial statements, rather than producing them. Topics include budgeting, working with accountants and financial analysts to achieve organizational goals, and managing financial resources are explored through practical problem sets. 3 credits.

 NPM 551 - Government-Nonprofit Relationships

Explores the relationship between the public sector and the nonprofit, or third, sector. How does each influence the other? What is the role of nonprofits in developing and implementing public policy? How do government entities and the community at large —from donors to consumers — influence the evolving mission of the nonprofit organization? Addressing these questions is the focus of this course. Learners track a specific issue of their choice. 3 credits.

NPM 560 - Ethical Issues in Nonprofit Management

Analyzes a range of ethical issues and dilemmas inherent in the nonprofit arena. Learners explore these issues through a series of practical applications. 3 credits.

 NPM 580 - Program Evaluation Methods

Examines performance measurement and outcomes assessment for nonprofit organizations. Learners are also introduced to the use basic descriptive statistics to identify, measure and present information, particularly to their organizations’ Boards and to outside stakeholders. Learners develop an evaluation design for the program of their choice. 3 credits.

NPM 690 - Masters Project Seminar

Provides a framework for each learner’s developing an original project as a capstone to the master’s program. Projects may range from the development of a major new initiative for the student’s organization to a written thesis based on original investigation of a specific question in nonprofit management. Through this capstone endeavor, the learner integrates the theory and practice of many courses. The particular design of the project must be approved by the seminar leader.The seminar experience itself provides learners the opportunity to discuss their progress and outcomes with their peers and faculty. Learners are required to achieve the grade of B or higher to complete this requirement.




Nonprofit Management in the News 

Today we welcome Dr. Heather Carpenter, hired as our newest Assistant Professor of Business and Nonprofit Management, and will be Program Coordinator of the MA in Nonprofit Management degree program. Dr. Carpenter, who holds a Ph.D in Leadership Studies with a Specialization in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, joins us from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more about her here.

From the Baltimore Business Journal
Elizabeth Brescia: Foster Care and Adoption Resource Specialist. Adoption Exchange Association

Elizabeth Brescia offers a much-needed service to people on the front lines helping children find adoptive and foster families.

As a foster care and adoption resource specialist at Adoption Exchange Association, she helps case managers and parents meet challenges they face trying to help children seeking a home. Most of her work involves school-aged children in U.S. foster care.

She advises case managers seeking prospective families, parents who want to learn more about helping children heal from trauma and more.

“These children have so many strengths, and they belong in families forever through adoption,” she said.

Brescia, 33, has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She found her calling shortly after moving to Baltimore. She got a job at an adoption-from-foster care agency and found that the work spoke to her.