Top Schools for Public and Non-Profit Organizational Management

Aspiring public and non-profit organizational managers can find relevant career-specific training primarily at the graduate level, although some undergraduate programs are also available.

School Overviews

The four universities profiled below were ranked within the top ten best nonprofit management programs and the top ten best public affairs programs by U.S. News & World Report for 2016. All of these universities offer graduate certificates or degrees in nonprofit management; an undergraduate program in the same area is also available at the University of Minnesota.

Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY

School Highlight: Four faculty members have expertise in nonprofit management.

A private college in upstate New York, Syracuse University includes the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, which U.S. News & World Report ranked as tied for number one among best public affairs schools in 2016. In the same year, Maxwell's nonprofit management program placed third in the nation, also according to USN&WR. Nonprofit management is offered as an area of focus within the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

Indiana University - Bloomington in Bloomington, IN

School Highlight: Indiana's Public Affairs program was tied for first in the country in 2016, based on rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2016, Indiana University in Bloomington had the best nonprofit management program in the country. The School of Public and Environmental Affairs' (SPEA) at this public college offers a certificate and an MPA in Nonprofit Management. Departmental emphasis is on networking and professional development; students participate in colloquia series with high profile speakers in the philanthropic community. The department allies with the Center on Philanthropy, which students can use as a resource for their research and networking purposes.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN

School Highlight: The nonprofit management program was ranked second in the country in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Minnesota is a large public university that offers graduate certificates in the nonprofit management at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. The graduate certificate is tailored for working professionals who are already employed in nonprofit organizations, but is available to graduate students who wish to supplement their degrees in public affairs or other related fields.

University of Washington in Seattle, WA

School Highlight: The nonprofit management certificate program at UW is open to all graduate students enrolled at the university.

Based on the 2016 rankings from U.S. News & World Report, UW in Seattle was tied for the sixth-best nonprofit management program and the fourth-best public affairs program in the country. The certificate program in nonprofit management lasts for five to eight months and provides training for students with a wide variety of backgrounds, including nonprofit professionals, board members, volunteers and individuals with no previous experience who want to enter the field. The program consists of three courses: Management and Operations in the Nonprofit Sector, Leadership and Strategy in the Nonprofit Sector, and Fundraising and Communications in the Nonprofit Sector.

Top Public and Non-Profit Organizational Management Programs

Students who are interested in nonprofit management can also find relevant training at other well-regarded schools:

  • The University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, offers 11 internship and visitation opportunities with nonprofit organizations in the state.
  • Students at Georgia State University in Atlanta can earn a Nonprofit Management graduate certificate.
  • At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the Nonprofit Academy of Excellence offers a professional certificate program.
  • Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, is home to the Hauser Institute for Civil Society.
  • Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, is the home of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ conducted a major study in 2002 that compiled all the schools in the U.S. that offer courses and degrees in nonprofit management.

There are a variety of educational opportunities available for students who are interested in public and nonprofit organizational management. Some of the best offerings are available at schools with highly ranked public affairs and nonprofit management programs.

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