Master of Nonprofit Administration

Program Director:
Marco Tavanti PhD

The Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) at University of San Francisco’s School of Management prepares nonprofit professionals to leadership and managerial positions in the nonprofit and social sector. In line with the University’s motto change the world from here the MNA program promotes competent nonprofit leaders and effective managers for innovative, strategic and systemic solutions to make the world a better place. Its carefully designed curriculum and embedded experiential learning enhance managerial competencies and leadership capacity in the area of:

  1. Nonprofit social innovation through effective fundraising strategies and social enterprise solution for achieving financial sustainability.
  2. International, cross-cultural and diversity perspectives for effective operations of social solutions through NGOs and global enterprises.
  3. Social impact measurement and analysis of organizational effectiveness and program’s outcomes benefit our communities and the common good.

Many MNA alumni are nonprofit leaders with executive positions at nonprofit corporations and other social economy organizations, including foundations, social enterprises, voluntary associations, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, and international nongovernmental organizations. In addition to studying in San Francisco’s dynamic nonprofit environment, graduate students benefit from the program’s project based learning, experienced faculty, global immersions and richly diverse cohorts. The in-classroom discussions, projects and exercises are enhanced by videoconference technology that gives students a diverse modality of participation through a blended system of teaching and learning.

The Part-Time MNA program is designed for professionals currently working or transitioning their career to the nonprofit sector. The Full-Time MNA program is designed for international or young professionals who want to start a managerial or leadership career in the nonprofit sector. Students generally have at least 2-3 years of nonprofit experience as volunteers, entrepreneurs or employees.

The MNA courses investigate the political, economic, legal, and social environments of nonprofit organizations. MNA students gain knowledge of organizational behavior and management theory, and develop skills in specific areas such as ethical leadership, board governance, strategic planning, fundraising and marketing, human resources and financial management, program evaluation and impact analysis, nonprofit legal issues, nonprofit advocacy, and international NGOs. They specialize in social sector areas of their interest through a capstone project and certifications in sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarian emergency among others.

MNA Learning Goals

The MNA program focuses on three main goals: 

  1. Develop nonprofit leaders who are socially conscious, community engaged, and globally minded.
  2. Develop nonprofit managers who are competent, strategic, effective, and system thinkers.
  3. Develop nonprofit administrators who discern ethical decisions for the common good.

MNA Program Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Develop nonprofit sector knowledge: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the past, present, and future trends of the nonprofit sector across organizations, policies, and sectors in the U.S. and internationally.
  2. Develop social sector values: Demonstrate strategic, appreciative, and critical thinking to articulate and discern social sector values for the promotion of just, inclusive, prosperous, responsible, and sustainable communities.
  3. Apply nonprofit management competencies: Apply principles and approaches of nonprofit management to problem-solve using strategic planning, board governance, resource development, financial administration, human resource management, legal compliance, nonprofit marketing, program evaluation, policy and advocacy.
  4. Apply systemic solutions: Apply nonprofit management skills and leadership competencies for the promotion of cross-sector collaborations, social value creation, and systemic solutions.
  5. Integrate nonprofit ethical leadership: Demonstrate ethical leadership capacity and ethical reasoning for nonprofit leadership, global responsibility, social accountability, and ethical decision-making.
  6. Integrate social impact analysis: Demonstrate evaluative capacity benefiting organizational development, organizational learning, organizational effectiveness, and organizational sustainability for social impact and social innovation.

MNA Course Requirements

Students in the FT-MNA take four courses in the Fall, three in the Spring and two in the summer. Students in the PT-MNA generally take 2 courses per semester plus an Academic Global Immersion or other courses during the Intercession or Summer Sessions.

Required Courses

Students complete 8 core courses in 12 months for the FT-MNA or 21 months for the PT-MNA.

Elective Options

Students select one or more elective courses for 4 units in career interest and/or in conjunction with a Graduate Professional Certificate Program.

MNA Degree Requirements

  • The MNA degree requires 36 units (9 courses; 8 required and 1 elective)
  • Completion of all degree coursework with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of a capstone project or thesis promoting social impact.