3 Washington DC Nonprofit MBA Programs You Need To Know

Washington DC Nonprofit MBAs

It’s fair to say that the finance and consulting industries are the most popular for business school grads. But what about non-profits and social enterprises—where do they rank? While some assume that an MBA and working for a nonprofit do not go hand-in-hand, that’s not the case.

According to Fast Company, the nonprofit sector is the third-largest segment of the U.S. workforce, employing more than 13.7 million people at 1.8 million organizations, accounting for 10 percent of the country’s total workforce. The sector is the seventh-largest economy in the world—with combined assets of nearly $3 trillion, the U.S. nonprofit sector is larger than the economies of Brazil and Russia, and its neighbor to the north is taking notice. According to Nonprofit HR, in 2015, 50 percent of nonprofits were hiring compared to just 34 percent of for-profits. Nonprofit wages have also increased by 29 percent between 2000-10 and continue to rise, and exciting jobs in the sector are perfect for MBAs.

Some schools run entire centers and initiatives dedicated to the idea of social change. Other schools offer social entrepreneurship coursework, concentrations and graduate certificates with their MBA program. Here’s our rundown of three nonprofit MBAs in the Washington DC metro.

George Washington University School of Business

Students enrolled in the GWSB MBA program may combine their advanced business degree with a graduate-level certificate. One certificate program offered by the school is the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. This program is intended for students hoping to advance their careers in the nonprofit sector, as well as students who want to expand their knowledge but who do not want to commit to a master’s degree program.

The certificate requires that students complete 12 credit hours and maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in order to be awarded the Graduate Certificate. Sample coursework includes:

  • PPPA 6031 – Governing and Managing Nonprofit Organizations
  • PPPA 6032 – Managing Fund Raising and Philanthropy
  • PPPA 6016 – Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation
  • PPPA 6033 – Nonprofit Enterprise
  • PPPA 6034 – Managing Nonprofit Boards
  • PPPA 6053 – Financial Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Organizations
  • PPPA 6058 – International Development NGO Management

The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management program is available at the George Washington University’s main campus in downtown Washington DC.. Certificate students enroll in regular courses of the Trachtenberg School and earn graduate credit. Regular graduate tuition and fees apply.

Kogod School of Business – American University

The Kogod School of Business at American University also offers a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. According to the school, the certificate provides those currently working in the nonprofit sector a program combining both academic rigor and skill set training to enhance their performance in this growing work sector, as well as a foundation for master’s degree students about to enter the field.

The certificate program requires 18 credit hours of approved coursework with at least 9 credit hours at or above the 600-level and encompasses course offerings from the School of Public Affairs, the Kogod School of Business, and the School of Communication, as well as select coursework from the School of International Service and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Sample coursework includes:

  • ACCT-607 – Financial Accounting
  • FIN-630 – Financial Analysis of the Firm: Concepts and Applications
  • COMM-642 – Strategic Communication Management
  • MGMT-609 – Management of Organizations and Human Capital
  • MGMT-633 – Leading People and Organizations
  • PUAD-681 – Managing Nonprofit Organizations

University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business

The UMD Smith Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship and Center for Social Value Creation offer several different venues and opportunities for students to explore social entrepreneurship. According to the school, the Center for Social Value Creation was founded in 2009 and aims to educate, engage and empower Smith students to employ business principles that help not just the bottom line, but also the world. You can learn more about the UMD Smith Center for Social Value Creation here.

Students can pitch business ideas with a social mission through the Center’s Pitch Dingman program, or receive support and resources for their own social enterprises. The Center for Social Value Creation offers graduate coursework in social entrepreneurship at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and leads Social Innovation Fellows, a one-year program that gives Smith School undergraduate students hands-on opportunities to seek innovative solutions for social and environmental challenges through the application of business principles.

To learn more about using your MBA for a nonprofit career, take a look at our “Should MBAs Work in the Nonprofit Sector” post. Check out our list of the top 10 nonprofit MBA programs in the country for even more options and information.


About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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