Master of Arts in public service administration

Specialization in Nonprofit Sector Administration

Who is it for?

This nonprofit sector administration specialization is for those who want management positions in the nonprofit sector. It balances practical skills with a values-based foundation so students can become dynamic members of their organization and community.


This specialization is ideal for:

  • Child welfare agencies
  • Community organizations
  • Family support centers
  • Health care organizations
  • Municipal offices
  • Neighborhood associations


To earn a master's degree in public service, students must complete 36 hours of course work.

Core Courses

Required courses (12 credits)
PUBS 6000 History and Theory of Leadership and Ethics 3 credit hours
PUBS 6205 Urban Policy and Public Service Administration 3 credit hours
PUBS 6210 Ethics in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6025 Research Methods 3 credit hours
Constrained electives (3 credits)
PUBS 6051 Contemporary Leadership 3 credit hours
PUBS 6215 Nature of Cities 3 credit hours
PUBS 6220 Organizational Behavior in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6230 Legal Issues in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6235 Communication and the Management Process in Urban Services 3 credit hours
PUBS 6240 Urban Public Sector Economics 3 credit hours
PUBS 6995 Independent Study 1-3 credit hours
PUBS 6931 Topics in Public Service 1-3 credit hours
Specialization Courses (15 credits)
NPSE 6521 Social Entrepreneurship: Nonprofit Organizations 3 credit hours
NPSE 6525 Financial Matters in the Nonprofit Sector 3 credit hours
NPSE 6530 Social Justice and Social Activism 3 credit hours
NPSE 6535 Legal Aspects of the Nonprofit Sector 3 credit hours
ELECTIVE Contact adviser for elective options 3 credit hours

Integrative Learning Options (choose one)

Professional Project

  • Six credits of a professional project. This course is taken three credits at a time, preferably in two consecutive semesters. The professional project courses are generally not offered during summer.

There are two options for a professional project.

  1. Work independently with a faculty adviser and possibly an organization to produce a research-based service or product.
  2. Submit for publication to a peer-reviewed journal the findings from a research study that has been supervised by a faculty member.

Comprehensive Exams

  • Thirty-six credits of course work followed by a comprehensive examination. Students will take: 12 required credits, three credits from constrained core electives and 15 credits from specialization courses. The final six credits should be approved by the program adviser.