Public Service Nonprofit Sector Administration

Be the difference in the nonprofit sector

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

Careers in nonprofit sector administration

This specialization is ideal for individuals interested in a career in community organizations, child welfare agencies, family support centers, neighborhood associations, and municipal offices.


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

Required Courses, Specialization Courses, and Electives (30 Credits)*

Required courses (12 credits)

PUBS 6000

History and Theory of Leadership and Ethics

3 credit hours

PUBS 6025 or POSC 6101

Research Methods

Contemporary Political Research

3 credit hours


PUBS 6205 or POSC 6954

Urban Policy and Public Service Administration

Research Seminar in American Politics**

3 credit hours


PUBS 6210

Ethics in Public Service

3 credit hours


Specialization-focused Courses (12 credits; choose four courses below)

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

PUBS 6215

Nature of Cities

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


Electives (6 credits; choose two courses below)

HEAL 6820

Health Care Program Development

3 credit hours

HEAL 6841

Health Care Finance

3 credit hours

HEAL 6848

Health Care Policy

3 credit hours

MANA 6100

Organizational Behavior

3 credit hours

NPSE 6540

Restorative Justice

3 credit hours

NPSE 6931

Topics in Non-Profit Sector

3 credit hours

NPSE 6995

Independent Study in Non-Profit Sector

3 credit hours

PUBS 6051

Contemporary Leadership

3 credit hours

PUBS 6220

Organizational Behavior in Public Service

3 credit hours

PUBS 6230

Legal Issues in Public Service

3 credit hours

PUBS 6931

Topics in Public Service

3 credit hours

PUBS 6964

Practicum in Public Service

3 credit hours

PUBS 6995

Independent Study in Public Service

1-3 credit hours

* Depending on your selected specialization, these courses may vary. Please check with your academic adviser for specifics.

** Students taking POSC 6954 must choose the section subtitled "Urban Public Policy."

Integrative Learning Options (6 credits)

Students select one of two integrative learning options to complete their degree requirements:

Professional Project

  • Students selecting the professional project option will take PUBS 6998 (Professional Project in Public Service) plus one additional, 3-credit course related to the professional project.
  • Students choosing this option must submit a project outline to be approved by their program adviser and by the Graduate School.

Comprehensive Exams

  • Students selecting the comprehensive examination option will take 6 credits of additional course work followed by a comprehensive exam.
  • Students typically take the comprehensive exam during their final semester in the program.

Ready to get started?

  • Contact Us
  • Application Information
  • Financial Aid
  • Trinity Fellows Program

Need more information? Please submit the short form (all fields required) or reach out to our recruiter specializing in our Public Service program and we will respond to you shortly.

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Graduate Program Recruiter - Mary Wacker

phone: (414) 288-0327


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Application Deadline

This program has rolling admissions, which means you may apply any time before the following dates:

  • Fall term admissions- August 1 (June 1 for international applicants)
  • Spring term admissions- December 15 (October 15 for international applicants)

These are the dates your application must be complete and all required documentation must be received in the Graduate School by these dates.

However, applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based financial aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) should be aware of the merit-based financial aid deadlines by which all applicant materials must be received by the Graduate School:

  • Fall (August) Term: February 15
  • Spring (January) Term: November 15
  • Summer (May) Term: April 15

Application Requirements

  • Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.
  • A completed application form and fee online.
  • Copies from all current and previous colleges/university transcripts except Marquette.*
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • Official test scores from the GRE (preferred), GMAT or LSAT. Waived if the applicant has completed any advanced degree from any school – M.A., M.S., M.B.A., Ph.D., J.D., or M.D.
  • A statement of purpose. The best personal statement summarizes your academic interests and achievements and your career goals. Emphasize strengths that may not otherwise be obvious from your application file.  
  • For International Applicants only: an overall minimum TOEFL score of 100 or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

*Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record. 

This department offers two sorts of financial aid, research assistantships (RA) and tuition scholarships. For a comprehensive listing of merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) please visit the departmental financial aid webpage. Private scholarships may be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses.

Students interested in this master's program may want to consider applying for the Trinity Fellows Program as well. Trinity Fellows is a graduate fellowship program dedicated to developing urban leaders with a commitment to social and economic justice. Trinity Fellows participate in a 21-month study/ work program while earning a master's degree. Those who have completed a full-time service program (minimum 10 months), and/or have worked for 2+ years in the nonprofit sector are eligible to apply. Details and instructions to apply are found on the Trinity Fellows website.