Nonprofit Leadership (MA)


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology and is only available at the St. Louis main campus.

Program Description

The goal of the nonprofit leadership degree is to prepare nonprofit professionals to deal with the complexities and challenges of managing a nonprofit organization in today’s “new normal” business environment. The program content is designed to promote a holistic, business-focused, nonprofit management thinking process among students and develop real-world nonprofit business skills that emphasize both the organization’s mission and the business of leading a self-sustaining nonprofit organization. Courses deliver both practical and theoretical considerations to address the needs of nonprofit professional and the organizations in which they work. The degree requires satisfactory completion of 24 credit hours of required courses and 12 credit hours of graduate electives for a total of 36 credit hours.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing master of arts in nonprofit leadership will be able to:

  • Articulate the important terminology, facts, concepts, principles, analytic techniques and theories used in the field of nonprofit leadership.
  • Analyze complex factual situations using the important facts, concepts and theories of the nonprofit leadership field to help diagnose best practices, problems and opportunities facing nonprofit organizations.
  • Integrate theories and models to develop solutions to complex issues and problems facing leaders of nonprofit organizations and then demonstrate the effectiveness of their solutions using either quantitative or qualitative criteria.

Program Curriculum

The 36 credit hours required for the master of arts (MA) must include the following courses for a major in nonprofit leadership:

  • NPLR 5000 Nonprofit Organizations (3 hours)
  • NPLR 5010 Governance and Executive Leadership in Nonprofits (3 hours)
  • NPLR 5020 Essentials of Marketing and Resource Development in Nonprofits (3 hours)
  • BUSN 5210 Financial Management and Budgeting in Nonprofits (3 hours)
  • NPLR 5210 Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurship (3 hours)
  • NPLR 5810 Alliances, Partnerships and Mergers Among Nonprofits (3 hours)
  • HRDV 5630 Organization Development and Change (3 hours)
  • NPLR 6210 Integrated Studies in Nonprofit Leadership (3 hours)

In addition, the student chooses elective courses offered in this major and/or from the program curricula of other George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology majors, or approved courses from outside the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119 

Additional Requirements

Applicants to the nonprofit leadership (MA) must have completed a business or business-related undergraduate degree meeting the following criteria:

  • University/college is regionally accredited
  • The business school must have a business-related accreditation (e.g. AACSB, ACBSP, IACBE, etc.)

Applicants who do not meet these qualifications must do one of the following:

  • Successfully complete BUSN 5000.
    • Note: BUSN 5000 will count as an elective in the program. This option is only available for students who are required to take BUSN 5000.
  • Complete all of the following undergraduate courses (or their equivalents) with a grade of C- or better (17 credit hours total, not including individual course prerequisites:
    • MNGT 2100 Management Theory and Practices
    • ACCT 2010 Financial Accounting
    • BUSN 2750 Introduction to Statistics
    • ECON 2000 Survey of Economics
    • MNGT 2500 Marketing
    • BUSN 3500 Business and Global Issues
    • BUSN 4500 Ethical Issues in Business

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.