Degree Requirements

Six required courses, three courses from an area of focus, and a capstone seminar.

Required Courses

The six required courses are:

Areas of Focus

Students may select three courses from one area of focus or three courses across each area of focus.
Please note that new course developments are in progress.

1. International Mission-Based Organizations

Focus for students working in, or aspiring to work with, multilateral organizations and NGOs in the field of international development, and humanitarian affairs.

2. Project Management, Evaluation and Leadership

Focus for students working in, or aspiring to work with, nonprofit organizations in positions of leadership, monitoring and evaluation, programming, project management, development, human resources, or on a board of directors).

3. Social Enterprise

Focus for students of business, entrepreneurship, or nonprofit work aspiring to work with for-profit/nonprofit entities in any capacity. Students in the private or public sector.

Capstone Seminar

Students will complete their studies with the 470.864 NGO Management Capstone Seminar.

The 470.864 NGO Management Capstone Seminar is the final course required of the MA in NGO Management degree. Students may select one of the following capstone options a) a volunteership or immersive experience working with a nonprofit/non-governmental organization, b) a project that will contribute to the sector in some capacity; or c) research project/deeper dive on some relevant aspect of non-governmental/nonprofit management.

Identifying a specific area of interest will require some forethought and preparation in advance of the class. It is critical that the topic or issue is one that is of profound interest to the student, and/or builds on knowledge acquired throughout the degree. All capstones must be relevant to the sector, build on present-day questions, issues, or challenges, and possess an “experiential” element. This could be in the form of original data collection, interviews, consultancy, or tackling a real-life problem in a nonprofit/non-governmental organization. This is also an opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills obtained throughout the degree, thus far, to professionals in the nonprofit field, and to the academic committee. The capstone must be presentable and culminate in a paper or debrief of publishable quality. Students will dedicate the entire semester to the capstone. Students are encouraged to view this as an opportunity to develop substantive and methodological expertise in an area that will propel their careers forward. Through the capstone students will be able to:

  • Assess their knowledge of non-governmental/nonprofit management in order to identify a specific research query;
  • Identify their professional goals at this stage of their studies and incorporate them into the capstone;
  • Select a specific method of research inquiry to pursue their capstone, either through a volunteership, project management, or research design;
  • Exhibit critical thinking skills;
  • Analyze research findings and present real-world implications.

For more information, including grant opportunities to conduct research, please consult Program Director, Karin Orr,