While most students might view a Master of Business Administration as a profit-centered degree, others think the management aspect of an MBA perfectly suits the study of nonprofit organizations. As it turns out, many of the best MBA programs in the nation agree with this assessment, and thus offer concentrations and coursework in nonprofit management.
Best Options in the Northeast
With the Ivy League located in the Northeast, many of the best nonprofit management MBA programs are also housed there. According to "U.S. News and World Report," the top 10 MBA programs for nonprofit management include those at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and New York University. These programs all shine in nonprofit management, with Columbia, for example, offering its Nonprofit Board Leadership Program to teach MBA students how to contribute effectively to a nonprofit board. Meanwhile, at NYU Stern, students can choose to concentrate on social enterprise as part of their MBA, which gives their entire degree a nonprofit focus.
West Coast Programs
According to "U.S. News," the West Coast is home to two leading nonprofit programs, both in the Silicon Valley: Stanford and Berkeley. As part of its MBA program, Stanford Business School integrates its Social Innovation Center to ensure that students obtain a nuanced perspective on the nonprofit world. Because Stanford allows students to heavily personalize their degree, there is ample opportunity to work with the Social Innovation Center and go on global service trips. Within its MBA program, the Berkeley Haas School offers an entire nonprofit concentration, and "U.S. News" currently ranks it number three nationwide.
Nonprofit MBAs in the Midwest
In the midwest, two programs lead the pack in nonprofit management, according to "U.S. News:" the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Northwestern's Kellogg School. Like many of its Ivy League peers, Penn offers its MBA students the option to participate in a Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, which prepares future business people to lead a nonprofit from the highest levels. MBA students at Kellogg enjoy the constant flux of nonprofit practitioners who are participating in the Center for Nonprofit Management. This ensures that students can meet with prospective employers and leaders in the field on a regular basis.
Southern Nonprofit Management
In the South, Duke University's Fuqua School is the leader when it comes to nonprofit management. At Fuqua, MBA students have the unique opportunity to work on consulting projects while studying for their degree. Many of these projects involve nonprofit companies and organizations. Every year, about 20 percent of the small-business consulting program is made up of nonprofit organizations, so students have many opportunities to work directly with nonprofits while pursuing their degree.
- Columbia Business School: The Social Enterprise Program: Nonprofit Board Leadership Program
- NYU Stern: Full-Time MBA: Social Enterprise
- Stanford Business School: MBA Program: Personalized Curriculum
- University of California Haas School of Business: Non-Profit and Public Leadership
- University of Pennsylvania Wharton School: Nonprofit Board Leadership Program
- Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management: Center for Nonprofit Management
- Duke Fuqua School of Business: Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum
Kevin Wandrei has written extensively on higher education. His work has been published with Kaplan, Textbooks.com, and Shmoop, Inc., among others. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at Cornell University.