Public and Nonprofit Management

The Public and Nonprofit Management major is designed for students who are interested in broadening their understanding of organizations, and learning about the distinct practices, challenges and structures that one encounters when working with either public or not-for-profit entities.

Students pursuing this major take a blend of classes from both the Carlson School and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. As a result, our students are not only equipped to work directly for governments and nonprofits, but also to excel within a private enterprise setting where cross-sector relationships — both domestically and in emerging markets — are becoming increasingly important.

View a full 4-year catalog of program requirements and course descriptions.

Major Curriculum

This major must be completed along with another major in the Carlson School. The major is offered in conjunction with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.


Course Credits Title & Additional Information
PA 3003 3 Nonprofit and Public Financial Management
PA 4101 3 Nonprofit Management and Governance
MGMT 4000 4 SENIOR CAPSTONE: Issues in Nonprofit Management (prereq: senior status; only offered spring semester)


Course Credits Title & Additional Information
PA 3002 3 Basic Methods of Policy Analysis
PA 3990 3 Introduction to Public Policy (previously PA 3001)
PA 4144 3 Social Entrepreneurship (prereq: instructor consent) (previously PA 4190) 
PA 5123 3 Philanthropy in America: History, Practive & Trends

Students who entered the program prior to Fall 2012 may choose either PA 3961: Leadership, You, and Your Community or PA 5251: Strategic Planning and Management in this section if they have completed the pre-requisites.


Course Credits Title & Additional Information
MGMT 3010 4 Introduction to Entrepreneurship
MGMT 4008 4 Entrepreneurial Management (prereq: MGMT 3010 or concurrent)
MGMT 4050 2 Management of Innovation and Change (prereq: MGMT 3001 or 3010)
MGMT 4170W 4 New Business Feasibility & Planning (MGMT 3010)
MGMT 4040 4 Negotiation Strategies
PA 5920 1.5 Skills Workshop: Effective Grant Writing in Public Affairs (prereq: instructor consent)
GCC 5003 3 Grand Challenge: Seeking Solutions to Global Health Issues
GCC 5005 3 Grand Challenge: Global Venture Design: What Impact Will You Make?

Please note that all classes are not offered every semester. Please check the class schedule on OneStop for details.


Public and Nonprofit Management:

A career in public and nonprofit management focuses on learning how to manage business concerns of nonprofits including board development, facility administration, grant writing, personnel administration, program planning, service delivery, volunteer utilization, and public relations for not-for-profit organizations. Unique challenges include finding creative ways to generate operating finances, attracting high caliber professionals and volunteers without the lure of big money, maintaining goodwill, and finding meaningful evaluation tools with which to measure success and indicate areas for improvement.

Typical Careers for Public and Nonprofit Management Majors:

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Grant Writer
  • Strategic Planner
  • Finanacial Analyst/Budgeting Specialist
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Programming Coordinator
  • Director of Development
  • Director of Marketing and Communications

Companies that Hire Public/Nonprofit Majors:

  • City, county, state, and federal government organizations
  • Social non-profits such as St. Paul Children's Hospital Foundation, Second Harvest/Heartland, Lutheran Social Services, American Red Cross, National Marrow Donor Program, and United Way
  • Environmental non-profits such as the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy
  • Private Foundations such as McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation, and Carl & Eloise Pohlad Foundation
  • Corporate philanthropic foundations such as Travelers, Best Buy, Children's, and many others