Undergraduate Major - Public & Nonprofit Management

The Public and Nonprofit Management Co-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.

This major must be completed with another major or co-major in the Carlson School of Management.

Co-Major Curriculum

View the full Public and Nonprofit Management Co-Major catalog:

First-year students entering Fall 2022:

Public and Nonprofit Management Co-Major Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

Students entering prior to Fall 2022 and transfer students entering prior to Fall 2023:

Prior to Fall 2022 Public and Nonprofit Management Co-Major Program Requirements and Course Descriptions


Four-year Plan

Public & Nonprofit Management Major Sample Plan

The APAS is the official method for tracking the completion of your specific degree requirements. Please be aware that there are multiple ways for students to progress through this major. This is just one sample. Students should work with their advisor to develop their individual plan.

Italic: course pre-requisites and co-requisites (designated by &)

Bold: Liberal Ed requirement

Print Plan

Freshman Year

Fall Semester

  • Econ 1165 Business Economics (Soc Sci) (4cr)
  • BA 2551 Business Statistics in R (Math) (4cr)
  • BA 1011 Leading Self & Teams (2cr)
  • BA 1021 Design Your Life (1cr)
  • Writ 1301 First Year Writing (4cr)

15 credits

Spring Semester

  • Acct 2051 Financial Reporting (4cr)
  • BA 2051 Solving Business Scenarios in Excel (2cr)
  • BA 2062 Powerful Problem Solving (2cr)
  • Design Your Career (1cr)
  • BA 2005 Corporate Responsibility & Ethics (Civ) (3cr) 
  • Liberal Ed (3-4cr)

15-16 credits

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester

Maroon Block I-Core

  • Mktg 3001 Principles of Marketing (3cr)
  • IDSc 3001 Information Systems & Digital Transformation (3cr)
  • BA 3001 Race, Power, & Justice in Business (RPJ) (3cr)
  • Acct 3001 Strategic Management Accounting (3cr)
  • BA 3051 Data-Driven Business Decisions (BA 2551 & BA 2051) (3cr)

15 credits

Spring Semester

Gold Block I-Core

  • Fina 3001 Finance Fundamentals (Acct 2051 & BA 2551) (3cr)
  • Mgmt 3004 Strategic Management (3cr)
  • SCO 3001 Sustainable Supply Chain Management (3cr)
  • HRIR 3021 Human Capital Management (3cr)
  • BA 3062 Impact Lab Project (BA 2062) (2cr)

14 credits

Declare a major: 

Junior Year

Fall Semester

  • BA 3551 Business Analytics (BA 2551 & BA 2051) (3cr)
  • PA 3003 Nonprofit & Public Financial Management (3cr)
  • PA 4101 Nonprofit Management & Governance (3cr)
  • Liberal Ed (3cr)
  • Liberal Ed (3cr)

15 credits

Spring Semester

  • BA 3033W Business Communication (3cr)
  • Primary Major course (4cr)
  • Primary Major course (4cr)
  • PNP Business elective (4cr)

15 credits

Senior Year

Fall Semester

  • PA Major elective (3cr)
  • Primary Major course (4cr)
  • Primary Major course (2cr)
  • Liberal Ed (3cr)
  • Liberal Ed (4cr)

16 credits

Spring Semester

  • Mgmt 4001 Social Venturing in Action (senior status) (4cr)
  • Primary Major course (4cr)
  • PNP Business elective (4cr)
  • Liberal Ed (3cr)

15 credits

Total Credits Needed for Degree: 120

Note: Students must complete an international experience as part of the program requirements. Short-term programs or semester-length programs may be used to meet this requirement. Explore your options: z.umn.edu/CarlsonIE

  • 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.

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.

Sample careers for Public and Nonprofit Management majors:

  • Executive Director
  • Development Officer
  • Operations/Programs Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Volunteer Engagement Manager
  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Non-Market Strategy Consultant

Companies/Orgs that hire Public and Nonprofit Management students:

  • Non-profits such as St. Paul Children's Hospital, Second Harvest/Heartland, Lutheran Social Services, American Red Cross, National Marrow Donor Program, and United Way
  • Environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy
  • Private foundations such as McKnight, Bush, Cargill and Carl & Eloise Pohlad
  • Corporate philanthropic foundations such as Travelers, Best Buy, Children's, and many others
  • Banking institutions focused on economic opportunity
  • Federal, state and local governments
  • International NGO’s
  • Socially responsible businesses
  • Consulting firms


About Our Students

For-Profit, Public and Non-Profit entities confront many of the same challenges - and students pursuing Public/Non-Profit Management Majors at the Carlson School of Management are uniquely prepared to respond to the needs of each sector.

Our students develop skills that enable them to help organizations:

  • Design life-changing products that are affordable and self-sustainable 
  • Create marketing campaigns that inspire communities to support those in need
  • Devise supply chains that most economically distribute critical services
  • Optimize the deployment of human capital and financial resources.

How is this possible? Unlike many nonprofit programs across the US, our Public/Non-Profit Management majors are required to complete a double business major. Each student must master major coursework in Finance, Marketing, MIS, HR or other functional area in addition to their specialized coursework in Public/Nonprofit Management. 

Capstone Project 

Students in the Public and Nonprofit Management program complete a capstone seminar during their senior year. The focus of this seminar is on the sector of the economy that provides goods and services with motivation other than generating profits for investors. The seminar employs readings, cases and guest speakers, but also an in-depth field experience with a local nonprofit organization. 

Field experience includes:

  • Complete a business model canvas and memo describing the project
  • Perform and submit individual primary and secondary market research
  • Present final recommendations to nonprofit 

Current capstone project organizations:

  • Genesys Works - not-for-profit organization that enables inner-city high school students to join their program during the summer prior to their senior year and, after eight intensive weeks of training, are assigned to work at a local business, part-time, during their senior year. Nonprofit students will be working to engage student voices to improve the program. 
  • Minnesota Children's Museum - a community education institution committed to sparking children's learning through play. Grownups and children from infants to 10 years find a "smart play" environment that challenges children in a fun way and helps them achieve important learning milestones. Capstone students will work with the museum to sell their "smart play spots" to organizations, such as a mall. 
  • Students Today Leaders Forever - a group of students who engage in servant leadership to create positive life experiences. Their mission is to reveal leadership through service relationships and action. Students will work to expand access to this program. 
  • Mid Continental Oceanographic Institute - a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their writing skills and homework, emphasizing cross-curriculum. 

Quick Links

Our Students at Work

Nick Pilger, BSB 2010
American Cancer Society -- USA
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Tommy DeMarco, BSB 2011
CIEE -- Dominican Republic 
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Elizabeth Guest, BSB 2012
Land O'Lakes, Inc.-- USA 
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Contact Undergraduate Program