The School and Center are the first endeavor in the nation to immerse University students in rich educational experiences that extensively incorporate the practice of philanthropy and nonprofit and social change leadership.


An undergraduate academic curriculum in philanthropy began in the School of Public Policy with the development of new courses in which students learn about effective philanthropy and manage their own philanthropic investment fund. Through partnerships across campus, hundreds of students participate in courses through which they award grants worth thousands of dollars to effective Maryland nonprofits, propose policy solutions to community challenges, and learn how to launch nonprofits and companies with a social impact.

The Institute will create a robust concentration of students focused on nonprofit and social change leadership through a focus in Nonprofit and Social Change Leadership within the School’s new Public Policy major. A proposed minor in Nonprofit and Social Change Leadership will provide the opportunity for every student, regardless of major, to learn the skills of philanthropy, social change leadership, and nonprofit leadership to create positive social impact for our communities, state, and world.


The School’s Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree and joint MPP/MBA degree currently offers a specialization (five or more courses) and focus (three courses) in Nonprofit Management and Leadership in which every course includes an applied project with an actual nonprofit organization. Current course offerings are among the deepest of any university in the United States and provide a distinctive global and domestic focus.

In addition to the MPP degree, the School now offers a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. The twelve credit (four course) program provides skills and experiences that will allow students to delve deeply into the complex challenges facing nonprofit leaders in the U.S. and abroad. The program will equip students with the capability to formulate innovative strategies to negotiate the complexities of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. Students will develop entrepreneurial skills, engage in major domestic and international issues, employ their skills to advance the work of nonprofit organizations and make a significant difference around the globe.