World-changing Academic Programs

— Philanthropy, Nonprofits, and Social Innovation —


The USC Price School offers an unparalleled educational environment for students and working professionals wanting to gain a multidisciplinary understanding of nonprofits, philanthropy, and social innovation — and how the field engages with both the public and private sectors to collectively achieve even greater impact. Our alumni serve in leadership roles at major foundations, nonprofits, and nongovernmental organizations, creating innovative solutions for some of the most pressing problems facing society here and abroad.

Left photo: Assistant Professor Nicole Esparza, Director of Graduate Programs in Nonprofit Leadership and Management; Right photo: Price School Alumna Hillary Epperson (MPA ’13), funded through the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, interned with the International Rescue Committee in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood

Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management

This degree prepares Price students to distinguish themselves as leaders, providing the academic training and field experience essential for effectively advancing the missions of service-delivery nonprofits, advocacy organizations, social enterprises, and philanthropic institutions throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Students work closely with renowned faculty in these fields and also engage with leading nonprofit and philanthropic executives for a comprehensive experience that encompasses the classroom, real-world practical application opportunities, and access to the sector’s thought leaders. This unique blend of coursework and fieldwork prepares new generations of pathfinders who can maximize every advantage of the nonprofit sector in creating effective solutions to local, national, and global challenges — from healthcare and education to environmental sustainability and economic development.

Undergraduate Nonprofit and Social Innovation Track

The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development includes a Nonprofit and Social Innovation Track that teaches foundational methodologies that can lead directly to a career or can be built upon in graduate study for even greater expertise. The track prepares students to become leaders in the nonprofit sector, engendering in them the necessary skills, introducing them to the possible alternatives in the nonprofit arena, and training them for advocacy positions, community leadership, or to work within an organization or start their own.

Undergraduate Minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Volunteerism

The minor offers an overview of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy and its role in the United States, including its historical and theoretical foundations, various components, and relation to public policy. The minor also offers a focus on voluntary action and service as a key means for social change and problem-solving, as well as insights into the management of nonprofit organizations.

Specializations in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Courses in these specializations include nonprofit management and leadership, program and policy evaluation, advocacy in public administration, contemporary issues in philanthropy, strategic management in nonprofit organizations, and the voluntary nonprofit sector and public policy. Like the Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, master’s students in each Nonprofit Management and Leadership specialization engage in a semester-long capstone project in which they conduct significant related fieldwork.

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Policy

Available to working professionals as well as students, the graduate certificate program provides students with a firm foundation in nonprofit management and policy. The certificate develops nonprofit management skills and the knowledge needed to understand the increasing importance of nonprofits in society and their role in forming and influencing public policy.