Academic Programs

The nonprofit sector is where change becomes a reality, dealing with some of society’s most daunting public problems and working to develop innovative solutions. The issues span from school reform to health care access, economic development to cleaner environments, affordable housing to greater mobility, civic engagement to more effective governance.

For more than 25 years, the USC Price School of Public Policy has been a leader in research and education in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. The USC Price faculty, students, and alumni – in close coordination with the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy – are helping to shape the future of nonprofits and philanthropy at the local, regional, national and international levels.

Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management

Beginning Summer 2015, the USC Price School of Public Policy will welcome its first class in the Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management (MNLM). The program is designed both for those with several years of work experience in the nonprofit sector as well as those intending to embark upon careers in this area.

This program is developed in recognition of the increasing importance of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector in governance and public problem solving – from service delivery to advocacy and from community building to social change. The challenges of leadership in the nonprofit sector are fundamentally different due to the complexity of multiple funding sources, the unique legal and regulatory environment, and the range of interactions with government and business. The Price MNLM program will provide depth in the field for those interested in philanthropy, nonprofits, and social innovation.

Graduate Studies

Master of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program is designed to prepare students for careers as professional policy analysts in government, business and nonprofit settings. Students take 12 units of electives selected by the students with the advice of the academic adviser or director of the MPP program. MPP students may specialize in philanthropy and nonprofits, which considers how philanthropy and the nonprofit sectors can contribute to innovative public problem solving. The specialization provides MPP students with both the analytical and managerial skills needed for the 21st century nonprofit leader.

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Policy

This graduate certificate program provides students with a foundation in nonprofit management and policy. The certificate develops nonprofit management skills and provides students the knowledge needed to understand the increasing importance of nonprofits in society and their role in forming and influencing public policy. The certificate in nonprofit management and policy consists of 16 units of graduate course work.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development

The Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for graduate study and/or professional careers by engaging them in the analysis of society’s political, social and economic issues in such areas as environment, health care and urban life. The major introduces students to theoretical foundations and practical applications through a set of cross-cutting introductory courses and specialized courses in one of five tracks: health policy and management, public policy and law, nonprofits and social innovation, real estate development, or sustainable planning. The nonprofits and social innovation track prepares students to become leaders in the nonprofit sector, engaging them with the necessary skills, introducing them to the possible alternatives in the nonprofit arena, and encouraging them to prepare themselves to work within an organization or start their own.

Minor in Nonprofits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism

This four-course minor enables students to learn about the nonprofit sector – its organizations, philanthropy and voluntary action. The three course core provides: (1) an overview of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy and its role in the United States, including its historical and theoretical foundations, its various components and its relation to public policy; (2) a focus on voluntary action and service as one means for social change and problem solving; and (3) insights into the management of nonprofit organizations. Students select an elective that extends their understanding to the role of nongovernmental organizations in international affairs or to the role of public relations for nonprofits.

This minor is intended for students who plan (1) to work in a nonprofit or charitable organization, whether it is a large organization such as United Way, a small social service agency, an environmental advocacy group, a museum or a religious organization, (2) to participate with nonprofits as a volunteer throughout their lives or (3) pursue further graduate work in a service related profession.

For more information about these academic programs, please contact the Price School Office of Student Affairs at (213) 740-6842 or visit the Price School of Public Policy website.