Nonprofit/NGO Leadership, MSNPL

The Nonprofit/NGO Leadership (NPL) Program at the School of Social Policy and Practice welcomes individuals who are bright, passionate, and energized to be transformative thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and innovators for social impact. The world needs innovative approaches to address the world’s complex social challenges.  Our students are the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs who will help transform nonprofits, social enterprises, international NGOs, educational systems, social service agencies, art and cultural institutions, foundations, and advocacy and volunteer organizations. Our program allows students to build a foundation for their professional and civic journeys as collaborative agents of innovation and impact.


A total of 10 course units is required for graduation.

Core Courses
Select 4 of the following:4.0
Empowering Nonprofit Leaders to Thrive
Ethics and The Pursuit of Social impact
Data Analysis for Social Impact
The Nonprofit Sector: Concepts and Theories
Strategic Management and Leadership of Nonprofits
Social Finance
Leadership: Designing the Future
Social Entrepreneurship
Philanthropy and Fundraising Tools for Managers of Nonprofit Organizations
Select 4 NPLD electives 14.0
Select 2 additional electives 22.0
Total Course Units10

Electives may be any NPLD courses. 


Students may select to take an additional 2 NPLD electives or complete 2 graduate level course electives at another school at Penn.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

Sample Plan of Study

The Master of Science in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership program is available as an on-campus full-time or part-time program and as a fully online degree program.  Students may combine on-campus and online study.  While students may customize their schedules due to participation in a dual degree or certificate program, enrollment in an international course or study abroad experience, the grid below outlines the standard schedule and course of study for full-time students.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCourse Units
Select 2 NPLD Core Courses 2.0
Select 2 NPLD Electives 2.0
Select one additional elective 1.0
 Course Units5.00
Select 2 NPLD Core Courses 2.0
Select 2 NPLD Electives 2.0
Select 1 additional elective 1.0
 Course Units5.00
 Total Course Units10.00