Public Service Nonprofit Sector Administration

Who Should Consider This Program?

This nonprofit sector administration specialization is for those who want management positions in the nonprofit sector. It balances practical skills with a values-based and research methods-based foundation so that graduates of the program can become dynamic members of their organization and community.

Careers in Nonprofit Sector Administration

This specialization is ideal for individuals interested in a career in community organizations, child welfare agencies, family support centers, neighborhood associations, and municipal offices.


To earn a master's degree in public service, students must complete 36 credit hours of course work.

Required Courses, Specialization Courses, and Electives (30 Credits)*

Required courses (12 credits)

PUBS 6000 History and Theory of Leadership and Ethics 3 credit hours

PUBS 6025

     or POSC 6101

Research Methods

Contemporary Political Research

3 credit hours


PUBS 6205

     or POSC 6954

Urban Policy and Public Service Administration

Research Seminar in American Politics**

3 credit hours


PUBS 6210 Ethics in Public Service 3 credit hours


Specialization-focused Courses (12 credits; choose four courses below)

NPSE 6521 Social Entrepreneurship: Nonprofit Organizations 3 credit hours
NPSE 6525 Financial Matters in the Nonprofit Sector 3 credit hours
NPSE 6530 Social Justice and Social Activism 3 credit hours
NPSE 6535 Legal Aspects of the Nonprofit Sector 3 credit hours
PUBS 6215 Nature of Cities 3 credit hours
PUBS 6235 Communication and the Management Process in Urban Services 3 credit hours
PUBS 6240 Urban Public Sector Economics 3 credit hours


Electives (6 credits; choose two courses below)

HEAL 6820 Health Care Program Development 3 credit hours
HEAL 6841 Health Care Finance 3 credit hours
HEAL 6848 Health Care Policy 3 credit hours
MANA 6100 Organizational Behavior 3 credit hours
NPSE 6540 Restorative Justice 3 credit hours
NPSE 6931 Topics in Non-Profit Sector 3 credit hours
NPSE 6995 Independent Study in Non-Profit Sector 3 credit hours
PUBS 6051 Contemporary Leadership 3 credit hours
PUBS 6220 Organizational Behavior in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6230 Legal Issues in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6931 Topics in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6964 Practicum in Public Service 3 credit hours
PUBS 6995 Independent Study in Public Service 1-3 credit hours

* Depending on your selected specialization, these courses may vary. Please check with your academic adviser for specifics.

** Students taking POSC 6954 must choose the section subtitled "Urban Public Policy."

Integrative Learning Options (6 credits)

Students select one of two integrative learning options to complete their degree requirements:

Professional Project

  • Students selecting the professional project option will take PUBS 6998 (Professional Project in Public Service) plus one additional, 3-credit course related to the professional project.
  • Students choosing this option must submit a project outline to be approved by their program adviser and by the Graduate School.

Comprehensive Exams

  • Students selecting the comprehensive examination option will take 6 credits of additional course work followed by a comprehensive exam.
Students typically take the comprehensive exam during their final semester in the program.

Trinity Fellows Program

Students interested in this master's program may want to consider applying for the Trinity Fellows Program as well. Trinity Fellows is a graduate fellowship program dedicated to developing urban leaders with a commitment to social and economic justice. Trinity Fellows participate in a 21-month study/ work program while earning a master's degree. Those who have completed a full-time service program (minimum 10 months), and/or have worked for 2+ years in the nonprofit sector are eligible to apply. Details and instructions to apply are found on the Trinity Fellows website.