M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership

Fordham’s Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership program offers a skills-focused graduate degree designed for leaders and managers in the nonprofit sector. This innovative Masters brings together the academic excellence of Fordham’s top-ranked Graduate School of Social Service with the mission-driven expertise and experience of chief executive officers who serve in a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Supported by expert faculty and comprehensive academic resources, the program emphasizes the development of sophisticated management, business and leadership skills with a focus on social justice and organizational change.
Program Highlights
  • Emphasis on the development of practical skills and knowledge
  • Deep commitment to the values of social justice
  • Strong focus on leadership
  • Curriculum that covers ethics, organizational culture, fiscal management, resource assessment, fundraising, executive board relations, social innovation, organizational change, and more
  • Leadership Labs, taught by leadership mentors, that help you translate theory into real-world application


As a graduate of Fordham’s Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership, you will be an ideal candidate for positions in a variety of settings, from healthcare to social service agencies to the arts. Possible positions include:

  • Chief executive officer
  • Director of programs
  • Director for individual giving or events
  • Chief board relations officer
  • Senior operations manager

To learn more about the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership, visit our page on the Fordham website, or contact the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders directly at 212-636-6676 or nonprofits@fordham.edu.

Who Should Apply

  • Leaders of Nonprofits who wish to advance their management and leadership skills
  • Experienced organizational leaders and managers who aspire to start their own nonprofit organization
  • Mid-level managers looking to advance into leadership roles
  • Experienced direct service professionals who aspire to move into administrative and leadership roles
  • Experienced graduates of MSW and MBA programs who seek leadership roles in the nonprofit sector


  • A Bachelor’s Degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above
  • 3-5 years of experience working in a formal role in a for profit or nonprofit organization
  • Strong interest in developing sophisticated leadership skills that foster management excellence with a social justice approach to organizational and social change

Application Checklist

Online Application

Completion of the graduate admissions Online Application

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Please submit your work experience in the form that best highlights your leadership skills and experience.

Personal Statement

Write about your interest in nonprofit leadership, what your future plans are as a nonprofit leader, and how this degree will help you get there.

Professional Reference

Please provide one professional reference that attests to your work ethic and academic ability. Approved references are past and present employers, professors, internship supervisors, and approved volunteer coordinators.


Please submit official transcript(s) to:

Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service
Office of Admissions
113 West 60th Street, Suite 608
New York, NY 10023.

Application Fee

The online application includes an application fee of $60

One-year, 30-credit hybrid program designed for working professionals. There are three four-month semesters, with the first term starting in May, the second in September, and the last in January.

The program is anchored in three Leadership Courses and corresponding Leadership Labs on campus. The Leadership course will meet Wednesday evenings, while the corresponding Leadership Labs will meet on every other Saturday for seven sessions. In addition, there are three fully online asynchronous courses (no live instruction time) where you will access the material and structure your learning at your own pace.

Plan of Study Grid
NPLD 5300 Leadership I 5
NPLD 5310 Leadership Lab I 2
NPLD 5320 Ethics, Compliance, and Fiscal Management 3
NPLD 5400 Leadership II 5
NPLD 5410 Leadership Lab II 2
NPLD 5420 Fundraising and Resource Development 3
NPLD 5500 Leadership III 5
NPLD 5510 Leadership Lab III 2
NPLD 5520 Executive Board Relations: Engagement, Development, and Renewal 3
 Total Credits30