As the push for social justice in the nonprofit sector continues to grow, marketplace demands are putting pressure on corporations to become consciously aware while turning to partnerships with nonprofits. Many businesses start their own, calling for more individuals with a strong foundation in nonprofit management. This is a great opportunity for individuals with a nonprofit MBA to set the standard now and in the future. A nonprofit MBA combines the solid base of business and management with the fundamentals needed to successfully run and operate in the nonprofit sector.
Looking for a nonprofit MBA program that meets your needs? While there are numerous schools that fit the criteria, these are deemed ‘cream of the crop’ in terms of school and education. Knowing which schools offer this degree can help put a few things in perspective. While there are numerous online colleges that may offer this degree, being hands-on can be an asset. This degree prepares students for various leadership roles in the public service, and private sectors. As social service continues to grow in the marketplace, statistics indicate the employment sector in this area will grow by 18% by 2026, which is nearly three times the rate of growth for all job sectors in the U.S.
Which School Has the Best Nonprofit MBA program?
We’ve compiled a list of schools that have MBA programs with an emphasis on nonprofit management and ranked the top schools. We used tuition cost (lowest is best). Enrollment numbers are only reflective of the program and these are highly selective. Check out our rankings of the best nonprofit MBAs below.
Best Nonprofit MBAs in 2020
1. University of Nebraska – Omaha
The University of Nebraska is a public research university in Omaha, Nebraska founded in 1908 by faculty from the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary as a private, non-sectarian college. Admission requirements: unconditional admission may be granted to an applicant with a 2.85 junior/senior GPA; 500 GMAT or 299 GRE; resume. GMAT/GRE waivers may be given if the applicant has:
- Selected Professional Certification from the list on Certopedia or equivalent certification lists that include a qualifying exam and Continuing Education requirements
- Confirmed Professional Engineer license
- Graduate degree possession from any AACSB accredited College or University
- Admission to any domestic or international dual-degree program approved by UNO College of Business Administration, including a 3.33 cumulative GPA
- Bachelor’s degree from AACSB accredited College or University, with a 3.33 cumulative GPA
- Bachelor’s degree from non-AACSB accredited Colleges or Universities, with a 3.33 cumulative GPA, will be evaluated individually for a GMAT waiver
Program length: 33 credit hours
Tuition: $12,969 residents; $31,944 non-residents (entire program)
Student-teacher ratio: 9:20
2. Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University is a public liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan established in 1960. They have two MBA programs: professional and executive. This program is designed for working professionals with three or more years of relevant experience. Admission requirements include: personal essay/statement; current resume; two graduate recommendations; official transcripts; GMAT/GRE scores; $30 nonrefundable application.
Program length: Professional – 36 credits – 22 months
Tuition: $32,000 per year
Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
3. The University of Texas at Austin – McCombs School of Business
The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas. Consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the nation, it was founded in 1883. Their MBA program is a two-year case study of personal and professional transformation. Admission requirements include a $200 application fee; GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores; a resume; two required essays; a letter of recommendation; transcripts, and an interview. UT has been ranked 1st in graduate Accounting degrees; 4th in Business Analytics in their graduate program; and 3rd in their Marketing graduate program.
Tuition: $10,848 for in-state students; $19,786 for out-of-state students
4. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public research university in Columbia, South Carolina founded in 1805. The Darla Moore School of Business was founded in 1919 and has three MBA programs: one-year MBA, International MBA, and professional MBA. The one-year MBA is a 10-month program, designed to develop a solid foundation and functional expertise. The application process consists of a $100 application fee; transcripts; GMAT or GRE scores; general information; professional work experience; a statement of purpose; an essay; and two letters of recommendation. The school ranked #62 in Best Business Schools for 2021 in U.S. News & World Report.
Program length: 10 months, one year
Tuition: $35,702 residents; $40,970 non-residents
Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
5. University at Albany – SUNY
The State University of New York at Albany is a public research university with its business school accredited by AACSB. This is a two-year program. Admission requirements include transcripts from all schools attended; three letters of recommendation (one has to be academic in nature); resume; statement of goals; GMAT scores.
Program length: Two years (60 credits)
Tuition: $6,207 per semester residents ($31,035); $9,802 per semester non-residents ($49,010)
Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
6. Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington, D.C., founded in 1789 and is highly selective. Their business school develops principled leaders who are committed to serving both business and society through their global perspectives. The Georgetown McDonough MBA was founded in 1983. Application requirements include one written essay; one video essay; one letter of recommendation; the GRE/GMAT/Executive Assessment; transcripts; resume; transcripts and a non-refundable application fee of $175. The Georgetown MBA ranks 5th for nonprofit careers according to Princeton Review’s ranking for careers in nonprofits for 2019.
Program length: 21-month, daytime program
Tuition: $60,894 per year
Total enrollment: 247
7. University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university founded in 1785. If you’re big on history, this is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. Admission requirements include online application form; one-page business resume; two letters of recommendation; unofficial transcripts; GMAT or GRE; two essays. The institution ranks #33 overall and #12 among public institutions – U.S. News & World Report; #9 among U.S. public institutions, #25 in the U.S. and #33 globally – The Economist; #7 for return on investment – U.S. News & World Report.
Program length: Two years
Tuition: $15,868 residents; $34,896 non-residents per year
Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
8. Howard University – School of Business
Howard University is a prestigious historically black college and university, founded in 1867. It is continuously ranked as one of the top institutions in the U.S. and is the #2 ranked HBCU in the country. Their MBA program is known for its ability to prepare students for leadership careers in business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Students must hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university. The admissions criteria include an online application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $123; one official transcript from each undergraduate institution attended; a personal statement; two letters of recommendation that address a candidate’s intellectual and personal capabilities; and a current resume.
Program length: 48 credit hours
Tuition: $35,016 per year
9. Indiana University – Bloomington
Indiana University is a public research university in Bloomington, Indiana, and the largest university of the Indiana University system. Admission requirements include transcripts; GMAT or GRE scores; professional experience; leadership ability statement; essays; letter of recommendation. The online MBA is also ranked among the best in the nation. The Student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1. Total enrollment for the MBA program 322. 94.5% of their graduates have job offers within 90 days of graduation.
Program length: 54 credit hours
Tuition: $74,520 for entire program
Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
10. University of Vermont – Grossman School of Business
The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College is a public land-grant research university founded in 1791. It is the fifth oldest university in New England.
Admission requirements include an application fee of $65.00; electronic application; statement of purpose; email addresses for three people who will provide letters of recommendation; transcript; resume; GMAT or GRE scores; writing sample.
Tuition: $16,392 per year residents; $41,280 non-residents
Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
11. Case Western Reserve University – Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio created in 1967. The full-time MBA program is a four-semester, 60-credit-hour program designed to provide students with a strong foundation to be a leader in management. Admission requirements include the online application form; two essays; a current resume; unofficial transcripts; GMAT or GRE; two letters of recommendation and a $100 application fee.
Program length: 60 credit hours
Tuition: $89,900 for two years
Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
12. Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university in Syracuse, New York founded in 1931. Their MBA program is 54 credit hours to complete. Admission requirements include a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university; recommended minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; GMAT or GRE. The college ranked #4 in Entrepreneurial Studies for 2020 by College Factual, and #17 in Top Marketing Colleges in the U.S. for 2020 by College Factual.
Program length: 54 credit hours
Tuition: $50,490 year 1; $40,392 year two
Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
13. Babson College – F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
If you’re looking for legacy and the top program for entrepreneurship, Babson College is #1 and has held the title for over 27 years. Babson College is a private business school in Wellesley, Massachusetts established in 1919 with a central focus on entrepreneurship education. This school was voted #1 Best MBA for Entrepreneurship in The Princeton Review, Entrepreneur magazine, and U.S. News & World Report. Admission requirements include a $100 application fee; short answer questions; one letter of professional recommendation; a resume; transcripts from all institutions; an interview.
- Their MBA program has two options: 12-month or 26-months.
- Full program tuition for the one-year MBA is $89,550, and total tuition for both years is $114,572.
- Student-teacher ratio: 14:1.
14. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania founded in 1900. Their Tepper School of Business MBA program is 21-months long. Students applying for this program must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country; a resume; university transcripts; GMAT, GRE or Executive Assessment scores; an essay; professional recommendation and a $200 application fee. An evaluative interview may also be required but are by invitation only.
Program length: Two years
Tuition: $70,000 per year
Student-teacher ratio: 8:1
15. New York University – Leonard N. Stern School of Business
New York University is a private researching university founded in 1831. Located in Greenwich Village, the founder regarded it as an institution to “admit based on merit rather than birthright or social class.”
The MBA program is two years or 60 credits. The selection criteria are based on students who best exemplify Stern’s core value: IQ+EQ. The admissions committee selects students who demonstrate strong intellectual ability, superior interpersonal skills, and a desire to create value for business and society. The candidate is evaluated across three dimensions: the academic profile, professional achievements & aspirations, and personal characteristics. Each student must submit GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment scores; hold a four-year degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S.; transcripts; resume; essays; and EQ endorsements.
Program length: two years or 60 credits
Tuition: $76, 780 per year
Student-teacher ratio: 9:1
Total enrollment: 1,059
Columbia University is one of the most recognized in the world. Centered in New York City, the business school offers a diverse experience with a transformative and ever-evolving curriculum to develop leaders all over the globe. The admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. All applicants must submit a self-reported GMAT, Executive Assessment, or GRE, which are valid for five years after your test date. One short answer question and three essays are required. Two letters of recommendation, an interview, and an application fee of $250.
- Length: The full-time MBA program at Columbia University is a two-year program.
- Tuition: $77,376 per year.
- Student-teacher ratio: 6:1
- Enrollment: less than 100
Texas A&M University is a public research university founded in 1876. In 2020, this university’s student body was recognized as being the largest in the United States. The Texas A&M University Mays Business School MBA program is two years or 18 months. Admission requirements include the online application and fee; current professional resume; unofficial copies of the transcript; GMAT or GRE score; two required essays and two professional references. The school is #1 in the nation for most graduates serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
Program length: 2 years or 18 months
Tuition: $62,000 for residents; $87,000 for non-residents per year
Student-teacher ratio: 19:1