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Track 2: Higher Education Fundraising

The Higher Education Fundraising Concentration is part of the MS in Strategic Fundraising & Philanthropy graduate program. The 36 credit program is made up of 12 courses,  see required courses below.


• REQUIRED CORE COURSES (27 credits): mhe500, MHE605, MHE630, NMP521, NMP605, NMP622, NMP623, NMP650, & NMP675
• pick THREE elective courses (9 credits) 

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
MHE500 Introduction to Higher Education Administration 3

This course provides a basic introduction to the administration of colleges and universities in modern-day America, including the role and purpose of various functions and departments and major organizational participants (e.g., faculty, students, administration/staff, board). Current topics affecting University and university operation are reviewed and the impact of state and federal policy on institutions is explored.

MHE605 Organization and Governance of Higher Education 3

This course provides an overview of the organizational characteristics and processes of colleges and universities with an emphasis upon the governance structure, i.e., the process for making major policy decisions. Additionally, students will be introduced to the sources of power and influence typically found in academic organizations, along with the primary issues related to organization and governance of higher education.

MHE630 Law and Ethics in Higher Education 3

This course is designed to assist students in becoming knowledgeable about the fundamentals of American law that directly and indirectly impinge on the teaching, learning, and administrative environments of higher education institutions in the both the public as well as the private sectors. There are diverse sources of law that impact American higher education in numerous ways and this course is designed to enhance student understanding and appreciation for this complexity as well as for the ethical issues which surround the application of law in the university or University setting.

NMP521 Foundations of Philanthropy 3

This course provides an overview of America’s tradition of philanthropy and its relevance for today’s fundraisers. Attention is given to changing expectations for ethical behavior and accountability along with changes in donor markets which impact the practice of philanthropy in the 21st century. This course also examines the theoretical basis and goals of fundraising activities, how to apply the theory to develop a comprehensive development program and a personal fundraising philosophy and framework.

NMP605 Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector 3

This course provides a foundation for effective financial nonprofit decision making to promote the financial sustainability of nonprofit organizations in these challenging times. Upon completion of the course the student will: possess an understanding of financial systems as they apply to nonprofit organization; be able to analyze and evaluate the financial health of a nonprofit organization and determine its financial strengths and weaknesses; and use a variety of strategies to improve the financial condition of a nonprofit organization including “quick analysis”, budgeting and cost controls, understanding the nonprofit’s “economic engine,” and developing “unrestricted” funding streams.

NMP622 Donor Motivation and Behavior 3

This course exposes students to the theoretical framework for giving. Students will learn how to assess the various motivational factors which influence giving to a particular cause. In addition, this course provides students with the opportunity to explore and understand the principles and mechanics of the wide variety of giving options available to donors. Students will learn to facilitate a process that defines donor needs, assesses appropriate giving methods, develops sound proposals, and closes gifts.

NMP623 Managing Fund Development Operations 3

As the field of development becomes more complex and demanding, the role of resource management (time, people, and money) takes on increasing importance for the development professional. This course will explore and integrate these issues, and provide resources and tools to build management effectiveness within development. Specifically, students will learn how to apply best practices and sound management principles to the process of securing resources within the nonprofit context.

NMP650 Leading Change Through Research in Nonprofits 3

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply management theory to authentic problem-solving situations. Students will review and be introduced to contemporary methods of leading change in organizations by providing students with opportunities to apply management theory on both a micro and macro level. On the macro level this course is designed to integrate the concepts studied throughout the masters’ program and those learned in this class, to engage students in informed discussion and assignments of how these concepts are applied to various management and leadership scenarios. At a micro level, students will use this course to plan out specific methodology and frameworks for analysis to use in preparation of the research required for their individual capstone project. The overarching goals of this course are two-fold: (1) ensure that students are prepared with instruments of practical problem solving and knowledge to apply what they have learned in their program to real-life situations in management and (2) allow students to hone and refresh research strategies and skills to prepare them to carry out a masters’ level management-issue research problem in the Capstone course.

NMP675 Capstone: Advanced Fundraising Capstone 3

A highlight of the Master of Science in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy is the Advanced Fundraising Seminar, which gives students the opportunity to work on an industry-related project of substantive quality. Students exercise, enhance, and refine the fundraising skills they have gained during the program within a nonprofit organization that is in need of fundraising assistance, such as designing a capital campaign or analyzing the effectiveness of its fundraising programs. This seminar also provides students a format in which to analyze and examine the larger theoretical issues and industry trends that affect fundraisers and their efforts. While specific topics and emphases vary from term to term, the seminar seeks to impart the analytical, interpretative, and planning skills required of Senior managers. Students will present the results of their fundraising project and will also complete the portfolio which is a final requirement for the MS in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy degree.