University of Portland Bulletin 2015-2016

M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management

Brian Adams, Ph.D., director

Degree Outcomes

The M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management provides nonprofit professionals a cohort program combining the best managerial and leadership skills taught in our traditional M.B.A. with the specialized content necessary to successfully manage nonprofit organizations. The program gives students the skills, knowledge, and perspectives necessary to generate value in the nonprofit sector and to help nonprofits meet the current management and leadership challenges of the 21st century.

Learning Goals and Objectives for the M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management

I. Broad Core of Business Knowledge

M.B.A. in Nonprofit graduates will master a broad core of business knowledge and be able to integrate and apply this knowledge to problems requiring interdisciplinary and, when appropriate, global perspectives.

  1. Learning Objectives: Broad Core of Business Knowledge
    1. M.B.A. graduates will be able to demonstrate competency in the underlying concepts, theory and tools taught in the core curriculum of our nonprofit M.B.A. program.
    2. M.B.A. graduates will be able to use their knowledge of different business disciplines to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to complex problems requiring interdisciplinary and global perspectives.
    3. M.B.A. graduates will be familiar with the unique circumstances of the nonprofit sector, and how they impact decisions made by the general manager regarding funding, human resources, and other aspects of a nonprofit’s value creation activities.

II. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills

M.B.A. graduates will possess the highly developed analytical and critical thinking skills needed by middle and upper-level managers operating successfully within the nonprofit sector.

  1. Learning Objectives: Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills
    1. M.B.A. graduates will acquire the analytical and critical thinking skills needed to identify, analyze, and evaluate alternative solutions to problems encountered in the nonprofit sector.
    2. M.B.A. graduates will develop the skills needed to craft and implement strategic and tactical plans.
    3. M.B.A. graduates will be able to articulate and defend their analysis and recommended solutions to an appropriate audience.

III. Research Skills

M.B.A. in Nonprofit graduates will possess the research and technological skills necessary for data collection, analysis, interpretation and reporting (oral and written) of results to be used in managerial problem-solving.

  1. Learning Objectives: Research Skills
    1. M.B.A. graduates will be proficient in data collection using surveys, electronic databases, the World Wide Web, library, and other sources.
    2. M.B.A. graduates will be adept at creating and interpreting statistical and financial tables and spreadsheets.
    3. M.B.A. graduates will have the ability to write and present comprehensive research reports, appropriately presenting facts, analysis, and conclusions, relevant to issues in the nonprofit sector.

IV. Interpersonal Skills

M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management graduates will possess the interpersonal skills needed to be effective managers and leaders within the nonprofit sector.

  1. Learning Objectives: Interpersonal Skills
    1. M.B.A. graduates will be skilled at governance, leadership, team building, interpersonal influence, and management of change.
    2. M.B.A. graduates will be able to communicate and work effectively with others in diverse work settings encompassing people of all ages, cultures, genders, races, ethnicity, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and capabilities/disabilities.

V. Value System

M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management graduates will be able to evaluate the ethical and social implications of managerial decisions within the nonprofit sector.

  1. Learning Objectives
    1. M.B.A. graduates will be able to identify the important ethical dilemmas facing nonprofit enterprises, analyze them from multiple ethical and stakeholder perspectives, and recommend appropriate resolutions to these dilemmas.
    2. M.B.A. graduates will be able to identify and evaluate the economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs resulting from decisions in the nonprofit sector.

Admission Requirements

M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the University of Portland. Current admissions standards are a score of 500 on the GMAT and a G.P.A of 3.00. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) can be accepted in place of the GMAT exam.  The minimum GRE score must be equivalent to earning 500 on the GMAT using the comparison tool.  The GMAT/GRE requirement can be waived if an applicant has significant and relevant work experience (at least five years); has successfully completed 12 hours of coursework at an AACSB accredited graduate business program with a cumulative G.P.A of 3.0 or higher; has a business-related graduate degree from an accredited program; or has taken six hours of graduate business courses at the University of Portland as a non-matriculated student and earns a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A or higher. Admission to the M.B.A. program is based on the entire application including two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of goals, not merely quantitative factors.  It is strongly recommended that applicants have two to three years of professional experience after their bachelor’s degree to fully benefit from the program. Application requirements may be subject to change.


Applicants whose native language is not English or who did not complete their degree at a university or college in the United States must achieve a minimum score of on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 88 iBT (internet-based test) or 570 (paper-based) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 7.0.  See the M.B.A. program director for specific requirements.


Degree Requirements

The M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management requires students to take six consecutive semesters of classwork with six credits (two classes) offered each semester. A total of 36 credit hours will be completed before graduation and students will receive an M.B.A. degree.

Degree Requirements

Nonprofit Core Classes — 18 hours

The nonprofit core introduces students to courses specific in the nonprofit field including accounting for the nonprofit, management and social entrepreneurship, marketing for the nonprofit, financial management for the nonprofit, negotiations, and strategic fundraising.

BUS 514Accounting and Financial Controls for the Nonprofit Organization


BUS 515Management of Nonprofit Organizations


BUS 517Marketing for Nonprofit Organization


BUS 518Financial Management for the Nonprofit Organization


BUS 523Negotiation and Persuasion Strategies


BUS 591Seminar


MBA Core — 12 hours

BUS 500Statistical and Quantitative Analysis


BUS 505Introduction to Operations & Technology Management


BUS 510Economics and Metrics for Sustainability


BUS 580Strategic Issues and Applications in Management


MBA Electives — 6 hours

Honors Pledge

The faculty of the Pamplin School of Business encourages students to acknowledge the ethical components of teaching and learning; essential factors in fulfilling the University’s mission in the classroom. Students are asked to reflect upon the core value of academic integrity and make this an integral part of their work at the University. Students are asked to sign an honors pledge and attach it to all submitted course work to affirm the integrity of their scholarship to all concerned.

Cohort Program

The M.B.A. in Nonprofit Management is a cohort program; in which a small group of students take the program together in lockstep. Thus, the entire group shares the same classroom and curricular experience. A cohort gives the student the opportunity to work with similar professionals and to connect and share an experience with them that transcends the classroom. By working together in a cohort, students build a network of adult learners who share a commitment to the nonprofit field. In certain classes, the M.B.A. cohort will also be blended with students in our traditional M.B.A. program.


Once the student has been accepted to the program, they can begin taking the web-based self-tutorials. The self-tutorials provide foundational knowledge in statistics, finance, and accounting. A student will have up to a year to pass the tutorials, but until doing so cannot take classwork in the graduate program. Students with appropriate experience can be waived from taking one or more of the self-tutorials at the discretion of the M.B.A. program director. Students having difficulty with a self-tutorial also have the option of taking an equivalent M.B.A. class, however, doing so will add to the student’s cost of tuition.

The cost of the self-tutorials is approximately $180 and is not part of the university’s tuition and fees. The self-tutorials can be taken at the student’s own convenience and pace and are taken individually and not with the cohort.