MBAs for Social Change

3 minute read

MBA Program Spotlight: Non-Profit Management

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When thousands of middle and upper level managers found themselves out of work years ago after the economy crashed, some took the opportunity to branch out into employment fields that were more closely aligned with their passions for social justice and community service. Unknowingly, they started a major shift in the non-profit world. While previously non-profits tended to recruit people with degrees in social work, education, and health, they began to increasingly look for people with business degrees. They recognized the benefits that employees with financial savvy and business analytics know-how could bring to a non-profit office to complement the talent they had already acquired. The interest in bringing MBA graduates on board has not waned. And while salaries may not be as high as they are in the for-profit sector, the levels of job satisfaction can sometimes exceed those found elsewhere.


Stanford – Graduate School of Business


What’s so great about this school?  It’s Stanford. Isn’t that enough? Well, if your sights are set on a top-tier school, there are several reasons to choose to Stanford over some of its big name competitors. Stanford’s MBA program was the first in the country to offer students a chance to study public management and has a long track record of education excellence in this area. It now runs a Public Management and Social Innovation program through its business school and this program has over 50 electives in areas of interest to non-profits, including philanthropy, health care, and the environment. If you opt to follow this program to obtain the certificate, you can participate in experiential learning, social innovation study trips, and numerous clubs that will help you expand your professional network.

School Type: Private

Median GMAT Score: 729

Average Incoming GPA: 3.6

Percent of Applicants Accepted: 7%

Student to Faculty Ratio: 2:1

Average Student Age: 25



Willamette University – Atkinson School of Management



What’s so great about this school? Willamette is one of only two MBA programs in the world that is accredited by NASPAA (The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration), so you can be confident that you are getting not only a stellar business education, but also a stellar non-profit education. The Not-for-Profit Management MBA allows students to specialize in an analytics track, a general management track, or to create an individualized program of study. These specializations guarantee students more time spent in classes that are applicable to their areas of interest and less time wasted in classes that aren’t relevant to their future careers.

School Type: Private

Median GMAT Score: 560

Average Incoming GPA: 3.3

Percent of Applicants Accepted: 41%

Student to Faculty Ratio: 4:1

Average Student Age: 26



Suffolk University – Sawyer Business School



What’s so great about this school? Suffolk University is a convenient option for part-time students, as well as full-time students, because the courses required for the Non-Profit Management concentration are offered in the evenings. Many of the electives teach financial skills: grant management and portfolio management, for example. You can also study skills that are more difficult for non-profit recruiters to find in their candidates, such as labor law and web design, in order to make your resume more attractive to potential employers.

School Type: Private

Median GMAT Score: 498

Average Incoming GPA: 3.12

Percent of Applicants Accepted: 79%

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1

Average Student Age: 27



 Image Courtesy of Sacca with Creative Commons License.

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