Course of Study

Full-Time On-Campus & Online Program Grid (Suggested Option)

In order to meet the requirements necessary to complete the Nonprofit Leadership Program in one academic year, full-time students must take a total of ten (10) graduate level course units (CUs). The full-time Nonprofit Leadership Program consists of two (2) semesters of course work plus a nonprofit placement for professional development (the Leadership Practicum). Students take five (5) CUs in the fall and spring semesters for a total of ten (10) CUs. Students in the NPL Program take eight (8) NPLD CUs (of which at least four (4) are NPLD core CUs), and two (2) Penn elective CUs. Students may select to take all ten (10) of their CUs within the NPLD course offerings.

For a complete list of NPLD core and NPLD elective courses please visit the on-campus course descriptions page and the online course descriptions page.

Fall Semester

Two (2) or three (3) NPLD core CUs;
Two (2) or one (1) NPLD electives CUs; and
One (1) Penn elective CU for a total of five (5) CUs.

Spring Semester

Two (2) NPLD core CUs;
Two (2) NPLD elective CUs; and
One (1) Penn elective CU for a total of five (5) CUs.

Summer Semester

Up to two (2) CUs may be taken over the summer as part of the full-time program.

Courses may be offered all day Friday or Saturday, over an entire weekend (or two), or in one-week intensives. Please visit the Course Descriptions page for a regularly updated list of NPLD Core and NPLD Elective courses.

A number of NPLD courses are half (1/2) CUs and two must be taken to equal one (1) CU.

Part-Time On-Campus Program Grid: Two and a Half Year Configuration

The part-time Nonprofit Leadership Program typically includes at least four (4) semesters of course work. The majority of part-time students take two (2) course units (CUs) each semester for five (5) semesters for a total of ten (10) CUs over 2½ academic years. In order to complete the requirements of the MS Degree in Nonprofit Leadership, students must take a total of ten (10) CUs. Each student takes eight (8) NPLD CUs (of which four (4) are required NPLD core CUs) and two (2) Penn elective CUs. Electives are generally taken during the summer sessions or beginning in the third semester of classes. Over the summer, part-time students have the option to take NPLD courses or enroll in an elective course if they desire.

Students enrolled in the part-time option can complete the program in as short as three (3) semesters (taking 2-3 CUs over the summer) or as long as six (6) semesters (or three (3) academic years).

For a complete list of NPLD core and NPLD elective courses please visit the Course Descriptions page.

Year One

Fall Semester

Two (2) NPLD core CUs.

Spring Semester

One (1) or two (2) NPLD core CUs; and/or
One (1) NPLD elective CU.

1st Summer

Option to take courses during summer session.

Year Two

Fall Semester

One (1) NPLD core CU; and
One (1) NPLD elective CU; and/or
One (1) Penn elective CU for a total of two (2) to three (3) CUs.

Spring Semester

One (1) NPLD core CU; and
One (1) NPLD electives CU; or
One (1) Penn elective CU for a total of two (2) to three (3) CUs.

2nd Summer

Option to take courses during summer session.

Year Three

Fall Semester

Other NPLD CUs not taken; or
Penn elective CUs.

Part-time students will adhere to all of the program requirements on a part-time basis. The minimum course load for students is two (2) course units per semester and the maximum is three (3) course units per semester. Although completion is recommended within three (3) years, part-time students must complete the degree within five (5) years from the date of acceptance into the program. With approval from the Program Director, students can complete the requirements at an accelerated pace. This typically includes taking two or more credits over the summer.

For a complete list of NPLD core and NPLD elective courses please visit the course descriptions page.

Students enrolled in the part-time NPL Program must be able to attend classes held during the day (typically in the afternoon) and/or evenings. Some courses are offered all day Friday and Saturday, over an entire weekend or two, or in one-week intensives. For recent and current course schedules, please visit the course descriptions page.

A number of NPLD courses are half (1/2) CUs and two must be taken to equal one (1) CU.

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