1. Outstanding national and international reputation
The University of Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s premier institutions for higher education and home to a diverse student body, twelve graduate and professional schools, and over 170 research centers and institutes, making Penn a world-class institution on the cutting edge of dynamic educational opportunities.
2. Part of a vibrant urban community
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s oldest cities. Founded in 1681, Philadelphia is a dynamic urban city with a rich and diverse history of struggles for freedom, social justice, social change, and social activism. The city has a thriving arts and cultural community, competitive sports teams, beautiful urban parks, intriguing architecture, world class colleges and universities, wonderful restaurants, and a bustling night life. On-campus students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Philadelphia, while online students get a chance to experience the city through optional intensive experiences at the beginning and end of the program.
3. Emphasis on cross sector collaborative learning
A huge benefit of attending this program is the opportunity to learn from faculty, instructors, and students from other Penn graduate and professional schools. This allows graduate students to develop deep and expansive networks of relationships and opportunities to connect with students and faculty with a wide range of academic interests and skill sets. Penn encourages students to collaborate across disciplines in order to solve issues of wealth creation, distributive justice, and social change.
4. A foundation to grow into a successful career
At Penn, students receive the preparation to become successful professionals, with well-developed leadership skills, critical thinking, and the ability to enact meaningful social change. Skills developed in the program are transferable to any of the real-world challenges faced by the civil society sector, business, and government. As professional networks and talents continue to evolve and grow, many of our students go on to explore opportunities as social entrepreneurs and social philanthropists.
5. Distinguished faculty
Internationally recognized faculty, researchers, and mentors teach required courses and elective courses and are accessible to students both inside and outside the classroom. We tap into a global network of nonprofit leaders and professionals to serve as instructors and guest lecturers to offer our students a rich array of perspectives in their graduate education.
6. A community of motivated and caring leaders
Each class is composed of dynamic students who learn together and forge strong professional and personal relationships. Students in the program come from diverse backgrounds and have professional experience across multiple sectors. Our students range in age from individuals directly out of college/university to individuals with many years of work experience. They come to Penn from all over the globe and share their unique personal and professional perspectives to enrich the learning experience of each cohort.
7. Individualized learning goals
This degree program encourages students to develop and nurture their individual skill sets and combine their internal passion with practical academic learning in order to be successful leaders.
8. Flexible scheduling
On-campus courses meet either once a week or in weekend modules, allowing for productive time outside the classroom. Whether attending lectures on campus, networking with faculty and other graduate students, or participating in the Leadership Practicum, students gain important hands-on skills. The degree can be completed as an accelerated full-time program completed over two academic semesters (or one academic year from late August to early May) or spread out as a part-time option allowing a reduced number of courses taken over the fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.
Online courses meet in both synchronous and asynchronous sessions to allow for maximum flexibility. The optional on-campus portion for the online program allows students to build a cohort, network with their fellow students, and experience Penn and Philadelphia. Online courses allow students to continue in their current jobs applying what they learn directly to their professional life. The online program can be completed in 10 months.
9. Specialized training for a new global economy
Since the public, private, and social service sectors are becoming increasingly interdependent, students preparing for business, government, and nonprofit leadership need to be able to communicate across disciplines, build community together, address challenging local and global issues in a coordinated way, jointly revitalize a well-educated workforce, and ensure that the voices and talents of all are heard and productively employed. Penn is passionately committed to this agenda.
Build the analytical skills that will advance your career by teaching you to think systematically and strategically about running nonprofit organizations. Together with our teaching faculty and a cohort of engaged students, you will be challenged to find your own leadership style while coaching and supporting others in their leadership development.