More than 96,000 nonprofit organizations are located in the state of Texas, the second largest number in the nation behind California, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Nonprofits in the Dallas-Fort Worth region generated more than 27 billion in total revenue and employed approximately 103,000 individuals in 2012, as reported by Dallas’ CNM Connect.
Beginning with the 2018 fall semester, a new undergraduate degree program at the University of North Texas will prepare students for careers in the nonprofit sector. The bachelor of science degree in nonprofit leadership studies, offered in UNT’s Department of Public Administration, will expand on courses already offered through a minor in leadership of community and nonprofit organizations and an academic certificate in volunteer and community resource management.
The department created a full bachelor’s degree program in nonprofit leadership studies in response to both student demand and increased need for management professionals at nonprofit organizations, said Laura Keyes, lecturer in the Department of Public Administration and degree coordinator.
“Nonprofits are a vital part of our community and solve important social issues. With this degree, students will have the opportunity to make a career out of making a difference,” Keyes said.
Abraham Benavides, chair of the Department of Public Administration, said a degree in nonprofit leadership studies “prepares students with the technical and managerial skills to run an organization, thus allowing the time to focus on the real mission of the nonprofit.”
The bachelor’s degree includes 33 hours of core courses offered in the Department of Public Administration; 15 hours of supporting courses, which include courses in UNT’s Department of Communication Studies, Department of Management and Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism; and nine hours of electives. Topics for the courses include community resources for nonprofits, financial management, leadership theory and practice for volunteer managers, mediation, philanthropy and fundraising, proposal writing and grants administration and public speaking.
The courses will be offered in a mix of online and face-to-face classes on the UNT campus in Denton. Students will receive practical nonprofit management experience in a required internship, Keyes said. In addition, she said, students will be well positioned to pursue graduate work in management or public administration, including in UNT’s master of public administration degree program, which offers a specialization in nonprofit management.