Masters in Social Sector Leadership & Nonprofit Management Courses and Schedule

Students in the full-time program will be able to complete the 12-course curriculum over one calendar year, taking four courses over three quarters and then completing their Practicum during the summer. The Practicum is equivalent to one course. Students in the part-time program will complete 12 courses by taking two classes per quarter over two academic years, and will conduct their Practicum during the summer quarter between years 1 and 2 or after their second year. 

Search the Course Catalog

Full-time Course Map

AutumnWinterSpringSummer
Management Core: Inclusive LeadershipConceptual Core: Policy Formulation & ImplementationManagement Core: Strategic ManagementPracticum
(10 weeks)
Conceptual Core: Key Issues in Social Sector GovernanceConceptual CoreOrganizational Theory and Analysis for Human ServicesManagement Core: Management Essentials: From Operations to Innovation 
Management Core: Data Analysis and Performance MeasurementElective 2Management Core: Financial Management 
Elective 1Elective 3Elective 4 

Part-time Course Map

Autumn Year 1Winter Year 1Spring Year 1Summer Year 1
Management Core: Inclusive LeadershipConceptual Core: Policy Formulation & ImplementationManagement Core: Strategic Management 
Conceptual Core: Key Issues in Social Sector GovernanceConceptual CoreOrganizational Theory and Analysis for Human ServicesManagement Core: Management Essentials 
Autumn Year 2Winter Year 2Spring Year 2Summer Year 2
Management Core: Data Analysis and Performance MeasurementElective 2Management Core: Financial Management Practicum
(10 weeks)
Elective 1Elective 3Elective 4 

The 12 units of coursework for both full- and part-time students are divided into three categories: 

Conceptual Core courses (3 units), Management Core courses (5 units), and Electives (4 units).

  • The three Conceptual Core courses develop students' foundational knowledge about the key structures and processes that will shape their work in the social sector. These include classes on social sector governance, organizational theory, and policy formulation and implementation.
  • The Management Core develops skills in strategy, financial management, and leadership to prepare them for top management positions in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, philanthropic foundations, and other social sector groups. These include classes on internally and externally focused management, financial management, leadership in a diverse society, and quality monitoring.
  • Elective courses allow students to take advantage of the wide variety of courses offered by Crown Family School and around the University of Chicago. Options that may be of particular interest to students in the SSL program include courses on community organizing, advocacy, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and more.

The one-quarter Practicum gives students the opportunity to identify a real-world, executive-level management challenge, design a plan to address it, and present the plan to executive staff in the chosen organization. Students will have the option to design a Practicum at their current place of employment or other organization they have existing connections to, or can be placed at a Practicum site. Students will have the option of working individually or in teams, depending on the location.

Download the Curriculum Map.

For questions, contact:

Nicole Marwell, PhD
Associate Professor and Faculty Director, SSL
773.702.1132
nmarwell@uchicago.edu

Ron Martin
Director of Admissions
773.702.1250
admissions@ssa.uchicago.edu