Jun 21, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Nonprofit Leadership, MNL

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Master of Nonprofit Leadership


Pacific’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership (MNL) is a 100% online program that can be earned in 13 months (full time) or up to 3 years (part-time). The degree is designed for seasoned nonprofit professionals and those interested in entering the nonprofit profession. Although all courses are online a combination of synchronous/asynchronous methods are used to deliver the best learning experience. Two January virtual residencies are included to interact with experts in the nonprofit profession. Two optional concentrations, Rural and Environmental, are offered to gain in depth practice and skills for those special service areas. Core Team is a mentor guided experience designed to integrate MNL learning into a practicum with beneficial results for students employed in a nonprofit organization.

Requirements for Rural Nonprofits concentration

  • NL 502  : Colloquium: Rural Nonprofits (2 credits)
  • NL 560  : Topics in Rural NPL (2 credits)
  • NL 600  : Field Placement (2 credits). The placement must be in rural nonprofit(s).

Requirements for Environmental Nonprofits concentration

  • NL 503  : Colloquium: Environmental Nonprofits (2 credits)
  • NL 570  : Topics in Environmental NPL (2 credits)
  • NL 600  : Field Placement (2 credits). The placement must be in environmental nonprofit(s).


Program Learning Outcomes

Receiving the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership (MNL) from Pacific University prepares you to successfully build the capacity of nonprofit organizations as a follower, team member, and leader. The MNL is designed for the working professional seeking advancement in the nonprofit profession, career changers, and recent graduates interested in entering the nonprofit profession.

Leadership Development

  • Increase understanding and application of leadership theories and practices to self and with others specific to the nonprofit profession.
  • Develop and practice leadership, followership, and team skills in the context of a nonprofit organization and its community.

Foundations of Nonprofits in the Community and Society

  • Integrate the changing roles of the nonprofit within the community it serves and its responsibilities to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging.
  • Establish connections with the nonprofit sector’s evolution and future for mission-based organizations.
  • Create programs and services that are relevant to the mission and community served.

Financial Sustainability

  • Apply best nonprofit fiscal practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Achieve financial sustainability through integration of sound fiscal practices, fund raising, and earned income.

Leadership in Action

  • Advance the organization’s capacity through a positive and supportive culture.
  • Champion strategic processes that lead to focus, priorities, and mission attainment.
  • Build the capacity of people to achieve, prosper, and fulfill their goals.
  • Integrate leadership among staff, volunteers, board, and community members.
  • Build collaborations and partnerships that result in greater impact.

Admission Requirements

  • Students must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. 
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Internship or practicum coursework in nonprofit, civic or social impact profession at the undergraduate or graduate level; or work (paid or volunteer) experience in nonprofit, civic, or social impact professions.  
  • No state or national exams are required.

Applicant information:

  • Submit the standard application form for Pacific University’s graduate program.
  • Please submit a 350-500 word paper that responds to “why are you interested in the Masters of Nonprofit at Pacific University?”
  • Arrange to have your official transcripts forwarded from your undergraduate degree.
  • Provide 2 current recommendations (link to form) completed by professional contacts that can attest to your ability to succeed in a graduate program.

Application Timelines:

  • You may submit applications at any time.
  • Full time cohort is open now until October 31. The full time 13 month cohort begins in January.
  • Part time students can submit applications for starting the next semester/term.
  • Applicants will receive acknowledgement that their applications have been received and acceptance/non-acceptance into the program within 4 weeks of submission.


  • $100 deposit

Program Details

Program Length

Full time students begin in early January and will culminate in late January the following year. Students will earn 34 semester credits to complete the degree:

1st  January virtual residency  4 credits
Spring semester   8 credits (no more than 4 credits (2 courses) at one time)
Summer           8 credits (only 2 credits at a time)
Fall                                             10 credits (no more than 4 credits (2 courses) at one time)
2nd January virtual residency 4 credits

Part time students can begin in any semester and may take up to 3 years to acquire all required credits, depending on choice of credits earned per semester.

Program Academic Calendar 2023-2024

(Dates amended 09/1/2022)

January 3 - 26, 2023 Spring Semester: Module 1 (1st Virtual Residency)
Jan 30 - March 13 Spring Semester: Module 2    
March 16 - May 16 Spring Semester: Module 3
May 22 - August 11 Summer sessions
Aug 28 - Oct 13 Fall semester: Module 1
Oct 16 - Dec 13  Fall semester: Module 2
January 3 - 24, 2024 2nd Virtual Residency

Transfer Policy

Pacific’s MNL Program welcomes transfer students. We appreciate the diversity of experience and perspective that transfer students bring to the program and the classroom. In accordance with Pacific University’s Transfer Policy, Pacific’s MNL may accept transfer credits for successfully completed graduate coursework from a regionally accredited program. P/NP courses are not transferable. Students may transfer up to 12 credits which must have been taken within the past seven years..

Academic Standing

Maintaining good standing in the MNL program at Pacific University is maintained with:

  1. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. A semester GPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Earning a grade of B- or higher in each course. However, a grade of C is acceptable provided that the student maintains a cumulative 3.0 GPA during each semester. Failure to have a 3.0 GPA will require students to re-take any course where they earned less than a grade of B-.
  4. Record of successful field placements (with grade of B or higher)
  5. Adherence to the MNL code of student conduct outlined in the MNL Program Handbook.

Depending on the nature and severity of the violation of the standard, the student may be placed on probation, suspension, or be dismissed from the MNL program.

Program Dismissal

On occasion, a student may be dismissed for being unable to meet the academic and professional standards of the MNL program. A student may be dismissed from the program for any of the following reasons:

The student’s performance in the classroom and/or field demonstrates that the student shows little likelihood of succeeding, either in completing the degree or in professional practice. This may be a matter of academic or professional skills.

The student persists in conduct in the field that endangers clients, the agency, the University, other students, or the student themselves.

The student is consistently unable to form productive working relationships with clients, faculty, or other students.

The student engages in serious academic dishonesty.

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