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Non-profit degree programs are available at many different colleges and universities in traditional, in-residence programs, as well as online options. They are available in undergraduate and graduate levels, and offer a number of different specialization choices depending on the student's career goals. Each of these non-profit degree programs attempt to prepare students for working in a non-profit organization, both in the public and private sector; more advanced degree programs are designed to prepare students for non-profit management. In fact, various types of degrees in non-profit management are some of the most common options for non-profit degrees.
There may be a few non-profit degree programs available for two-year, associate's degree programs, but these are less common than bachelor's degrees, and even these can be somewhat difficult to find. The most common option is a degree in social sciences or public administration with a concentration in non-profit management. These offer a natural career path to non-profit work, or to a more advanced degree. Another common educational path for undergraduate students is to earn a bachelor's degree in business with a concentration in non-profit management. In this line of work, however, it is very common -- and required for many upper-level jobs -- to complete a graduate degree as well.
There are a few different non-profit degree programs on the graduate level. The most basic is a graduate certificate; generally, this is about one year of graduate work, or half of a master's degree. Students will typically earn a certificate in non-profit management with this amount of work. A traditional two-year master's degree offers a few more choices; a master of arts (MA), master of science (MA), or master of business administration (MBA) are all available for various non-profit degrees. Some are better tailored to certain career paths than others.
When selecting non-profit degree programs, some people find that either a general MA or MS in nonprofit management is a good overall degree, and allows them to specialize their interests to some extent. For instance, degree programs might exist that offer specialties in environmental nonprofit management. For those more interested in the business side of things, an MBA might be a better choice, while those who want to work in the public sector, such as for government or education, a master's in public administration with a nonprofit focus can be the best choice. When selecting any non-profit degree programs, it is important to do thorough research ahead of time to see the classes that are offered, and determine if they will be useful for a chosen career path, as well as to make sure the school is properly accredited.
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