Sociology  
Master of Arts in Applied Sociology – Nonprofit Leadership
Course Descriptions

(SOC 6003) Sociological Foundations of Nonprofits: This course will differentiate the sociological literature on nonprofit organizations including the nature and evolution of nonprofits, theories of organizations, and the relationship between the 3rd sector and business and government. Required.

(SOC 6013) Sociology of Leadership I: In this course students will assess the sociology of leadership and multi-disciplinary approaches to nonprofit leadership. This course will focus on the role of volunteers in nonprofit organizations and the implications for nonprofit organizations and leaders. Volunteers are the backbones of most nonprofit organizations and nonprofit executives must deal with the paradox of both leading and being led by volunteers (e.g., Board of Directors). The course will integrate multidisciplinary perspectives on voluntarism and civic engagements and include the fundamentals of board development and relationships and the recruitment, development, and management of volunteers. Required.

(SOC 6073) Practicum in Nonprofits: This course provides students with experiential learning in nonprofit organizations. The practicum in Nonprofits is an elective for students interested in an internship with a local nonprofit organization. Elective.


(SOC 6113) Sociology of Leadership II: Sociological perspectives and classical case studies in organizations and leadership will provide a conceptual framework for the class. Students will also learn the fundamentals associated with managing employees and organizational resources. Required.


(SOC 6213) Resource Mobilization and Development: Organizational, human, and financial resources are essential to nonprofit organization’s emergence, evolution, and existence. In this course students’ will analyze consistent operational funding and future support through long term, planned giving in nonprofit organizations. Required.

(SOC 6313) Law and Nonprofit Organizations: This course will examine the implications associated with law for nonprofits and their leadership. Students will become familiar with legal issues and ethics and will learn how to relate to the legal community through board counsel. Required.

(SOC 6413) Nonprofit Financial Oversight: Given the fiscal responsibilities of nonprofit leaders, it becomes imperative for them to possess a thorough understanding of their organization’s finances and various reporting responsibilities to existing and potential donors. In addition, this course will help nonprofit leaders comply with federal reporting requirements. Required.

(SOC 6513) Strategic Planning and Program Development for Nonprofits: This course will cover the various models for planning in nonprofits and how those plans translate into the programs offered by the organization. Strategic planning is fundamental to any organization’s success. This course draws upon information from the courses in the sociological foundations area to teach students the application of nonprofit planning and development. Required.

(SOC 6613) Research Data in Nonprofits: This course provides an overview of research methods and will demonstrate how to find, interpret, and apply data from secondary sources. In addition, nonprofit leaders will learn how to conceptualize and implement a research plan for their organization. Required.

(SOC 6713) Nonprofit Program Evaluation: This courses covers the essentials of evaluating nonprofit organizations and teaches students how to develop comprehensive plans to conduct (or oversee) successful program evaluations. Conducting summative and formative evaluations is essential for nonprofits in meeting reporting requirements, marketing the program, seeking funding, evaluating the program, and designing new programs. Required.

(SOC 6813) Advocacy for Social Change: This course will provide information about the opportunities and restrictions that nonprofit leaders face when working toward social, political, and legal change. Such changes shape the social and cultural milieu in which nonprofits are embedded. Many myths exist about what nonprofit organization may or may not do in advocating for changes in social policies and legislative actions. This course covers rules and restrictions in advocating for policy changes and in developing to changes in social policy that shape organizational philosophy, planning, and processes. Required.

(SOC 6913) Marketing for Nonprofits: This applied course addresses various marketing strategies, including working with press to promote success stories for nonprofit organizations. Students will learn how to balance marketing organizational needs with promoting successes in accomplishing their mission. Nonprofit leaders require information to develop marketing strategies that promote the organization, encourage the support of potential volunteers and donors, and reinforce their niche among competing groups.

(SOC 6993) Professional Project: This course provides students with experience developing a final project focusing on program development, improvement, or evaluation of a nonprofit organization. Classes throughout the program will incorporate assignments that will assist students in this final directed project. Required.