Jul 14, 2024  
2015-2016 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2015-2016 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Philanthropy and Development, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development is for emerging and practicing development and philanthropy leaders. The program fosters critical thinking, organizational leadership, relationship building, ethical practice, financial stewardship, donor-focused strategies and skills needed to advance professionals and the field.

An emphasis is placed on the exploration and analysis of philanthropic and development perspectives and cooperative work required to meet the challenges of nonprofit organizations today and into the future.

Program Overview

The program consists of 30 semester credits:

  • 15 credits of face-to-face classroom work during three (10-day) summer session residencies.
  • 15 credits of online/independent study coursework completed between summer session residencies.

The academic content of the program extends beyond courses and summer sessions. Students have options for their Capstone Project, which serves as the final integrating element of the curriculum. This project is grounded in a review of relevant professional literature and then shaped by the specific interests and needs of the student.

Program Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the history and trends in philanthropy and development.
  2. Apply a comprehensive set of development strategies, techniques, and vehicles.
  3. Develop and apply procedures for the sound stewardship of contributed resources.
  4. Build and enhance relationships with constituencies.
  5. Evaluate and develop the human, financial, and technology resources of a nonprofit organization.
  6. Lead with an understanding of organizational dynamics and systems.
  7. Apply and adapt theory to new and changing contexts by critically analyzing information and situations.
  8. Develop listening, speaking, and written communication skills.
  9. Incorporate an ethical perspective and legal considerations into all leadership, development, and philanthropic activities.


Degree Requirements


The faculty includes some of the top U.S. and international practitioners and leading consultants. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional expertise. Employing adult learning theories and techniques, the program faculty fosters dialogue and sharing of experience among all in the learning community. Students have opportunities to interact with faculty in the formal context of a class, online, and in informal settings such as meals, social events and receptions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master degree programs at any time during the year; however, the Philanthropy and Development program course cycle starts in summer only. Preferred applicants are practicing and emerging leaders with two years’ work or volunteer experience in a relevant field within a nonprofit or grant-making organization.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for graduate work. All applicants must complete an interview with a program administrator.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel) and,
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent or carried to the university in an envelope sealed by the granting university. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, www.wes.org, or Educational Credential Evaluators, www.ece.org, and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards.) and,
  3. A personal statement which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s professional goals, relevant professional and/or volunteer experience, and interest in this program.
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program and,
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities and,
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from current or former colleagues who can verify the applicant’s experience and address the applicant’s skills in nonprofit volunteer or professional work and their academic ability.
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

Application materials should be sent to:

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Graduate Programs
700 Terrace Heights #77
Winona, MN 55987

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