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  • Course Delivery
  • Minimum Credits
  • Estimated Tuition
  • Duration
    1 Year

Program Overview

This program combines online courses with a short residency each summer.

With more than 1.5 million registered charities in the U.S. alone (double the number a decade ago), philanthropy professionals with an advanced degree are highly sought after to lead the nation's most prestigious organizations.

The Philanthropy and Development Program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota remains one of the most unique and innovative master's programs in the country. The program is designed for experienced philanthropy professionals, who shaped by their ethical values, embrace the opportunity to become agents of change. Coursework will prepare the student for a senior leadership position in any non-profit organization.

The curriculum focuses on the transformational role a philanthropy professional plays in today's society by utilizing innovative and ethical fundraising strategies. Saint Mary's is one of the only programs in North America to focus on donor-centered communication as it relates to stewardship and donor engagement.

Upon graduation, students become a member of an alumni society that includes some of the industry's leading experts in the field of philanthropy. Hundreds of today's top-earning fundraisers in the United States and Canada launched their careers at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. They hold senior leadership positions at prestigious institutions including Johns Hopkins University, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management, Habitat for Humanity, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, California State University, the Anchorage Museum, the Nature Conservancy, the Mayo Clinic, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, The Salvation Army, Texas A&M Foundation, and Children's Health Foundation.

Course Information

One of the most unique and innovative masters programs in the country, this program is designed for experienced philanthropy professionals who, shaped by their ethical values, embrace the opportunity to become agents of change in the community through the stewardship of philanthropic resources.

For more information and course descriptions, check out our course catalog.

Applicants must submit:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree
  4. Other relevant official transcripts documenting potential transfer credits
  5. International transcripts must be evaluated by a university-accepted evaluator
  6. A reflective essay which includes a brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience, a description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities, and any personal information the applicant wishes to share
  7. Two recommendations that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and/or academic ability
  8. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience
  9. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam.
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Tuition & Fees

Tuition: $510 Per Credit


Graduation fee:$190
Room & Board for residency:$985

The Saint Mary's Difference

The heart of Saint Mary's is its people — faculty, staff, and your fellow students — who become your companions and allies on your educational journey. Here, in an intense give-and-take setting, each of us discovers just how much we can learn. You'll find, in every one of our classrooms, a person-centered education focused on your growth, your potential — because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to make an impact, to change the world around them.

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