Non-profit Studies Minor Requirements - JMU Catalog

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations, and civic leagues.

The non-profit studies minor, housed in the Social Work Department, prepares students from a variety of disciplines to understand the unique role of nonprofit organizations in American society. Emphasis is placed on history, theory, legal issues and management topics. The minor includes a capstone seminar and a field experience in a nonprofit agency with the focus to be determined in conjunction with the adviser.

For questions or to declare the minor, please contact:

Dr. Terrence Fernsler, Minor Adviser
Phone: (540) 568-6980
Office: HBS 2071 

The minor adviser provides additional information about the minor and assists with course planning in coordination with your major adviser. Please contact the Minor Adviser when you have additional questions not covered by the JMU Catalog or with the basic information below.  

Non-profit studies minor distinguishing features

Students participate in experiences that emphasize the critical role of the non-profit sector in today’s society through in-depth study, research, and an internship. Opportunities for community engagement may be experienced in courses. Working in the nonprofit sector opens doors in multiple arenas: 

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Behavioral/Mental Health
  • Community Development
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Health
  • Human Services

Faculty are drawn from academics and practitioners who are well grounded in current non-profit issues and practices using a variety of innovative and experiential approaches to enhance learning such as agency guest speakers or community service-learning opportunities. 

The internship/practicum experience

The internship/practicum experience (NPS 400) occurs in a non-profit organization setting that provides experiential learning and practice experiences. Research or an applied project, learning journals and presentation based on the experience is required. Students will sign up for 160 hours required for 4 credits or 240 hours required for 6 credits.

Students must complete the application submitting it to the NPS adviser the semester prior to planning to complete the internship. The application requires students to seek an internship location within a non-profit and establish a contact willing to provide onsite supervision. The internship is the culmination of the minor. The NPS minor advisor approves Internship sites and supervisors, who often teaches the course associated with the internship. 

Internship instructions and application:

Check out previous students' experiences:

Declaring the minor

To declare the Non-profit Studies minor, students must:

  • Review the online requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog and determine if the minor is feasible in their academic plan. This might involve a discussion with your major adviser. The minor requires completion of 19 credit hours and takes a minimum of three to four semesters.
  • Submit a Declaration of Minor form on MyMadison

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