IUPUI Bulletins » Schools » IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI » Admissions » Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies

The Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies is a gateway to understanding the social, cultural, political, and economic roles played by philanthropy and nonprofit organizations and facilitates broad understanding that prepares graduates for leadership practice within the nonprofit sector. Students gain experience in understanding and applying cutting-edge research and develop critical thinking skills about the complex issues confronting the nonprofit sector.

This 36-credit-hour graduate program includes 27 hours of core course work, 9 hours of electives, OR a 9-hour thesis option in lieu of electives.

Application Deadlines

Summer/Fall Admission Deadlines:

  • On-campus—April 1 (applications accepted through July 15 as space permits)
  • Executive—April 1 (applications accepted through July 15 as space permits)
  • Online—June 1 (applications accepted through July 15 as space permits)

Spring Admission Deadlines:

  • On-campus—October 15 (must apply by this date to be considered for financial assistance; applications accepted through November 15 as space permits)
  • Executive—October 15 (applications accepted through November 15 as space permits)
  • Online—October 15 (applications accepted through November 15 as space permits)

Admission Requirements

Prior Academic Work: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required with a minimum of a 3.0 overall grade point average (on a scale of 4.0), and a minimum of a 3.0 average in your major field. Applicants with a grade point average below 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.

  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts should be mailed to: Student Services, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, University Hall, Suite 3000, 301 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Results of the Graduate Record Examination General Test: Applicants are expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency on the GRE or a comparable proficiency test (i.e., GMAT, LSAT). Results from the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past five years are required.

  • Please use the IUPUI code R1325

Recommendations: Three letters of recommendation to the Admissions Committee are required. Preference will be given to those candidates who can demonstrate ability to successfully perform academic work. In selecting your recommenders, try to select those people who can best speak to indications of your ability to successfully do academic work. If a recommender is not in an academic environment, encourage him/her to assess your knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to your ability to do academic work.

Statement of Purpose: Preference will be given to those candidates whose goals and interests, broadly speaking, match those of the Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies and its curriculum.

Resume: Please send updated resume to the Office of Student Services.

Graduate Record Examination: Applicants should demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency on the GRE. An official report of the results is required for admission. Computer-Based Testing is conducted year-round by appointment through designated test centers. Information on the GRE is generally available at a local college or university, or by calling Educational Testing Service at (800) GRE-CALL.

Application Information For International Students

  1. Financial Instructions and Financial Support Agreement
  2. Estimated Expenses

Find more information for international students.

Expected Costs

Fees for the 2016-2017 academic year are $957.70 per credit hour for out-of-state students and $347.14 per credit hour for Indiana residents. Rates are subject to change by the Indiana University Board of Trustees.

Financial Aid

A number of fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships are available to graduate students in philanthropic studies. Complete applications must be submitted by February 15 for scholarship consideration. More information here.

The Graduate Certificate in Philanthropic Studies provides students with education in the field of Philanthropic Studies. The degree program introduces students to the critical issues and values of philanthropic practices. It is designed for those who have an interest, and perhaps career need, for this education but who do not wish to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies. It will provide opportunities both for students interested in learning more about the field as well as career professionals looking to expand their knowledge. The certificate may be completed on its own or in conjunction with other graduate study, e.g. museum studies, public affairs.

Admission Eligibility

The student must have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university to apply.


Those interested should apply online through the IUPUI graduate school, but no letters of recommendation or GRE are required.  Applicants whose native language is not English must pass the TOEFL with a score of 550 or higher. There will be spring and fall deadlines.

Please submit a resume with a cover letter stating why you are interested in the PHST graduate certificate. 

Program Restrictions
  1. Students enrolled in a certificate program must complete it within 12 credit hours of approved course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B). Failure to do so results in automatic dismissal from the certificate program.
  2. Students who have completed more than two PHST graduate courses must request permission to apply.
  3. Transfer credit, course substitutions, or course waivers are not accepted.
  4. Admission to or successful completion of a certificate program does not guarantee subsequent admission to a PHST graduate degree program.
  5. Students enrolled in the certificate program who apply to PHST's graduate degree programs must meet all existing admission requirements. If a student has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better at the completion of the certificate, the student can request a waiver of the GRE requirement in applying to the M.A.
  6. Students must complete the certificate in five years.

Last Updated: May 2017