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Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies

The M.A. in Philanthropic Studiesis 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

We accept applications for our graduate certificate and master’s degree at any time. New students can begin classes in August (fall), January (spring), and May (summer).

Please contact us directly at apsop@iupui.edu for information on your next available option to start classes.

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 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • 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.

Résumé: Please send updated résumé 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

Tuition and fees for each academic year are calculated in July and those costs can be viewed on the Enrollment and Management website. 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.

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. Applicants whose native language is not English must pass the TOEFL with a score of 69 or higher. There will be spring and fall deadlines.

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

Program Restrictions
  1. Students enrolled in a master's program must complete all course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B). Failure to do so results in automatic dismissal from the program.
  2. Students who have completed more than two PHST graduate courses must request permission to apply.
  3. We allow up to 9 credit hours to transer into our graduate program.
  4. Students must complete the master's degree in five years.

Last Updated: May 2021