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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philanthropic Studies

Philanthropic studies provides a theoretical framework and practical knowledge about volunteering and charitable giving, and organizations that support and depend on the giving of “time, talent, and treasure” in society.

The bachelor’s degree program offers an opportunity for students to understand the cultural traditions of voluntary action and to practice working with others towards the common good. The curriculum explores the historical, philosophical, and economic “whys” of giving and volunteering as well as the “how to” of working within nonprofit organizations.

Students engage with many disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology. Philanthropic studies is a major designed to educate socially responsive students in the field of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations in the local, national, and international arenas.


A major in philanthropic studies requires completion of general education and distribution requirements, and the completion of a total of 40 credit hours in philanthropic studies, with a minimum grade of C in each course.

Complete all of the following courses (31 credits):

  • PHST-P201: Introduction to Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P210: Philanthropy and the Social Sciences
  • PHST-P211: Philanthropy and the Humanities
  • PHST-P212: Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
  • PHST-P220 (Pending): Introduction to Philanthropic Fundraising
  • PHST-P301: Historical Contexts for and Contemporary Approaches to Philanthropy
  • PHST-P390 (Pending): Internship and Career Preparation (1 credit hour)
  • PHST-P401: Ethics and Values of Philanthropy
  • PHST-P450: Capstone Seminar in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P490: Internship in Philanthropic Studies
  • SPEA-V362: Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Choose three 300- or 400-level electives; at least two must be PHST courses (9 credits):

  • ANTH-E411: Wealth, Exchange, and Power in Anthropological Perspectives
  • PHIL-P326: Ethical Theory
  • PHST-P323: Donor Motivations & Engagement I
  • PHST-P330: Special Topics in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P370: Learning by Giving
  • PHST-P375: Philanthropy, Calling, and Community
  • PHST-P430: Advanced Topics in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P495: Readings in Philanthropic Studies
  • REL-R379: Religion and Philanthropy
  • REL-R393: Comparative Religious Ethics
  • SOC-R330: Community

Other advanced courses may be approved by the director of undergraduate programs.

Last updated: May 2021