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Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management, M.S.

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MTSU is no longer accepting applications or allowing admissions to this program.  If you have questions, please contact the Jones College Advising Center at (615) 904-8063.


The Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management concentration, part of the graduate major in Management, offers students business and management skills applicable to not-for-profit work. A person wishing to work in the not-for-profit field is not necessarily someone who is disinterested in making a profit. It may well be that this individual has invested many years in the for-profit rough-and-tumble world and now feels drawn to giving back to the community in a less aggressive, less competitive endeavor. This field also may appeal to the more humanitarian-minded individual who is just starting a career. The not-for-profit’s primary goal is not to increase shareholder value; rather it is to fulfill some socially desirable need. A not-for-profit venture operates successfully because of keen business savvy and excellent management know-how. The emphasis in this enterprise is on stewardship, and all support—financial and otherwise—must be used as directed by the donors, and management must be held accountable for every aspect of the operation.

What We're Doing

Value is high in non-profit work

Value is high in non-profit work

As baby boomers retire, there will be a greater need for replacement workers—and thus, more job opportunities—in nonprofit agencies and organizations. The nonprofit sector is emerging as an economic powerhouse, says Deborah Cuny, director of Especially for Nonprofit Organizations at Virginia Commonwealth University. A study released by the Community Foundation revealed that if the nonprofit sector were to shut down, the entire economy would collapse. While one may not get rich in a nonprofit position, many nonprofits offer more flex and vacation time and permit a more relaxed dress code. ”Nonprofit work can super-size your skill set,” says Jennifer Cunningham at California State Fullerton’s Career Center, since an employee, rather than focusing on just one job function, may play several different roles in the organization. Nonprofit work allows one to network, meet community movers and shakers, and build a resume. Nonprofits employ more women than men, offering greater opportunities for women to excel. 

It’s about making a difference

It’s about making a difference

The New York Daily News ran a story about senior Whitney Plumendahl, an applied sociology major at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. Plumendahl decided even before graduation that she would limit her job search to opportunities in the nonprofit sector. “It’s not that I’m not open to other options, but I’m not a huge fan of corporate culture. For me, it’s not about making money … it’s about making a difference.” The story goes on to explain that this individual certainly isn’t the only college graduate who wants to do good in the world, but the probability of lower pay will  prevent many well-intentioned students from pursuing careers in nonprofits. Yet, nonprofit work can be extremely rewarding.

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If your desire is to enrich the lives of those in need through education and service, then working in a not-for-profit organization can be richly rewarding. Not-for-profit management is no less demanding than upper-level positions in the corporate world. Successful humanitarian and outreach programs require a rock-solid work ethic. Because not-for-profit enterprises depend greatly on a volunteer work force, the need for professional leadership is paramount. Examples of career opportunities include areas such as

  • Child advocacy
  • Communications
  • Corporate management
  • Education
  • Food distribution
  • Health and aging
  • Homeless outreach
  • Housing and economic development
  • Service industries
  • Social justice

Because this program is relatively new, employer information is still being compiled. Following are examples of employers of Management graduates and Career Fair participants:

  • American Cellular
  • Automatic Data Processing
  • CalsonicKansei North America
  • Chick-Fil-A Murfreesboro
  • Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc.
  • Enterprise
  • Ettain Group
  • Insight Global, Inc.
  • Internal Data Resources
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Modern Woodmen of America
  • Nissan North America
  • Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
  • PepsiCo Foodservice
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Target Stores
  • Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VA)
  • The Hershey Company
  • Walter Meier Manufacturing

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Management is offered by the Department of Management in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. This program, with three concentrations, offers students planning, communication, and ethical decision-making skills through experiential learning in which they will find themselves in the trenches of the real-world work environment. Each concentration—Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management, Organizational Leadership (provides students with business and leadership skills that can be applied in a variety of leadership roles in business, government, or education), and Supply Chain Management (provides students with business and operations management skills that can be applied to work in logistics, transportation, and supply chain management careers)—includes a capstone project in which students will partner with an organization in the industry or non-profit sector.


The undergraduate program in the Department of Management offers the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree with majors in Business Administration, Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Management. Minors are available in Entrepreneurship and Management; the department participates in interdisciplinary minors in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership Studies.

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Management, Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management Concentration, M.S.

Dan Morrell, Program Director
(615) 494-7758

The Department of Management offers the Master of Science in Management program with three concentrations: Organizational Leadership, Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management, and Supply Chain Management. The Master of Science in Management enhances students' planning, communication, and ethical decision-making skills and exposes them to real world experiences that help them mature as managers. The Management M.S. program allows students to develop the skills to be promoted into higher levels of management at different types of organizations.

Graduates of this program may work in a variety of positions, including mid-to upper-level management positions in corporate offices, healthcare facilities, distribution or logistics centers, manufacturing facilities, not-for-profit organizations, state or local government, and service industries such as banking, insurance, and real-estate.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Master of Science in Management program, applicants should have

  1. minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale;
  2. minimum of 400 on GMAT (or GRE equivalent).

Applicants with post baccalaureate managerial work experience may receive 10 points toward the GMAT score for each year of professional work experience; e.g., four years of work experience = 40 additional points toward the GMAT. GMAT waivers may be granted to applicants with more than ten years of professional work experience.

Applicants without related previous experience or academic preparation may be required to complete the following prerequisite courses: MGMT 6000 (or MGMT 3610 and MGMT 3620) and ACTG 3000 (or ACTG 6100).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at;
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  4. submit a current resume' or curriculum vita.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Not-for-Profit Management requires completion of a minimum of 33 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete a minimum of 33 semester hours as listed below. No more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dual-listed as undergraduate/graduate hours can be counted toward the degree;
  2. successfully complete an applied project (MGMT 6800) in the last semester.

Curriculum: Management, Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management

The Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management concentration provides students with business and management skills that can be applied to not-for-profit managerial work. In addition to 12 hours of core management courses, the concentration requires 12 hours of courses in not-for-profit management, social entrepreneurship, current issues, promotional strategy, and leadership and motivation. Students also elect 6 hours of courses in a professional area that relates to their career interests, or they may select 6 hours of business electives that apply to not-for-profit work.

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.


Core Courses (15 hours)


  • MGMT 6100 - Strategic Decision Making

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MGMT 3610 or MGMT 6000. Managerial theory and practice of solving problems, making decisions, and developing strategies for services and/or products. Emphasis on developing practical responses to decision issues using creativity and innovation in a team environment. (This course is not open to students earning a Master of Business Administration degree.)

  • MGMT 6200 - Lean Project Management Principles

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MGMT 3620, MGMT 6000, or MGMT 6650.Theory and practice of managing projects for services, products, and/or events in the context of operations management methods. Emphasis on application of lean concepts to project management.

  • MGMT 6680 - Seminar in Human Resources Management

    3credit hours

    Focus on the responsibility of all managers with respect to the effective development of human resources. The responsibility of all functional areas in the human resource department or impinging forces such as technology, organized labor, and government legislation examined along with the emerging concepts, problems, and theories supported by research in the field.

  • MGMT 6750 - Business Ethics  3 credit hours  

    MGMT 6750 - Business Ethics

    3credit hours

    Impact of individual values and ethics on the management of organizations. Topics include legal and ethical aspects of dealing with organization stakeholders: stockholders, consumers, employees, and the general community. Emphasis on using ethical theory to make good business decisions.

  • MGMT 6800 - Applied Management Project

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: Open only to M.S. in Management students who are in their last semester of coursework (must have completed 24 graduate level hours); permission of department required; must be completed with B- or better. Capstone course that provides students with the opportunity to integrate and synthesize knowledge gained throughout the graduate program. Development of a substantial project that demonstrates mastery of competencies, concepts, principles, and practices for success in their field of leadership, supply chain management, or not-for-profit management.

Concentration (12 hours)

  • MGMT 6300 - Not-for-Profit Management and Governance

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: JCOB student or permission of department. Focuses on the management theories and practices that impact effective management and governance of organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Emphasizes management decision making within the not-for-profit context and will be one of two core courses in the Master's of Science in Management Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit concentration curriculum.

  • MGMT 6350 - Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation

    3credit hours

    (Same as ENTR 6350.) Explores the elements of social entrepreneurship and social innovation and how these approaches are used to solve the world's social challenges. Uses systems and design thinking along with traditional business approaches to address social challenges and develop measures for organizational performance that include social impact measures in addition to traditional business performance measures. Students challenged to generate a social innovation or social entrepreneurship solution and develop a social venture plan to implement that solution.

  • MGMT 6400 - Current Issues in Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: JCOB student or permission of department. Current management issues that impact organizations in the not-for-profit sector. Topics include managing change/crisis management, organization culture, strategic human resource management, diversity, managing quality, resource development, accountability to stakeholders, competition among nonprofits, international issues, management issues of membership organizations and small not-for-profits, leadership challenges, managing volunteers, social entrepreneurship, and marketing.

  • MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation  3 credit hours  
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    MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation

    3credit hours

    Issues in leadership and motivation in business organizations. An examination of the theoretical framework for leadership and motivation processes serves as foundation. Emphasis on practical issues and applications of leadership development and motivation.

  • MKT 6810 - Promotional Strategy

    3credit hours

    Promotional goals, plans, and concepts in marketing; the role of marketing communication in society; the organization, budgeting, and scheduling of promotion; innovation and the adoption process; managerial decision making in the promotional mix.

Career Electives (6 hours)

In consultation with their advisors, students will select and complete 6 hours of courses in a professional area that relates to their career interests, or they may select and complete 6 hours of business electives that apply to not-for-profit work.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.


The Department of Management offers a limited number of assistantships each semester that are awarded on a competitive basis. An assistantship covers tuition, most fees, and a monthly stipend in return for 20 hours a week of service. Assistantships can be renewed for up to two years.

Additional Resources

Contact Information

Dan Morrell
Business and Aerospace Building, N 134B

Who is My Advisor?

Dan Morrell

Phone | 615-494-7758

Mailing Address

Department of Management
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 75
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132 

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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