• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Philanthropic Studies, MA

Master of Arts

There are more than 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the US alone, and these organizations need well-prepared leaders and staff to continue making an impact on millions of lives across the globe. A degree in philanthropic studies prepares you to work in fundraising, grant making, and program management, across a broad range of fields including religion, education, social services, health, arts and culture, animals, the environment, developing countries, and many other worthwhile causes.

The IU Online Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies--from the world's first school of philanthropy--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.

As a student in the program, you explore such topics as the nonprofit and voluntary sectors, civil society and philanthropy, history of American philanthropy, and ethics and values of philanthropy. You also complete an internship in philanthropic studies.

Your IU Online MA in Philanthropic Studies prepares you for such careers as:

  • Director of gift planning 
  • Fundraising consultant 
  • Principal gifts officer 
  • Development director 
  • Director of alumni relations 
  • Director of major gifts and planned giving 
  • Annual giving director 

Degree Requirements

To graduate with the MA in Philanthropic Studies, you must complete 36 credit hours.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Philanthropic studies core courses (27 credit hours) 
  • Elective courses OR masters thesis option (9 credit hours) 


  • ECON-E 514/PHST-P 530Nonprofit Economy and Public Policy3 Credits
  • PHIL-P 542/PHST-P 532Ethics and Values in Philanthropy/ Applying Ethics in Philanthropy3 Credits
  • PHST- P 535Law of Nonprofit Organizations3 Credits
  • PHST-P 515/HIST-H 516History of Philanthropy3 Credits
  • PHST-P 521Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector3 Credits
  • PHST-P 524Civil Society and Philanthropy3 Credits
  • PHST-P 556Grant Making and the Role of Foundations3 Credits
  • PHST-P 558Principles and Practices of Fundraising3 Credits
  • PHST-P 590Internship/Directed Off-Site Study3 Credits
  • PHST-P 518History of International Humanitarian Assistance3 Credits
  • PHST-P 527Cross Cultural Dimensions of Philanthropy3 Credits
  • PHST-P 530Variable Topics3 Credits
  • PHST-P 534Gender and Philanthropy3 Credits

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $352.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1056.00
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $967.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2901.00
Note:  Additional fees will apply.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education

    With more than 120 online degree programs to choose from, Indiana University gives you the opportunity to receive a top-quality education when you want it, where you want it. The faculty who teach our online courses are the same exceptional faculty who teach those courses on our campuses. Whether you're looking for an undergraduate education or want to continue advancing your career with a graduate degree, IU Online’s degree program options have something for everyone.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. Classes aren't tied to a certain time or day.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at Indiana University have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. We're committed to providing you with the quality educational experience students have come to expect and desire from Indiana University, without needing to make sacrifices to the other commitments in your life.