Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership Major B.S.

Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership Major B.S.

Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership, B.A.

Drawing on roots in political science, sociology, history and economics, our highly interdisciplinary public service and nonprofit leadership program is designed to give you the diverse skills and experience to shape the world.

The bachelor of arts degree in public service and nonprofit leadership provides an interdisciplinary, applied approach to the study of public and not-for-profit institutions and actors. Students explore the ways that leaders and citizens work in and around governments to address the complex problems confronted by N.H. and the U.S. today.

Students may apply a total of two courses in sociology, economics, or history toward the major, and may earn credit for up to a semester of coursework with an internship in Washington, D.C. through the Washington Center Program. An accelerated Master in Public Policy track is available for eligible students.

Public Service majors develop essential, transferable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork, leadership, civic and community engagement, and research and data analysis. Coursework emphasizes experiential learning, such as interning at the N.H. State House or local law firms and hands-on service learning at a range of not-for-profit organizations in health, social services, and the arts. All students must undertake at least one semester-long internship and at least one independent research project to be presented at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference.

Public service and nonprofit leadership graduates can pursue careers in state and local government, law, advocacy, non-profit organizations, journalism, education, and more, and are prepared to pursue graduate studies in law, public policy, public administration, community development, education, social work, and public health.


The accelerated master's program gives diligent students the opportunity to complete a B.A. in public service and nonprofit leadership and a Master in Public Policy or Master of Public Administration from the Carsey School of Public Policy in five years by taking graduate-level courses during your junior and/or senior years at UNH Manchester.

Curriculum & Requirements

Students must complete 128 credits to graduate, including 44 credits in the public service and nonprofit leadership major. Students must maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative GPA in the major of 2.0. No credit toward the major will be given for any course in which the student receives a grade of less than C-. Students also must fulfill the UNH Discovery Program requirements. Up to three courses may be used toward both the public service and nonprofit leadership major and UNH Discovery Program requirements. Transfer students must take at least 28 credits in the major at UNH Manchester.

Required Courses
POLT 402American Politics and Government4
HIST 595Explorations (Activism in America)4
POLT 500American Public Policy (US Public Policy)4
PS 515New Hampshire Politics in Action4
POLT 595Smart Politics (Research Methods)4
PS 701Senior Project and Interdisciplinary Seminar in Politics and Society4
Any five of the following PS or POLT courses 120
Politics, Law and Contemporary Society
Social and Political-Economic Theory
Political Psychology
Political Theory and Historical and Social Context
Empire, Democracy and War
Political Violence and Terrorism
Civil Society and Public Policy
Justice Law and Politics
Supreme Court in US Society
Political and Social Change in Developing Countries
Politics of Food
Women and War
People on the Move: Immigration and Refugee Policy in Global Perspective
Model United Nations
New Hampshire Politics in Action
Globalization: Politics, Economics and Culture
Selected Topics Politics and Society
Politics and Society Independent Study
International Relations: Interdisciplinary Approach
Dictatorship and Democracy
American Public Policy
Politics of Crime and Justice
Managing Bureaucracy in America
Rights and the Political Community
Dissent and the Political Community
World Politics
Courts and Public Policy
Politics of Poverty
Total Credits44

 For more information, contact program coordinator Stephen Pimpare at; or contact the Office of Admissions, (603) 641-4150.

Explore Program Details

With diverse concentrations and a highly flexible curriculum, your public service and nonprofit leadership degree will open doors to limitless career and graduate education opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive growth in many related professions between 2016 and 2026. Make an impact with career possibilities in industries like government, politics, international affairs, journalism, law, business and more.

Job Title

Job Growth

Median Salary

Arbitrator, Mediator or Conciliator



Fundraising & Public Relations Manager



Paralegal or Legal Assistant



Political Science Teacher, Postsecondary



Social Community Service, Nonprofit or Government Agency Manager



Urban or Regional Planner



Learn more about career planning

Our campus is in the heart of the region’s cultural, economic, entertainment and government activity — putting unlimited internship opportunities at your doorstep. We’ve partnered with government, local businesses and community organizations to give you the real-world experience that sets you apart. Public service majors have interned at many high-profile organizations in the area, including:

  • Ascentria Care Alliance
  • Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains
  • Manchester City Hall
  • New Hampshire Republican State Committee
  • Office of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter
  • Turkish Cultural Center
  • UNH’s Washington Center: Spend a semester studying & interning in Washington, D.C.

Actively engage in global issues while developing cross-cultural awareness through our global studies minor, which gives you the knowlege, skills and anlytical reasoning to analyze the impact of 21st century issues on regional, national and global communities.


The legal advocacy minor develops the skill-sets and knowledge bases that will help you succeed in law school, as well as in any political, media, or nonprofit career path in which strong oral and written advocacy skills are required.


Add a breadth of perspective to your degree with our political economy minor, helping you land a career in government, public service, business, communications or law.


Our political science minor gives you a foundation in American government and international politics that enriches your studies and your resume — helping you land a career in government, public service, nonprofits, international affairs or law.


Strengthen your understanding of foreign policy through our terrorism studies minor, which explores global and domestic politics and the origins, ideologies and goals of terrorist groups.

In partnership with the New Hampshire community colleges below, we've developed curriculum guides to show you which courses at your community college will transfer into UNH Manchester's public service and nonprofit leadership program. 

Questions? Contact an admission counselor for help.


Diligent students can complete a B.A. Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership and a master's degree through the Carsey School of Public Policy by taking graduate-level courses during your junior and/or senior years at UNH Manchester. Click on the master's degree title below to learn more about each program.

The Master in Public Policy degree (M.P.P.) offers you the opportunity to learn the skills you need to succeed in today’s public policy profession—analytical expertise, strategic vision, clear and compelling communications, and the tools of leadership. The M.P.P. degree is ideal whether you will be completing your bachelor’s degree in the near future or are currently working in a policy-related field. You can choose a track focused on policy analysis or strategy and communications—and select from a broad range of electives to personalize your degree. Built into the unique curriculum are a variety of experiential learning opportunities to deepen and broaden what you learn in the classroom, such as:

  • Colloquium in Washington, DC: You will be immersed in the capital scene – meeting with leaders in Congress, the White House, government agencies, political parties, advocacy groups, think tanks, and more.
  • Policy Internship: You will work in a policy-focused organization to gain practical, real-world experience and a valuable perspective on careers in public policy.
  • Capstone Project: You will employ the skills you have gained to delve deeply into a specific policy area to produce a comprehensive written report and oral presentation.

You can earn your M.P.P. degree in as little as 14 months (or 12 months for accelerated UNH students). You can also choose to earn your M.P.P. degree over a longer period by attending part time. Academic courses are offered in person on the UNH Durham campus with a portion of the experiential learning taking place offsite.

The Master of Public Administration degree (M.P.A.) offers you the opportunity to learn the skills you need in all aspects of government and nonprofit management including the tools of leadership, program evaluation, budgets, planning, personnel, collective bargaining, and policy analysis. The program provides an accessible and responsive curriculum so you can address issues that are important to your region which values democratic involvement, accountability, and administrative competency in the provision and delivery of public services through its towns, cities, state agencies, and a wide range of non-governmental organizations.

  • Flexible schedule accommodates full-time working professionals with courses offered year-round, typically meeting one evening per week or online
  • Study with public service professionals and professors who bring strong analysis and best practices to your learning
  • Graduate in as little as 16 months (full time) or 21 months (part time)

Academic courses are offered online and in person on the UNH Manchester campus, with additional elective courses offered in person on the UNH Durham campus.