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"I should apply to grad school..."

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

by Aida Kajs

Many of us have been “thinking about grad school” for years. And we’ve all heard some advice echoed by lots of folks, most of it contradicting what we’ve heard echoed from others. What to make of these tidbits of wisdom from supervisors, friends, mentors, and coworkers? How can I actually know what to study, where, and if it's the right time? Here we’ve gathered some common advice about graduate education in the nonprofit sector and unpacked it a bit, to hopefully shed some clarity on this complicated and personal decision.

“Get a general MBA. There’s no field where you can’t use what you learn from an MBA.”

Even if you are absolutely certain that you want to stay in the nonprofit sector for the rest of your career, there’s no doubt that you will use some of what you would learn from an MBA. But, most MBA programs are aimed at the business world, and most universities don’t offer nonprofit management within the business school at all, offering it within the school of public administration instead. This can have impacts beyond just the curriculum, such as the network you will develop and the sorts of services offered by the career center.

If, on the other hand, you could definitely see yourself leaving nonprofits in the future, or are interested in management in a general sense, an MBA could be the right choice for you. If you pay attention to the actual curricula of the programs you are lo