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School of Human Ecology

Community and Nonprofit Leadership Major

The major in community and nonprofit leadership prepares graduates for careers in community and nonprofit business settings, enabling them to create, support, and lead innovative community-based efforts to support, empower, and serve youth, adults, and families. Their work can address such human and family issues as: child and family development, consumer resources, housing, food security and nutrition, family-school relations, family and community organizing, and more. A paid and/or unpaid internship with responsibilities for programming related to family/human issues in the community—in a community, nonprofit, human services, or business setting—is required.

Prospective first-year students and transfer students who indicate an interest in community and nonprofit leadership on their UW–Madison application will be admitted to the major upon admittance to the university. In addition, students may indicate an interest in community and nonprofit leadership when registering for SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) upon admittance to the university. First-year students are also eligible to declare the major during their entire first year at UW–Madison and transfer students are eligible to declare the major during their first semester on campus.

All other on-campus students must apply for admission to the major. Multiple criteria are considered including: program aspirations, relevant education, community and volunteer experience and employment, special circumstances, and competitive GPA. On-campus students interested in learning about admission are encouraged to contact the Student Academic Affairs & Career Development Office (advising@sohe.wisc.edu; 608-262-2608) to register for a "Becoming a SoHE Student" session. More information about applying to the major is available here

Curriculum checksheets are available here.

Requirements for the Community and Nonprofit Leadership Major

Graduation requires completion of a minimum of 120 credits.


General education requirements must be met by all students whose first college matriculation date is May 20, 1996, or thereafter.


Math and Communication

Math 101 (unless exempt), 0–3 cr
Speech Communication (Communication Arts 100, 105, 181 or Life Science Communication 100), 2–3 cr

Arts and Humanities, 9 credits

Literature, 3 cr
Other Humanities, 6 cr

Social Sciences, 10–11 credits

Economics 101 Principles of Microeconomics, 4 cr
Psychology 202 Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr
Sociology, 3–4 cr

Biological, Natural, and Physical Sciences, 12 credits

Biological Science, 3–5 cr
Physical Science, 3–5 cr
Other course designated P, B, N, X, or Y in the Course Guide, 3–5 cr


All courses offered through Inter-HE are expected to transfer to the Civil Society and Community Studies (CSCS) subject heading effective Spring 2016.
Leadership and Management, 9 credits

Inter-HE 560 Community Leadership, 3 cr
Inter-HE 460 Leadership & Management of Nonprofit Organizations, 3 cr
Inter-HE 300 Nonprofit Sector: Overview and Foundations, 3 cr

Community Issues, Philanthropy and Service, 6 credits

Inter-HE 350 Community Issues, Nonprofit Organizations & Service Learning, 3 cr
Inter-HE 501 Survey of Contemporary Philanthropy, 3 cr, or
Inter-HE 455 Entrepreneurship and Society, 3 cr

Program Planning, Instructing/Facilitating and Evaluation, 12 credits

Inter-HE 427 Methods of Teaching Family & Consumer Education, 3 cr
Inter-HE 428 Planning Family & Consumer Education Programs, 3 cr
Inter-HE 570 Community-Based Research & Evaluation, 3cr
Inter-HE 345 Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, 3 cr

Nonprofit Communication, 6 credits

Inter-HE 130 Community Newswriting, 3 cr
Inter-HE 335 Communicating with Key Audiences, 3 cr

Human Ecology Breadth, 9 credits

HDFS 362 Development of the Young Child 3 cr, or
HDFS 363 Development from Adolescence to Old Age 3 cr, or
HDFS 474 Ethnic Minority Families 3 cr, or
HDFS 521 African American Families 3 cr,

Consumer Science 275 Consumer Finance 3 cr,

Additional Human Ecology courses may include Life Science Communication, Food Science or Nutritional Science courses, 3 cr

Complementary Professional Option Courses, 18 credits

Select additional courses mutually agreed upon by the student and advisor in area that will enhance the professional focus selected by the student drawing from one or more of the three following areas:

Courses that Enhance Professional Practice: Courses outside the School of Human Ecology such as Life Sciences Communication, Journalism, Communication Arts, Sociology, Education, research models, and/or foreign languages.

Courses that Focus on the Context of Professional Practice: Courses related to such phenomena as poverty, rural versus urban life, policymaking, issues of race, ethnicity and gender or other issues and contexts relevant to the students professional focus.

Courses that Strengthen Nonprofit Management: Most in the School of Business. Topics include accounting and financial management, risk management, fundraising, grant writing, and human resources. See advisor for suggested courses.

Professional Practice, 6 credits

Inter-HE 399 or 601 Internship, 6 cr

Electives to fulfill degree requirement of 120 credits.