Philanthropy has transitioned from a utopian ideal to a tangible career path after five students graduated from Indiana University with what are believed to be the first-ever bachelor's degrees in philanthropic studies, according to a recent article by Maureen West in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
During the degree program’s first two years, 21 students have declared philanthropic studies as a major. By 2015, Indiana expects that number to reach 75, according to the article.
Philanthropy can provide students with job opportunities with nonprofit organizations or foundations, and one of the premises behind the program is to create primed leaders who can identify and implement both the practical and theoretical applications of philanthropy. The classes at Indiana cover the traditional hands-on and basic skills associated with nonprofits and volunteerism, but they also delve into the "philosophical underpinnings of philanthropy," according to the article.
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