The Program

The Master and Graduate Diploma of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership produces leaders, innovators and change-makers for philanthropy and civil society.  The graduates will be capable of critical, audacious thinking, understand emerging trends and issues in the increasingly global world of philanthropy and nonprofits, and be able to apply their knowledge to solving real-world problems.

The Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) consists of 7 required and 4 elective courses and an experiential ‘capstone’ project. Starting in the summer, it can be completed in five terms of full-time study (longer on a part-time basis).

Students do not need to relocate to Ottawa. The MPNL begins with a two-week, executive-style Summer Institute (normally in July). The Summer Institute is an opportunity to learn from leading scholars, successful practitioners and audacious thought leaders, as well as from fellow students.

The rest of the program can be completed through interactive online or one-week intensive courses and a second Summer Institute.  On-campus students have access to a wide range of other courses.

Each cohort (25-30 students) is a mix of experienced and aspiring professionals – all selected for their leadership abilities.  The diversity of students and peer-to-peer learning are important assets of the program.

The MPNL is committed to offering practical experience that will assist students in their professional careers and to adding value to this sector. Students may take a practicum working with a philanthropic/nonprofit organization, and the capstone in the second fall term involves teams of students collaborating with a community organization on a project of strategic value to it.  If your organization is interested in hosting a practicum or capstone, please contact us.

Highly experienced professionals (with at least seven years of relevant responsibilities and an undergraduate degree with an average of B+ or higher) may apply for Professional Entry following admission, which reduces the length of the program by one course and the capstone.

The Graduate Diploma (DPNL) enables working professionals to upgrade their knowledge and skills .It requires participation in the Summer Institute and 4 online or intensive courses, taken with the MPNL students, and may later (subject to admission) be credited toward the Masters. Spaces are limited.

Carleton University’s green campus is located in a park-like setting, bounded by the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal and the Rideau River, and is minutes from downtown Ottawa, an international airport and the enormous range of cultural, educational and recreational opportunities of the national capital. Reasonably priced accommodation is available on campus, and there are a variety of off-campus housing options during the Summer Institutes.

For tuition costs, click here. Scholarships may be offered to students with strong academic records, and bursaries may be available to offset some of the travel costs.

The admission cycle for Summer 2021 intake for the MPNL and Graduate Diploma (DPNL) programs is now open.

The deadline for completed applications to the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) and for the Graduate Diploma in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (DPNL) for the Summer 2021 intake is January 15, 2021.

Please note:  Given the ongoing uncertainties associated with the pandemic, and the need of students and faculty to plan and prepare well in advance, we have decided and are announcing that all courses for the Master and Graduate Diploma in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership will be delivered online for the 2021 Summer term.  PANL 5001 and 5004 will be scheduled for the early session May-June.  PANL 5002 and 5005 will be scheduled for the late session July-August.  The dates for those sessions can be found here:

Completed full time domestic applications for the MPNL received by the deadline will automatically be considered for funding.
The application portal remains open until April 1st and applications received after the January 15th deadline will be considered for admission and funding if space and funds remain.

Please see the following link to apply for our Programs and how to apply:

For full program details and course descriptions, please click on the Graduate Calendar button.