The MPNL and DPNL programs are competitive. Students come from diverse backgrounds and are a mix of experienced and aspiring professionals. Each year, there’s one intake. Applications are next due on January 15, 2025, but note, applications will be accepted after this date, depending on space. We normally admit a total of 20 to 22 full-time students and eight to 10 part-time students, selecting them for their leadership abilities. There are a number of awards and scholarships for which full-time applicants are automatically considered. The first term for both the MPNL and DPNL programs starts in the summer with the two-week Summer Institute on Carleton University’s campus.

Application deadlines

For Summer 2025, for both the MPNL and DPNL programs, the application deadline is January 15, 2025. Completed applications will be reviewed shortly after this, and decisions for the first round of admissions will be available around the beginning of March 2025. Also, Carleton’s application portal will remain open until April 1, 2025, and applications received up to this date will be considered for admission and funding if space and funds remain. Full-time MPNL applicants will be automatically considered for university scholarships and awards.

Admission requirements

Carleton admission requirements are available in the Carleton University Calendar. Entry in the programs requires a bachelor’s degree, with an average of B+ or higher; please see Regulations for details. Experienced professionals may quality for Professional Entry admission; please see our Graduate Calendar page for details.

Graduates talk about the MPNL program

Required application documents:

  • Transcript(s): all post-secondary transcripts are required.
  • Two reference letters should come from people who can comment on your academic preparation and potential for graduate study in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. The design of the Referee Appraisal Form (emailed to your referees after you submit your application on Carleton 360) anticipates that they’ll be university faculty members who have recently taught or supervised your academic work. If you have been away from university for some time, you may select non-academic referees who are familiar with your professional work.
  • A Statement of Intent must include two distinct sections with the following details:
    1) A Statement of Academic Research Interest (not to exceed one page, single-spaced). It should outline your past academic interests and accomplishments, and why you’re interested in pursuing this graduate program; e.g., what drew you to the program and why you feel the program would be a good fit for you.
    2) A Statement of Professional Interest (not to exceed one page, single-spaced). It should give an overview of how your professional or volunteer experience is relevant to the MPNL or DPNL program, and should identify your personal and professional goals and indicate how the program might help you in realizing these.
  • Curriculum vitae: Your CV or resume should provide biographical information, including your education, professional experience, voluntary activities and noteworthy achievements.
  • A Writing Sample of original academic or professional written work from the past year for which you are exclusively responsible. The sample shouldn’t exceed 20 pages, double-spaced. It could be a recent term paper, a chapter from a research essay, or an excerpt from a report.
  • Language Proficiency (ESL Test Scores) if applicable: TOEFL IBT: 86 (22 in writing and speaking, 20 in reading and listening); TOEFL PBT: 580; CAEL: 70; IETLS: 7.0.

Switching from the DPNL to MPNL program

If you’re in the DPNL program, or have graduated from the DPNL program, and wish to apply to the MPNL program, please submit an MPNL application and it will be reviewed and processed the same way all MPNL applications are handled. Some advanced standing may be granted but isn’t guaranteed.

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