Internships and Capstone Projects in the MPNL and DPNL programs offer practical experiences that assist students in their professional careers and add value to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.


The Professional Development Internship is an elective course (PANL 5009) spanning three months (one semester) — and is an unpaid internship with a community partner in the sector. The internship gives students an opportunity for hands-on, supervised professional-development experience, for seven to 10 hours a week — work that helps organizations and makes advances in the field. An internship culminates in a 20-page, analytical paper (or equivalent) to be assessed by a faculty supervisor.

Before the semester in which they wish to undertake an internship, students should contact the MPNL Graduate Administrator (, who will help with placement possibilities using our list of community partners.


The Capstone Project is a mandatory course (PANL 5010) completed in the final term of the MPNL program. It provides valuable professional experience for students and contributions for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Students work in teams, under the guidance of a faculty supervisor, during the final fall term. Students work on projects nominated by Community Partners. At the end of the term, students present their findings and submit a report to the organization and the faculty supervisor.

Examples of previous Capstone Projects

It’s Time to Go: A Self-Guided Workbook to Assist with Nonprofit Organizational Closure (2021) is a Capstone Project by Uzma Gilani, Praan Misir, Shane Norris and Ellie Sabourin for the Muttart Foundation. Using findings and lessons from Canadian nonprofit leaders who faced difficult decisions, this workbook provides information to help groups to end a program or to close down an entire organization.

Time to lead: Empowering women in nonprofit leadership (2019), by Christina Labarca, Lauren Phillips and Ray Eskritt, is a Capstone Project with the Ontario Nonprofit Network. Please see the authors’ blog summarizing the findings.

A note for organizations

Every spring, the program accepts applications from sector organizations to host a team of students on a Capstone Project in the fall term. Organizations that wish to be involved in Internships or Capstones — or who require further information — should contact us at

Photo of internship meeting is courtesy of Christina &