Frequently Asked Questions: Prospective Students

Please view the general Graduate Admissions Application FAQ here.


What type of degree do I need to complete in order to be eligible for admission?

All students entering the MA or MA/JD program must have a four year undergraduate degree or the equivalent. As we are an interdisciplinary program, we will accept students from a wide variety of backgrounds such as political science, international relations, global affairs, law, public policy, sociology, anthropology and economics. We welcome students with other backgrounds, for instance in science, English or arts, but encourage them to take a few undergraduate courses in international affairs to prepare for NPSIA.

What GPA do I need to be eligible for admission?

Under current practice, at least a high honours standing (B+ or 77% minimum) is normally required to be considered for admission to the program. In some circumstances, GRE scores may be considered if they are available, however it’s not necessary for students to write the GRE.

Carleton University uses a twelve-point GPA scale. Please visit the tuition calculator page for more information on the scale and grade point equivalents.

I am unsure if I meet the economics prerequisite for the program, what is it?

Students admitted to the NPSIA MA program must have successfully completed a 1.0 credit standard first year course in introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics, with a minimum grade of B- before starting the program (ECON 1001 and ECON 1002 at Carleton, or an equivalent). Students can be made a conditional offer of admission to complete this requirement during the summer, prior to the first day of classes. Not all economics courses or grades are accepted, so please contact the School if you have any questions.

My first language is not English, what are the minimum language proficiency requirements for the program?

All students who enter the program and whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Fill out the Confirmation of Language Proficiency Form to include with your application; or
  • Provide official documentation of a satisfactory English proficiency test score. Minimum scores for the MA and MA/JD program are:
    • CAEL: 70;
    • TOEFL (internet-based test): 100, with a minimum score of 25 on each component, or 250 (computer-based);
    • IELTS: 8, with a minimum of 7.5 in each band score

When should I submit my application?

Applicants should upload their completed application no later than January 31 of the year they are applying for. For example: If you would like to be admitted for Fall 2021, the first round deadline is due January 31, 2021. Late applications are typically accepted until August 31 of the year an applicant is applying for, if space remains. NPSIA only offers fall admission, and not winter or summer admission.

As a domestic student, am I eligible for funding opportunities?

Each applicant is automatically considered for possible funding opportunities, such as teaching and research assistantships, departmental scholarships, and entrance scholarships. Please note that there are limited funding opportunities for students who apply after the January 31 deadline. Students are also encouraged to seek additional external funding apart from any funding they may receive from the School [ie. Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS) or Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)].

How much does tuition cost?

For more information on tuition fees and other costs, please visit the Graduate Admissions cost and fees page.

Where can I view my application status?

Your application status is available in Carleton Central, and will be updated as your application moves through the various stages. Here is a full list of application status definitions, such as Preliminary Review Required, Review in Progress, or Recommended for Assessment.

When will I be notified of a decision on my application?

The admissions committee will review files after the January 31 deadline. Assessment time depends on the number of applications received, but we aim to have admission decisions out to first round applicants by early March. Second round offers are distributed on a rolling basis until August 31.

Will there be any accommodations for applicants due to COVID-19?

For 2021 and 2022 applicants, our GPA calculation for the last two years–a key metric in our selection process–will take into account the disruption that took place during the Winter 2020 semester. For instance, our admission assessment will not penalize students who received Pass grades as a result of COVID-19. Reference letters that speak to academic performance also play a role in admission consideration. Please note, however, that any other condition of admission–for instance, introductory economics–remain in place, as they are crucial to your success in the program.

Classes are also taking place online for the Fall 2020 semester, and possibly for the Winter 2021 semester as well. You can find updates from Carleton University related to COVID-19 here.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the admissions process?

If you are a prospective student, please send inquiries to the MA Recruitment and Program Administrator, Lauren Wells-McGregor.

For full information regarding the NPSIA MA & MA/JD Programs, please visit the MA and MA/JD Program information on our website.