A Message to NPSIA Applicants Regarding COVID-19

Like you and the university you currently attend, Carleton University and NPSIA have had to quickly adapt to the situation created by COVID-19. We have modified our course delivery, as well as exam and grading procedures for this semester. Some professors and programs have moved to a Pass/Fail system, and all Carleton (and NPSIA) students will have the option of requesting a Pass/Fail mark instead of a letter grade for those classes that maintain standard grading.

We will make the same accommodations for students who will join the program in September, and for those who intend to apply for 2021-2022. Specifically, marks for the Winter semester will be assessed in a compassionate manner. Except in the case of failure, admission offers will not be withdrawn for students who complete their undergraduate program with simple PASS grades.

For next year (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 is taking place this semester and, if need be, next Fall’s semester too. For instance, our admission assessment will not penalize students who get PASS grades as a result of COVID-19. Reference letters that speak to academic performance will 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.

If you have questions, please get in touch. Our office can be reached by email at international.affairs@carleton.ca.


The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) was established in the mid-1960s with the generous support of the late Senator Norman M. Paterson to encourage and promote graduate study and professional research and publications in the field of international affairs. The NPSIA MA program is interdisciplinary, reflecting the philosophy that exposure to a range of disciplines is necessary to develop an understanding of our complex global environment.

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PhD Fast-track Option

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs offers a fast-track option into the NPSIA PhD program, after 1 year in the MA program (open to full-time MA only students).  Students interested in the fast-track option should meet with the MA and PhD program supervisors during the fall of their first term in the program. Eligible students will be evaluated based on research abilities and performance in the first term of studies.