Jun 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Nonprofit Leadership

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Admission Requirements

  • Completed Application for Graduate Admission and a nonrefundable $55 application fee (waived for Seattle University alumni).
  • Evidence of a four-year equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.00 (GPA) calculated from official transcripts of all post-secondary educational institutions attended in last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree, including any transfer credit earned during this time, and any post-baccalaureate course work. In special cases, those with a GPA less than a 3.00 will be admitted on a probationary basis. Applicants earning a bachelor’s degree from a non-graded institution must submit official GRE scores in lieu of GPA.
  • Recommendation from applicant’s past or present employer using the MNPL employer recommendation form for graduate study.
  • Current résumé reflecting two years of relevant professional experience in a nonprofit organization preferred.
  • List of five recommenders with name, title, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address who can comment on your professional abilities and potential for leadership in a nonprofit organization.
  • Two-page statement answering the following questions: What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing the nonprofit sector today? How will you apply what you learn in this program to make positive changes in those areas?
  • If English is not the applicant’s native language, official English proficiency scores meeting the university’s entrance requirements must be submitted. See Seattle University’s English Proficiency Admission Policy 2008-01 for details.

Program Candidates 

  • A class of up to 25 students is admitted each year.
  • Students attend their core courses in a cohort in order to provide more opportunities to learn from each other.
  • Students take elective courses outside of the cohort so that so they may benefit from a wider diversity of perspectives and experiences.
  • Each admitted student will be asked to gather from an employer an assessment of the student’s core competencies and leadership qualities. This profile will be used as a guide during the program and at graduation will be coupled with a plan for future professional development. 

Degree Requirements:

The MNPL program requires 45 credits taught through 15 courses offered over 18 to 22 months. Students are required to take 36 core credits and 9 elective credits. The final required course, NPLR 5900 , allows each student to pursue in-depth research on a subject of personal interest. Electives and/or transferred credits may be substituted for core classes if approved via petition by the department and dean.


The practicum integrates and applies the nonprofit leadership theories being learned in the course work with the realities of the workplace. This practicum is required of all students, although students with significant nonprofit professional experience can apply for a waiver.  The experience provides students the opportunity to apply their knowledge within Puget Sound nonprofit organizations.

Typical Program of Study

We will offer the majority of the core classes in the first year, and a combination of core and electives during the second year. The program schedule below outlines the course offerings for the first and second year. Students may choose to accelerate their progress through the curriculum by adding electives during the first year of study.

Required Core Courses, 36 credits, including:

Electives, 9 credits, choose from:

Minimum credits required for degree: (45)

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