Admission Requirements

Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management

Department of Leadership Studies

Application Checklist 

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application
  • One official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities attended, including community colleges. Foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation from World Evaluation Services (WES).
  • Three professional letters of recommendation from current or previous supervisors, board chairs, or colleagues.
  • A current resumé or curriculum vita
  • A 500-word statement of purpose answering the question: What do you believe are the greatest challenges facing the nonprofit sector (either locally or nationally) and how will what you learn in this program help you effectuate change in those areas?
  • If employed by a nonprofit organization, a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the applicant’s employer stating the degree to which the organization supports the applicant’s candidacy.
  • International applicants only: Official score reports for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Admissions Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
  • The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • This program does not have any specific prerequisite courses.

Experience Requirements

The program has a strong preference for applicants with at least four years of professional work experience.

Interview Requirements

After an initial review of applications to the program, the most qualified candidates will be invited to USD for a group interview with the program faculty. Applicants who live outside California and surrounding states (Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, or Nevada) will have the option of participating in a phone interview. However, out-of-state applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the on-campus group interview, if possible.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants and may only be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.

  • TOEFL minimum scores:
    • Internet-based test: 83
    • Computer-based test: 237
    • Paper-based test: 580
  • IELTS minimum score:
    • Band score 7

Application Process

Application Deadline

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant log-in or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
Email: grads@sandiego.edu

For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 149

Phone: (619) 260-7988
Email: solesadmissions@sandiego.edu