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Program Admission

Graduate Certificate in Leadership

Admission Requirements

Please note that these admission requirements apply to all applicants applying for the Graduate Certificate in Leadership or MA in Leadership or MA in Leadership (Health Specialization) starting on or after September 18, 2017. All applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Standard Admission

  • Four year (or comparable) undergraduate degree from a recognized post-secondary institution, with a minimum GPA of B+ (3.33/4.33).
  • Normally a minimum of five years of leadership* experience.
  • Applicants who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA, or have been away from academic writing for more than 10 years, will normally be required to take the “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University, and obtain a minimum B+ (77%) prior to commencing the program.

Emerging leaders who have fewer than five years of leadership experience, yet have been in recent leadership role(s) for two years or more, demonstrate exceptional leadership potential through their professional and life experiences, are preparing for further leadership roles, and otherwise meet the standard admissions criteria, are encouraged to apply.

Flexible Admission

Applicants who do not meet the Standard Admission Requirements will be considered for Flexible Admission and assessed as follows:

  • At least 10 years of professional experience, with five years of leadership* experience.
  • Flexible admission applicants will normally be required to take “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” and obtain a minimum B+ (77%) prior to commencing the program.

*Leadership experience could include one or more of the following:

  1. Formal organizational leadership roles in which you directly supervise staff or complete performance-oriented work with individuals, groups, or teams.
  2. Leadership roles in volunteer organizations. 
  3. Roles in which you consult, negotiate with, or manage diverse interest groups through relationship, in a complex environment.
  4. Roles in which you lead others toward shared goals and outcomes.
  5. Roles in which you influence, organize, and coordinate groups of people.
  6. Overcoming a challenging life experience (for self or others), which involved navigating complex systems and resulted in positive community change beyond the individual. 

Please ensure that you demonstrate your leadership experience in your detailed resume, and clearly indicate how your years of experience meet the Standard or Flexible Admission requirements.

Application Requirements

All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:

Application Form

In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. A non-refundable application fee will be required. If your application fee(s) are being paid for by a sponsoring organization, please contact Student Accounts. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.

Official Transcripts

Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations. Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution’s original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.

All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be a maximum two-page letter that speaks to the following criteria:

  1. Your motivation for seeking entrance to the program (please respond to all of the following: why are you interested in this program? What do you hope to learn? What excites you about RRU’s teaching and learning model? Why do you feel called to this program at this moment in time?)
  2. The breadth and scope of your leadership experience (using one or more of the six criteria for leadership experience listed above, please describe your current and past leadership experience(s) and, how your training and/or life experiences demonstrate your leadership capacities and potential).
  3. Your experience working in teams and with others from different sectors, disciplines, cultures etc., and the specific skills and capacities that you believe are relevant and applicable to the program.
  4. The gifts or unique strengths you can bring to the program; and
  5. The areas you would like to improve upon as a student in the program and as a leader more broadly.

If applicable, please expand upon why you think your life and work experience and/or related formal education and courses merit adjudication as an Emerging Leader or under the Flexible Admission process.

Writing Sample

There are three options for your Writing Sample:

  1. You may include a recent (within the last 2 years) writing sample from your academic work that includes citations and has been assessed by an instructor.  You are encouraged to include the instructor comments and final assessment, though this is not required.
  2. If you do not have a recent writing sample on file, you may write an original, maximum 500-word academic essay addressing the question: “What is my leadership philosophy?” Your writing should be clearly organized, should take a position substantiated with evidence from academic books and/or peer-reviewed articles, and use examples from your relevant life experience. The paper should be formatted using APA 6 style, which is the preferred referencing style in the School of Leadership Studies. (Note that a sample APA essay is also available through Owl Purdue.
  3. In lieu of a writing sample, applicants may register in the Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University. Your course may be in progress at the time of application. However, course completion with a minimum “B+” (77%) is required as a condition for entry to the Leadership program. Please select a course offering that ends a minimum of five weeks prior to your desired program start date.

Please note: Applicants must submit a Writing Sample OR proof of enrolment in RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course as a part of their application package. Applicants who have previously completed RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course with a “B+” (77%) or above should submit their final grade confirmation letter.

Detailed Resume

A detailed or structured resume is one that provides a comprehensive professional profile of applicants, targeted towards their intended program of study. We are interested in knowing where applicants have worked, for how long, and what they were responsible for in the positions held. Provide as much information as possible, with special attention to demonstrating five years of leadership experience (and a minimum of 10 years of professional experience for flexible admissions) as described above.  Your detailed resume should include the following:

  • Education: List all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved. 
  • Work Experience: Please include name of organization, position, length of service (month and year), and a brief description of duties.
  • Voluntary/Unpaid Work Experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties, and, in particular, any leadership responsibilities. List positions you have held in this service.
  • Information Technology Training and Experience: Briefly describe your level of training and experience in the use of information technology including computers, software and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching and personal use.
  • Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
  • Other relevant information: Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee in assessing what you could contribute to the learning community.

Professional References

We require two professional references. Reference letters should be completed by someone from your current professional network (within the past five years) who can attest to your commitment, knowledge, skills, and ability to complete a demanding academic program. References from direct supervisors are preferred wherever possible.

References will not be accepted from members of your family.

If applicable:

  • Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
  • Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
  • An official English Language Proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
  • Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.

For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.