Admission Requirements

NLS Graduate Program: Requirements for admission

The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership Studies is located in the Department of Community Leadership and Human Services at Murray State University. Applicants for the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Studies must submit both the Murray State Graduate Application and the application to the NLS academic program. Admission is based on a combination of the applicant’s academic record, career goals, and ability to communicate in both written and oral forms. Applicants, whose qualifications match the program requirements, will be invited to an in-person or telephone interview with the Admission Committee. The application packet for the NLS academic program should be submitted as a pdf or word file to

  • Complete Murray State Graduate Application online or complete a paper application and mail or fax. Both application methods require a $40 non-refundable application fee.
  • Prior academic work. A baccalaureate degree from a regional accredited institution (college or university) is required with a minimum of a 3.0 overall grade point average (on a scale of 4.0) for unconditional admission. In exceptional situations, conditional admission may be granted to applicants with a minimum GPA of 2.25 if they demonstrate capacity to succeed as evidenced through the academic program application process. A student who is admitted conditionally must maintain a GPA of 3.0. Failure to do so results in academic probation or academic suspension, per University policy.
  • The Letter of Application should explain in detail the reasons for interest in the degree, related career goals, and leadership and management expertise. Preference will be given to candidates whose goals and interests match those of the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Studies and its curriculum.
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference should be sent by the recommenders to the Department. Letters of reference should be specific to the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership, personally signed, and submitted by the recommenders to (Reference Letters that have not been submitted by the recommenders will not be accepted.) Recommenders should comment on the candidate’s (1) the academic potential and practical experience; (2) career goals; and (3) motivations to enter the program.
  • An in-person or telephone Interview with faculty in the program of study is required for candidates whose application material matches the required qualifications. Candidates will be evaluated during the interview on established Department criteria.
  • Submit an updated curriculum vitae/resume, which highlights relevant academic achievements and practical experience.