Admission Requirements

At Royal Roads University, the real-life leadership experiences that students bring to the classroom serve to enhance everyone’s learning. Leadership experiences 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.

We invite applications from established and emerging leaders who bring a range of professional experiences to the cohort setting. We review all applications on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in either the 1. Health Specialization or 2. Executive Leadership Specialization, please make sure to see additional admission requirements at the bottom of the page.

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. (This course must end a minimum of five weeks prior to your program start date.)

Emerging leaders who meet the MA Leadership degree requirement, but have fewer than five years of leadership experience, yet have been in recent leadership or people management 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 of those 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. (This course must end a minimum of five weeks prior to your program start date.)

Additional Admissions Requirements for Specializations

1. Health Specialization

The MA Leadership (Health Specialization) is designed for leaders within the health system. To be accepted into the program, applicants will normally demonstrate five years of leadership experience in a healthcare organization, or leadership in a health-related capacity. Given the diversity of healthcare leaders, a variety of experiences are acceptable. While positional leadership in a healthcare organization is recognized, roles of significant influence in health-related community organizations, successful advocacy experiences, and health promotion are possibilities. We particularly welcome applicants who have worked in underserved and challenging areas of healthcare, such as Indigenous communities and emergency medicine. Healthcare related experiences that do not include formal supervisory roles, but require exceptional and critical decision-making skills, such as emergency nursing and various physician roles are adjudicated on a case by case basis. Applicants are encouraged to present a clear case for how they meet the leadership experience requirement. We also recognize that leadership roles are competitive, and emerging leaders may not have had the opportunity to obtain a full five years of demonstrated leadership experience. We encourage emerging leaders who have a four-year bachelor’s degree, and five years of professional experience in a health-related area, which includes two years full time equivalent or more of demonstrated leadership experience, to present a case for acceptance into the program. Applicants who do not have a four-year bachelor’s degree may apply with ten years of professional experience in healthcare, which includes at least five years of demonstrated leadership experience.

2. Executive Leadership Specialization

The MA Leadership (Executive Leadership Specialization) is specifically designed for mid-level to senior leaders and how they leverage values to lead cultural change and sustained successful innovation in their organizations. It focuses on how leaders foster the creation of shared values, vision, mission, strategy and the engagement of people in shaping the organizational culture and structure, in relation to both internal and external realities.

For Standard Admission, applicants will have a minimum of five years of leadership experience including at least three years as a designated organizational leader with responsibilities to lead others in delivering a common product or outcome with explicit values. Applicants without an undergraduate degree will have at least 10 years of professional experience, with at seven years in an organization, as well as five years of leadership experience, with at least three years of positional leadership or designated leadership experience.

Some examples of roles for which the program is designed for are mid-level to senior leadership positions: CEO, VP, Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, CFO, Director General. Some examples for designated roles for which experience is required for entry: Director, Manager, Supervisor.

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 and, if applicable, for the specialization you are applying.

English Language Proficiency

If English is not your primary language, please review our English Language Requirements.