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Curriculum Overview

Students must complete 10 courses or equivalent: four required core courses, and six elective courses or equivalent.

The curriculum in the program has several goals:

  • To provide students with an understanding of the context, theory and practice of public policy and public administration in Canada in the global context.
  • To allow students to gain an understanding of the relationships between the public, private and third (including the para-public, voluntary, and not-for-profit) sectors as they affect the world of public policy and administration.
  • To provide a curriculum that emphasizes the intergovernmental character of public policy and public administration in Canada, with an emphasis on the realities of governance facing federal, Ontario and municipal public servants.
  • To develop the capacity of students to think critically and communicate effectively commensurate with the demands of a career in the public service or related areas.
  • To foster a sense of professional and public responsibility among our graduates and a sense of the public sector's positive contribution to Canadian society.
  • To provide students with a strong research foundation to pursue doctoral studies in related fields. 

There are two path of study options: a course option or a research option. The course option requires completion of 10 one-semester courses. The research option requires 8 courses and a major research paper (2 course equivalents), or, 6 courses and a master's thesis (4 course equivalents).

Depending on the path of study, most full-time students will complete the program in 12-16 months [the maximum time for completion is 36 months (three years)], and most part-time students in 20-28 months [the maximum time for completion is 60 months (five years)]. Please note that regardless of the program stream chosen, part- or full-time, a minimum of three terms of full-time fees are required.