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Program Features

The Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration aims to:

  • Enable graduates from a variety of disciplines and diverse academic and practitioner backgrounds to pursue a Master of Arts degree through full- or part-time studies.
  • Meet the particular educational needs of individuals by providing a supportive, participatory, and flexible learning environment that recognizes the diversity of student needs.
  • Provide students with an understanding of public policy and public administration in Canada in a global and comparative context.
  • Offer research opportunities and funding support for students.
  • Highlight the complex and constantly changing relationship 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.
  • Emphasize the intergovernmental character of public policy and public administration in Canada, with a focus on the realities of governance facing federal, Ontario and municipal public servants.
  • Foster professional and public responsibility among our graduates and a sense of the public sector’s positive contribution to Canadian society.
  • 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.
  • Build on Toronto Metropolitan University’s recognized strength of combining theory and practice while working closely with agencies and organizations in the GTA and beyond.
  • Provide students with a strong research foundation to pursue doctoral studies in related fields.

What Is Innovative About Our Program?

  • The required and elective courses reflect the core curriculum in most public policy and public administration programs across Canada and internationally. An innovative feature of the curriculum is the explicit commitment to integrating content from all three levels of government in Canada, and an emphasis on the changing character of governance in a global and comparative perspective.
  • Many programs in Canada place an emphasis on either public policy or public administration but rarely both. Our MA in Public Policy and Administration places the study of both public policy and public administration at the centre. The Department of Politics and Public Administration, home to our Master’s degree, offers the only specialized undergraduate degree in public administration in the province of Ontario, and the Department has a long and strong track record in providing university education in public administration and public policy. In building on this strength of combining the study and practice of public policy and public administration, the Master’s program reflects that these elements within government and society are not distinct and separable entities but are best understood in relation to one another. This distinctive balance between public policy and public administration is consistent with Toronto Metropolitan University’s recognized strength of combining theory and practice.
  • Linkages with other graduate programs at Toronto Metropolitan University provide increased access to broader elective course selections and wider mentoring, supervisory and research opportunities for students.
  • A co-op placement provides the opportunity for students to translate work in the field into a program course credit.

The program draws core faculty principally from the Department of Politics and Public Administration and includes Affiliated faculty from other Toronto Metropolitan University departments such as Criminology, Disability Studies, Business Management, Urban and Regional Planning, Information & Technology Management, and Sociology. Affiliated faculty with practitioner backgrounds from different levels of government and the non-profit sector add an experiential dimension to our program. The program regularly has a Public Servant in Residence as well as Deputy Minister Champions from the Ontario and federal governments.

The mix of full- and part-time students from diverse academic backgrounds fosters an enriched learning environment with part-time students bringing the real world into the classroom. The emphasis on diversity in the admissions process further reinforces this innovative aspect of the program. With the delivery model classroom based, faculty members are committed to innovative teaching and learning methods.

"I immigrated as a professional and immediately started working as an IT professional in government. The MPPA program at [TMU] has met my expectations and more, helping me develop a broad understanding of the public policy realm and its many implications. The flexibility and design of the program, the program leadership and faculty were all particularly valuable to me as a part-time student."

Iram Imtiaz, 2011

Not everything can be done in the classroom. To complement theoretical and academic concepts, the program organizes more “hands-on” public policy and administration experience through additional seminars, lectures, career- and skills-building workshops and activities during the year.

The active alumni organization (external link)  provides a sense of community and helps link graduate students to those who are already working in different public, para-public and private sectors thereby enhancing mentoring and networking opportunities. 

Toronto Metropolitan University is a culturally diverse university situated within a dynamic, cosmopolitan environment. Our location in the heart of Toronto, home to the provincial government of the Province of Ontario and Canada’s largest municipal government, the City of Toronto, provides the University and its students with the extraordinary advantage of proximity to, and engagement with, business, government and community agencies. This proximity is a significant asset in supporting student research, networking and placement opportunities.

“The graduate education I received at [TMU] has held me in 'good stead' with the various skills and background knowledge required for my policy analyst job.”