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Knowledge Management
May 7, 2012

Higher Learning

The professional requirements for success in the public sector are increasing rapidly. Canadian universities have recognized the importance of education for public servants and are helping them adapt to these changes. Below are some of the leading university MBA programs in public policy and administration.

Carleton University
The School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University is a leading national and international centre for teaching and research in public administration and public policy. Established in 1953, the school has prepared its students for professional careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors both in Canada and abroad.

The school offers graduate programs of study and research in the fields of public administration and public policy leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Public Administration, the graduate Diploma in Public Administration (D.P.A.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Policy.

The M.A. program provides an advanced understanding of public policy development, public management and policy implementation. The program offers a choice of four areas of concentration: Policy Analysis; Public Management; Innovation, Science and Environment; and International Development. The International and Development concentration is offered in co-operation with the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

The D.P.A. program offers specializations in: Policy and Program Evaluation; Public Management; Sustainable Development; and Health Policy. The program is intended to serve the needs for continuous learning for public servants and other professionals who seek to strengthen or broaden their conceptual and technical skills in public administration and policy analysis. Students can opt to take the program on either a full-time or part-time basis.

The Ph.D. program focuses directly on the study of public policy from both Canadian and comparative perspectives. The formation and evolution of policy in Canada is a primary focus of the program. Areas of research specialization include: policy institutions and instruments; industrial policy; and social and labour market policy.

Concordia University
The Department of Political Science at Concordia University offers a program of study and research centred upon the theories and practices of public policy and administration leading to a Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration (MPPA).

Launched by the Quebec government, it was initially intended as a means of preparing Anglophones for the civil service, which is persistently short of English-speaking employees.

Today, the aim of the program is to combine academic excellence with professional expertise in order to facilitate an understanding of how public policy is formulated and administered in Québec, Canada and the world. Areas of concentration are: Public Administration and Decision Making; Public Policy and Social and Political Theory; International Public Policy and Administration; Political Economy and Public Policy and Geography and Public Policy.

The program provides internships not only for the Quebec civil service, but also for the federal government and many other organizations.

Dalhousie University
The public administration tradition at Dalhousie dates back to 1936, as the first institution to award a degree in the field in Canada. In 1968 the school established its Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, and created its own School of Public Administration in 1975.

Today, the school supports nearly 200 graduate students. Just over half are in a conventional two-year Master of Public Administration program while the remainder are mid-career public servants following the school’s online MPA (Management) program. The school also offers certain combined programs in collaboration with other schools as well as a Bachelor of Management program to 400 undergraduate students in partnership with the Schools of Business Administration, Information Management, and Resource and Environmental Studies. The Average completion time is 3-4 years.

In addition to the regular MPA program, the school offers an MPA (Management) degree. The degree has many of the features as the regular MPA but is specially configured for mid-career professionals. The program was originally created in response to a need by the Government of Nova Scotia to develop future leaders from within their public service.

Since 2001 the program has been available in an online format to public servants in the federal government and other provincial governments. In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Management Development (CCMD) and the federal Public Service Commission, graduates of CCMD’s Direxion program can receive advance standing toward the MPA-M.

The school enjoys good relations with senior officials in three bureaucracies, specifically Atlantic regional offices of many federal government departments, provincial governments and municipal governments. Field projects for students in the policy course and internships during the summer are two benefits of those good relations.

Any undergraduate degree is appropriate for admittance as the curriculum in the first year brings all students to a comparable level of knowledge in requisite subjects.

University of Manitoba
Offered jointly by the faculty of the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, this Master’s Program in Public Administration is designed to meet the needs of two types of students: individuals who are presently employed and wish to add to their formal educational status; and individuals interested in a career in either public administration or public policy and who are proceeding from undergraduate to graduate studies. As such, the program provides both full and part-time studies.

Its core courses reflect a public administration focus, with an emphasis on policy, practice and the political, economic and social context in which governments operate.

Additionally the program offers significant opportunities or specialization in a range of policy areas such as health care, human resource management, social welfare, aboriginal government, and organizational change.

Université de Moncton
The Université de Moncton Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program focuses on management, politics and public policy. It is geared towards individuals with a first degree in political science, economics, administration or other social sciences. Applicants to the program need one foreign language.

Part-time and evening/weekend programs are available to students.

University of Ottawa
The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, located in the nation’s capital, is uniquely positioned. The School of Political Studies offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) and PhD in public administration.

The school itself was founded in 1969 as the Faculty of Management Science when the Department of Commerce, the Public Administration Department and the School of Hospital Administration joined to create a new academic unit. In September 2007, the University of Ottawa’s state-of-the-art Desmarais Building became the new home of the Telfer School of Management.

Beyond the classroom, it leverages its links with the business community to make real-life, hands-on learning a central requirement of every program. It offers outstanding research and teaching programs in both of Canada’s official languages.

Likewise, the master’s program at the School of Political Studies offers two fields or concen

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