Why pursue a Master's in Public Policy and Public Administration?
Mission statement: The Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration program provides students with the expertise and skills required for a professional career in the public service and/or for the pursuit of advanced academic training in the field of policy studies and public administration. Our graduates benefit from a network of alumni working in government, academia, and non-profit sectors, established over the course of more than thirty years, who have made significant contributions to Canadian policy and administration. Situated within the Department of Political Science, this program offers students a variety of educational experiences that aim to bridge academia and practice. Through our distinctive and diverse set of courses, workshop series, and a nationally-recognized internship program, we provide students with a unique combination of the theoretical foundation and practical skills they need to excel in the study and practice of public policy. Representing diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, our graduates emerge as critical thinkers, problem-solvers and engaged leaders dedicated to the betterment of their local, national, and global communities.
Housed in the Department of Political Science, the CAPPA accredited MA in Public Policy and Public Administration will enable you to develop and apply advanced social science research to issues of democratic governance. Working alongside distinguished faculty members, you will gain insight into analyzing complex political situations in order to provide expert strategic advice. Our researchers are currently engaged in various projects that receive financial support, including research focussing on gender mainstreaming, street-level bureaucracy and immigration policy. The Department of Political Science is also home to the Concordia University Research Chair in Aging and Public Policy.
The MA in Public Policy and Public Administration provides an experiential learning environment where you will gain unparalleled access to academic and professional training to help you succeed in public sector organizations, including the public service and non-governmental organizations. Coursework and events organized through the Workshops of Social Science Research provide opportunities to make valuable connections with political leaders, senior-level bureaucrats, judges, political pundits and academics, while developing skills in policy analysis and research methods.
Students enrolled in the internship option benefit from a four-month job placement in the public or private sector during the final semester of their studies. The majority of our students secure paid internships with government agencies in Ottawa and Montreal, but many others have found opportunities in Geneva, Washington, Prague and elsewhere around the world. Around 95 per cent of our internship students are bridged into full- or part-time positions immediately following their placement.
An undergraduate honours degree or the equivalent is required. Students who do not have the necessary background in public policy and public administration may be required to take specific undergraduate courses in addition to the regular program. In certain cases, applicants may be required to complete a qualifying program in order to be eligible for admission to the graduate program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
Core Courses. All students must complete two 3-credit core courses, POLI 636 - Theories of Public Policy and Public Administration, and POLI 644 - Research Methods. In addition, students in Options A or B must take one of the following five courses: POLI 600 or POLI 604 or POLI 618 or POLI 622 or POLI 624.
Language Requirement. Students in the Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Public Policy and Public Administration) Option B Internship are expected to demonstrate an ability to read and understand literature relevant to their field in French.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Public Policy and Public Administration)
Option A (Courses Only)
Core Courses. POLI 636, 644, and one of the following five courses: POLI 600 or 604 or 618 or 622 or POLI 624 (9 credits).
Concentration Courses. Four 3-credit courses chosen from the subfield of Public Policy and Administration (12 credits).
Approved Elective and Cognate Courses. Four 3-credit courses chosen from any of the following subfields: Canadian and Quebec Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, Political Theory, or POLI 601 - Research Design, or from cognate courses offered in related disciplines. For cognate courses, approval of the Director is required. In some cases approval for registration in cognate courses must be obtained from the department involved (12 credits).
Extended Research Essay. POLI 691. The Extended Research Essay is a directed study supervised by a faculty member with whom a student completed a course in their area of concentration. Requiring additional research, this degree requirement builds on a term paper submitted at the graduate level in a concentration course and is considered to be a significant revision and extension of that paper, with an extensive bibliography (12 credits).
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Public Policy and Public Administration)
Option B (Internship)
Language Requirement: All Option B candidates must pass an examination in French based on a test administered by the Department. This exam consists of translating a passage of literature, relevant to the field, from French into English.
Core Courses. POLI 636, 644, and one of the following five courses POLI 600 or 604 or 618 or 622 or 624 (9 credits).
Concentration Courses. Three 3-credit courses chosen from the subfield of Public Policy and Administration (9 credits).
Approved Elective and Cognate Courses. Two 3-credit courses chosen from the following subfields: Canadian and Quebec Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, Political Theory, or POLI 601 - Research Design, or from cognate courses offered in related disciplines. For cognate courses, approval of the Director is required. In some cases approval for registration in cognate courses must be obtained from the department involved (6 credits).
Internship with Research Paper. POLI 693. The internship is a four-month job placement in either the public or private sector. Under the direction of a faculty supervisor, the student prepares an original, theoretical work that comprises a series of policy recommendations that contribute to the policy process in Canada (21 credits).
Statement of purpose (500 words maximum) should describe applicant's academic interest and relevant experience, primary area of concentration, preferred program option, and expectations and goals. Students should also explain why they are a good candidate for the program
Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
Master’s students are eligible for a variety of scholarships and fellowships, Research assistant and Teaching assistant positions, conference travel awards and other in-course funding.
Consideration for Entrance Awards is automatically part of the admissions process for all new students. Upon admission, students will also be considered for the Department of Political Science’s Dr. Everett Price Graduate Scholarship which is awarded to an incoming student on the basis of academic merit.
The Department of Political Science is also pleased to offer the Leo Tavormina Memorial Entrance Bursary ($500), which is awarded to an incoming student on the basis of financial need.
We encourage students seeking admission to our program to apply for funding from external sources in the final year of their undergraduate studies (e.g. FRQSC, SSHRC).
During a four-month internship, you will gain hands-on experience under professional supervision. Many internships evolve into temporary or permanent employment positions, and students are often paid during their placement.
Examples of past internship sites include:
Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Canada
City of Montreal
Global Affairs Canada
Employment & Social Development Canada
Environment & Climate Change Canada
Global Health Program – McGill University
Government of Colombia
Government of Mexico – Legislature
International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) – Geneva
International Bureau of Children's Rights
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Our faculty members are active researchers who contribute to the field in the areas of constitutional law, comparative politics, policy making, political theory, international relations, public administration, Canadian politics, Quebec politics, nationalism, federalism, and public opinion. They encourage deliberative democracy in classrooms, academic functions, and departmental decisions.
Faculty research interests include:
Canadian and comparative public policy
feminist and critical policy studies
international relations and non-governmental organizations
Recent initiatives of the PSGSA include a graduate student conference in which students from Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada present their work and foster dialogue across multiple fields and disciplines. Past conference themes have included “Political and Economic Crises and their Implications,” “Challenges, Disconnects, and Clashes in Political Studies” and “Trends and Dynamics in Global Politics.”
The Political Science Graduate Student Journal is an annual publication produced by a team of graduate students in the Department of Political Science. The journal promotes the work of students from all levels of graduate studies and from a variety of research areas.
Our alumni are highly sought after by federal agencies and departments, universities, industry associations, patent offices, provincial programs, colleges, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. Graduates are working as analysts, advisors, directors, special programs officers, assistants, program evaluators, chief accountants, internal auditors and managers.
Examples of organizations and institutions our alumni are currently working for include: