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Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies (BA)

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Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program type
Primary campus
Sir George Williams (SGW)
3 to 4 years
Start term
Fall, Winter
Experiential learning

Why study Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies?

When you study public policy, policy advocacy and community economic development, you’ll graduate ready to jump into the policy-making process in private, public and community sectors.

Our bilingual program is energized by our students, who bring a diverse range of backgrounds and a broad spectrum of community experience to each class. You study in small, congenial groups and are encouraged to pursue another Arts or Science program at the same time.

Combining academics with activism strengthens your experience. You’ll hone your sensitivity to social, economic and political factors influencing the public policy process and explore such values as:

  • Social and economic justice
  • Equity
  • Participatory citizenship and democracy
  • Cultural pluralism

You integrate the theoretical with the practical. You can do an internship, and we ground our work through close relationships with community organizations, public and private institutions, and unions.

Program highlights

  • Bilingual program
  • Enriching mix of theory and practice
  •  Course topics include social justice, equity, participatory citizenship and democracy, cultural pluralism and an internship option

Program structure

A Bachelor of Arts degree takes a minimum of three or four years (90 – 120 credits) of full-time study, depending on your academic background.

Program options

  • Major in Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies (42 credits)



The policy process cannot be conveyed successfully without access to a “real world” laboratory. Hence, the BA Major in Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies emphasizes practical experience to help students develop the judgment necessary to complement traditional academic training. Drawing on an innovative combination of theory and practice, the SCPA helps its students to become familiar with the fundamental intellectual tools that will enable them not only to formulate their own educated critique of their sociopolitical environment, but also to participate actively and knowledgeably in the improvement of that environment.

The internship is an important training ground. Because it demands active and imaginative responses, the internship experience is an opportunity to test theory and formulate new approaches. In addition, this period of practice is a time when our students can familiarize members of the larger community with our program, its aims and its achievements.

Support for our internship is consistently positive. Government, business and community leaders have been helpful in advising and placing our students. The experience is one that adds a very important practical dimension to our program. Success in an internship enhances a student's potential, whatever career path is chosen.

United States students: A U.S. Federal Student Aid-eligible version of this program is offered. This version meets all U.S. regulations (such as no co-operative education or e-courses) for eligible programs.

Admission criteria

Minimum cut-off averages and course requirements

Additional requirements for admission

  • Interviews are conducted by phone, Zoom or in person. Please email Perry Calce, Coordinator Academic Programs and Curriculum Development at for an appointment.
  • English and French placement/proficiency test

Minimum cut-off averages should be used as indicators. The cut-off data may change depending on the applicant pool. Applicants who meet the stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission to these programs.

Application deadlines

Fall term


March 1 is the deadline to apply for fall term entry. International students are encouraged to apply by February 1 to allow sufficient time for CAQ and study permit application processing.

Winter term


November 1 is the deadline to apply for winter term entry. International students are encouraged to apply by September 1 to allow sufficient time for CAQ and study permit application processing.

Not all programs are available for winter term entry. Please check program availability for the term, before you start your application.

We reserve the right to close admission to a program at any time after the official deadline without prior notice.

After your degree

There are many job opportunities for graduates with our combination of academic and practical experience in public affairs. Demand is strong, particularly if you are able to express yourself in both French and English. Depending upon your choice of discipline, you can expect to pursue such diverse occupations as:

  • Public affairs specialists in corporations
  • Civil servants at the local, provincial, national or international level
  • Public policy analysts and advisors to community and other organizations
  • Community group leaders and political organizers

Other programs of interest

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Political Science (BA)

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Women's Studies (BA, Cert)

Women’s studies is about examining the role of women in society both today and in the past, and recognizing their contributions to human achievement.



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