The School’s teaching staff also includes members from other Queen’s departments and from other universities as well as senior practitioners on an occasional or continuing basis.
The School of Policy Studies is located in Robert Sutherland Hall (138 Union Street), along with associated institutes, centres and programs and the School’s Publications Unit. These include the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, the Centre for International Rand Defence Policy, Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, and Health Policy Council.
Located in adjoining buildings are the departments of Economics, Political Studies, Sociology, Geography, Global Development Studies, and Women’s Studies in Mackintosh-Corry Hall and the Faculty of Law in Macdonald Hall. In close proximity is the School of Business in Goodes Hall, the Joseph S. Stauffer Library, the John Deutsch University Centre and the Queen’s Athletic and Recreation Centre.
Departmental facilities, including faculty and administrative offices, classrooms and small meeting rooms are all located in Sutherland Hall.
The approach to the study of public administration at Queen's School of Policy Studies is multidisciplinary, drawing on economics, political science, law, management and other disciplines. It is based on three premises.
First, the core of public administration is policy choice, design, implementation and evaluation.
Second, management and policy skills are inseparable. Without an understanding of policy goals, management in the public sector is a sterile exercise; without management skills, policy goals are empty promises.
Third, effectiveness in policy and administration requires a critical awareness of the economic, legal, political and social context in which they occur and of the need to weigh competing values.
The School of Policy Studies' Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree can be completed in one-year (three terms) of full-time study. The MPA is designed to meet the needs and interests of recent university graduates from many disciplines as well as career employees seeking to change or upgrade their qualifications.
A part-time Professional M.P.A. (PMPA) is also available to academically qualified applicants with a minimum of five years related employment experience.
In cooperation with the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University, the School also offers the combined degree program, the JD/MPA.
All candidates applying for full-time studies will be considered for financial support from Queen's University. Qualification for Queen's University awards is generally based on academic merit. These resources are limited, however. Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships and other major awards available from national, provincial and private agencies.
Applications are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. The normal minimum academic qualification for admission to the MPA and PMPA programs is a four-year bachelor's degree, with minimum B+ standing, in their last two years of study, or its equivalent.
Professional MPA candidates should also have five years of full-time work experience related to public policy or public management. Applicants with significant, relevant employment experience, with a bachelor’s degree of less than four years or equivalent will be considered on a case by case basis. Applicants, with significant employment experience, who do not meet the normal minimum academic qualification, must provide additional evidence of strong academic potential. This evidence normally involves completion of two courses at the fourth-year undergraduate or graduate level, with a minimum B+ standing in each course or completion of the Graduate Admission Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), with a minimum score at the 75 percentile in the verbal and analytical categories.
The MPA and PMPA programs provide advanced skills for professional employment in Canada's governments and other public, nonprofit and private sector organizations concerned with policy-making. Consequently, the curriculum focuses on public policy and management in Canada.
International students considering admission to the MPA program should have some prior knowledge of Canadian government and politics and an interest in extending their knowledge in these fields. Any applicant whose native languages do not include English must submit evidence of their proficiency in English. A TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test or 600 on the paper-based test is required for admission.
Program admissions are normally limited each year to seventy (70) full-time and thirty-five (35) part-time students.
Associate Dean and Director
Brock, K.L., Mabee, W.
Continuing Adjunct Faculty
Graham, A., Knutsen, W.1
Banting, K.G., Courchene, T.J., Harrison, P., Williams, T.R., Wolfe, R.D.
Finlayson, M., Gilron, I., Green, M., Hunter, D., Johnson, A., Lamp, N., Mabee, W.E., Muscedere, J., Nossal, K.R., Reznick, R., Simpson, C., Walker, D.M.C.
NOTE: Most courses are 3.0 credit units in weight; however MPA 808, MPA 823 and MPA 824 are 1.5 credit units in weight. MPA 825 is 6.0 credit units in weight. Courses with the prefix PADM are no longer offered.
MPA 800 Governing Institutions
An examination of the institutions and processes involved in addressing policy problems. While particular attention is given to Canadian governments, the course considers other influences on the decision making process emanating from the third sector and the global environment. Fall. K. Brock.
MPA 802 Applied Policy Analysis
This course introduces students to a broad range of research strategies, methods and techniques used in policy analysis. It explores recent developments in analytical techniques, with particular reference to their underlying assumptions and their relevance to problems facing policy analysts and decision makers. Winter. E. Lang.
MPA 804 Principles of Economics
This course introduces basic concepts in microeconomics and macroeconomics to students who have had limited exposure to economics. It focuses on issues relevant to the public sector. Fall. C. Cotton./B. Kashi
MPA 805 Quantitative Analysis
This course introduces basic statistics and multivariate regression to students. The focus is on interpreting quantitative information contained in reports and studies commonly found in the public sector. Fall. M. Munezhi.
MPA 806 Analytical Tools for Policy Research
This course introduces students to a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and helps them understand their use and limitation in policy research. Students will apply selected techniques, interpret data, assess results and report findings relating to specific policy issues. Open to PMPA students only. Summer TBD.
MPA 808 Analytical Methods for Public Policy
This course provides intermediate level training in applied statistics for students studying public and non profit management, policy analysis, and related areas. The aim is to provide students with the knowledge of analytical methods to effectively and responsibly interpret and apply statistical analysis conducted by others.1.5 credit hours. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 809 Implementing Public Policy
This course provides students with a broad understanding of how to implement and sustain public policies once they move from concept to reality. The overall focus is on the leadership and management of public organizations. The focus is on understanding the main drivers of successful policy implementation and how to sustain that over time. Those drivers are people, financial resources, information and infrastructure.
MPA 810 Introduction to Public Administration
This course introduces basic policy, analysis and communication concepts for students beginning their MPA. It provides an overview of the elements of public administration that will be taught in further core and optional courses. (3.0 credit units). Fall E. Lang.
MPA 811 Government, Society and Public Policy
This course looks at the role of the state and the interaction between the state and society in making fundamental choices in western nations. It examines a number of theories of the state, and then explores major challenges to contemporary governance, such as globalization, nationalism, the politics of diversity, and changing conceptions of democracy. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 812 Law and Public Policy
An examination of the ways in which common law and constitutional law shape the exercise of statutory authority, with special reference to how judicial review influences policy making. Winter. TBD.
MPA 813 How Governments Decide
Successful government depends upon the smooth meshing of the political and bureaucratic dimensions of the state. This course examines how different governments organize, staff and operate their executive management systems. A second theme is to highlight the necessity of global comparison to gain knowledge through reference to different public policies and processes. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 814 Intergovernmental Policy
This course examines how policy making and the substance of policy are affected by federalism. Attention focuses on patterns of interaction among governments, and between governments and organized interests in Canada, and in other federal or quasi federal systems. A major subject is how such patterns of interaction are affected by the structure of political institutions, the allocation of powers, and fiscal considerations. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 815 Economic Analysis
This course focuses on economic issues relevant to the public sector. A variety of microeconomic and macroeconomic topics related to the analysis of policy issues in included. Not offered 2021-22.
PREREQUISITE: MPA 804 or equivalent
MPA 816 Quantitative Program Evaluation
This course focuses on program evaluation and cost benefit analysis including program theory, impact analysis and implementation analysis. Winter. C. Cotton/B. Kashi
PREREQUISITE: MPA 805 or equivalent
MPA 817 Impact Analysis Capstone
This one week intensive course explores practical issues involving cost benefit analysis, feasibility analysis, right fit evaluation design, and the structuring of innovative financing agreements. Students will gain hands on experience with analytical tools related to policy and project design, implementation, financing, monitoring and evaluation. Summer. C. Cotton/B. Kashi
PREREQUISITE: MPA 804 & MPA 816 or equivalent.
MPA 823 Public Policy Leadership
This course introduces students to concepts of leadership and their applicability to the analysis, development and implementation of public policies, with the objective of enhancing their effectiveness in the workplace. Through readings, presentations and independent study, as well as group exercises and case studies, students will learn to distinguish between leadership and management, develop an appreciation of the qualities for successful leadership in public policy and begin to assess their own strengths and weaknesses for leadership roles. They will also compare diverse models of leadership in western organizations and indigenous communities. (1.5 credit units) Fall. J. Merchant.
MPA 824 Policy Leadership in Practice
Building on the first year core curriculum, students will identify and assess the competencies for effective policy leadership to mobilize human and material resources to transform good ideas into effective actions with measurable results. Through simulations and case studies, led by proven policy leaders, students will analyze the successful or failed application of leadership and followership qualities in the development and implementation of policy responses to real world problems. (1.5 credit units). Fall.
PREREQUISITE: MPA 823
MPA 825 Policy Integration Project
This team project provides an integrative experience, requiring students to apply their learning to a specific policy issue through the stages of problem definition, research and analysis, diagnostic recommendations, stakeholder identification and engagement, implementation issues including budgeting, communications and measuring performance. Students will produce a set of incremental papers and presentations, culminating in a complete project plan. (6.0 credit units) Fall. J. Merchant.
PREREQUISITE: MPA 824
MPA 826 Ethics in the Public Service
This course examines ethical problems that typically arise in the formulation and implementation of public policy. It considers how conceptions of ethical problems have shifted over time; strategies for thinking about and resolving ethical issues; and the design of institutional arrangements that minimize the risk of harm from ethical lapses in the public sector..
MPA 827 Financial Management in the Public Sector
An examination of the principles of financial management applicable to the public sector, including an introduction to budgeting, financial planning, capital and current expenditure forecasting and program costing. Summer.
MPA 832 Defence Management
This course examines key policy decisions that shape the formulation and administration of defence policy in Canada. Seminars will be constructed around various current policy and administrative issues including applied defence economics and budgeting; personnel administration; capital procurement; armed forces and society; and the governmental and Canadian Forces organization for national defence.
MPA 836 Health and Public Policy in Canada
This course introduces students to the social, economic and political forces that shape health policy, and the institutions that are responsible for its design and implementation. The course also surveys some of the major current issues in the field.
EXCLUSION: EPID 803 Health Services and Policy Applications
MPA 838 Economic Analysis of Health Policy
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to economic concepts and analysis relevant to health, health care and health care systems. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 839 Social Policy
This course examines the historical development of the welfare state in Canada in comparison with other western nations. It focuses on the major social security programs and their recent restructuring in response to demographic, economic and political changes at the national and international levels. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 840 Economics of Social Policy
This course applies microeconomic analysis to the field of social policy. The course briefly considers the role of economics in policy analysis and the rationale for government intervention. Policy areas to be analyzed may include: poverty, income maintenance, unemployment insurance, welfare, childcare, child benefits, the retirement system.
MPA 843 Trade and Public Policy
This course offers an introduction to the public policy issues associated with international trade, with particular reference to the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a key institution in global governance. Consideration will also be given to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Commercial exchanges across borders affect most domains of daily life and public policy in the era of globalization. Trade affects our lives at home, and our relations with people far away. Part of the interdisciplinary MPA program, which aims to prepare students to provide policy advice in diverse policy domains, this course supplements what students learn in both the economics and governance core courses. The course does not require prior background in economics or international relations. While obviously relevant to Global Affairs Canada, the issues covered touch on the work of many departments in Ottawa and all the provinces, from health standards through climate change to international development. The course objective is to provide an introduction to trade policy and institutions through a detailed examination of one issue on the trade agenda, whether in a multilateral or regional context. Through close study of the issue s/he chooses, students will become familiar with the analytic concepts and empirical resources necessary for an understanding of trade and public policy. Required readings will draw heavily on Understanding the WTO available at https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/tif_e.htm and on Redesigning Canadian Trade Policy for New Global Realities, available at http://irpp.org/research/trade/ ;
Offered jointly with LAW 455 with additional work required for graduate students.
EXCLUSION: LAW 455
MPA 844 Canadian Economic Policy
This course brings an economic perspective to major policy issues facing Canada and its trading partners. The topics selected for discussion will vary from year to year. This course assumes that students have completed a basic course in economic analysis. (Offered jointly with ECON 881.) Winter.
MPA 846 Public Policy Issues in Africa
This course presents students with an introduction to policy making in Africa with a particular focus on Ghana. It will examine the influence of history and context upon policy actors, structures and policy choices. The role of the state, civil society, external actors and institutions in policy making and shaping policy outcomes will be explored. The major challenges to policy making and policy development in Africa will be discussed. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (Delivered at the University of Ghana, Legon to the participants in the SPS University of Ghana interchange program). TBD.
MPA 847 Environmental Policy
This course surveys the factors that influence the actions of major institutions, such as governments, industry and public interest groups, with respect to environmental issues. It looks for broad designations of competing approaches, such as command and control versus incentive based instruments, to such tasks as the setting of standards, regulation and compliance, management of risks and the realization of effective public participation. It also attempts to look behind the pragmatic policy formulations to identify the fundamental values that shape attitudes toward environmental issues. Winter. TBD.
MPA 848 Immigration Policy in Canada
This course examines the factors contributing to the development of immigration policy in Canada, the changing trends in immigration in Canada, the impact of immigration and refugee movements on public policies and programs, jurisdictional issues and the role of nongovernmental organizations. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 849 Behavioural Public Finance
Behavioural public finance introduces students to a psychologically rich perspective on human behaviour for economic analysis. This powerful new framework reshapes core public finance concepts such as moral hazard, deadweight loss and incidence, and provides a deeper analysis of government intervention, market failure and social welfare. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 850 Risk Management
Every day governments manage risks, from the safety of new chemicals to security from terrorism, from ongoing financial risks at the aggregate level to financial risks at the individual program/policy level. Managing risks and ensuring accountability is especially challenging when public services are delivered by third parties. This course reviews basic concepts used to assess and manage risks, and to communicate risk to the public. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 851 Public Policy, Health and the Third Sector
This course examines the diverse nature of the third sector, its role in health policymaking and service delivery, and the evolving relationship among governments, nonprofits, and the private sector. Key issues may include health policy implementation, jurisdicational relationships and roles, and financial and management challenges. (3.0 credit units)
MPA 852 Stakeholder Management
This course is designed to familiarize students with various forms of political participation and representation in Canada. The course examines practical approaches and tools for fostering stakeholder engagement in decision making. Students will also learn how to plan and design a stakeholder engagement initiative. Not offered 2021-22.
MPA 853 Topics in Public Policy and the Third Sector
This course focuses on selected topics relating to public policy and the third sector. The content may vary from year to year.
MPA 857 Policy Issues and Debate in China
This course presents students with a introduction to terms and dialogue used in current policy debates in China. It will provide students with a general introduction to Mandarin Chinese and focus on terms that are often used in debates and dialogues with officials. Students will also be taught the interpretation of certain expressions and phrases that politicians in China commonly use and in what contexts should they be employed. (Delivered at Fudan University, China, to participants in the SPS Fudan interchange program.) TBD.
MPA 858 Chinese Economic Reform
This course is broadly concerned with the political economy of the economic reform in China. It will also provide students with a general introduction to the Chinese history, geography, culture and pre reform economic system. With this background in place students will learn lessons from recent Chinese experience concerning privatization and the reform of the state owned enterprises, dual economy and reforms in rural and financial sectors, impacts of deregulation and reforming of state monopolies. Finally, students will discuss globalization and the current challenges facing the Chinese economy. (Delivered at Fudan University, China, to participants in the SPS Fudan interchange program.) TBD.
MPA 859 Indigenous Law and Policy
An introduction to Indigenous and Canadian Law (treaties, legislation, cases and practice) and how it affects the lives of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada.
MPA 890 Internship
This course allows students to combine their formal academic studies with a cooperative or internship work placement with a government department or other public sector organization, for a minimum of a 10 week period in approved positions. The internship is normally scheduled in the summer term, and will be graded on pass/fail basis. Placements may be paid or unpaid. This is a 3.0 credit unit course, and can count towards the requirements of the degree. Summer and Fall terms.
MPA 891 Topics in Health Policy
This course focuses on selected topics in health policy. The content may vary from year to year.
MPA 892 Topics in Social Policy
This course focuses on selected topics in social policy. The content may vary from year to year.
MPA 893 Special Topics
This seminar, offered by a regular or visiting faculty, focuses on a topic related to the faculty member's specific research interests and expertise.
MPA 894 Professional Placement
This field course provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge, enhance their professional skills and gain practical experience by combining formal studies with a cooperative or internship work placement. Students selected by host employers are placed with a government agency normally for a minimum 10 week period in approved positions. To consolidate their learning from this practical experience, participating students are required to submit a final report, in accordance with specific guidelines, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Placements may be paid or unpaid. This is a 3.0 credit unit course, and can count towards the requirements of the degree. Summer and Fall terms.
MPA 895 Topics in Public Management
This course focuses on selected topics in public management. The content may vary from year to year.
MPA 896 Topics in Public Policy
This course focuses on selected topics in public policy. The content may vary from year to year.
MPA 897 Directed Reading
This course is designed for individual students with special interests that may not be satisfied through course offerings in a given year. It will normally be a directed reading course, under the close supervision of an assigned faculty member with expertise in the chosen subject field. Permission of the Graduate Coordinator required.
MPA 898 Master's Research Project
Other Elective Courses
The School also offers other elective courses each year, typically in the spring term. The specific topics of the seminars vary annually but generally include issues in economic and social policy, public management, urban government, regulatory administration, etc. A list of spring courses is available from the School in the late fall. These courses are offered under the following numbers, MPA 860 to MPA 889 .