Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Queen's MPA is a one-year, multi-disciplinary program for full-time students. The program has been preparing students at the entry and mid-career levels for leadership roles in public service and policy-making for more than thirty-five years. Graduates hold positions as ministers and senior officials in all three levels of government, as well as providing leadership in hospitals, community organizations and national associations across Canada.

The program's emphasis is on public policy, and the broad social, economic and political context within which public organizations operate. The program aims to develop policy leaders. Policy leadership requires skills in policy analysis and the capacity to implement new solutions. Policy and management are clearly interdependent. Without an understanding of the basic purposes that public organizations seek to achieve through policy, management is an empty process. Without the management skills to translate commitment into action, policy goals are empty promises.

Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom

At Queen’s School of Policy Studies, we believe in the value of experiential learning and strive to incorporate the practical application of skills as a major component of the learning experience. During orientation, we immersed our students in Kingston’s policy world. For two days, students explored some of the challenges that the City of Kingston faces, showcased some of the amazing innovations and forward thinking taking place here and gained insights into how governing institutions work at a municipal level.

From meeting with the Mayor to the Deputy Chief of Kingston Police Force and the Warden of Collins Bay Institution, students also get to observe different styles of leadership.

Study tours are invaluable learning experiences that enrich policy studies and benefit students in many ways. For our graduates to be effective in the workforce, they need not only strong policy skills, but also a keen awareness of how policy interventions require collaboration across public, private and voluntary sectors. The study tour program is multidisciplinary and experiential, bringing together elements of culture, economics, politics, finance, and management. It encourages students to be directly involved in a learning experience rather than being recipients of ready-made content in the form of lectures. These experiences outside the classroom are integrated with the goals and objectives of our policy curriculum. Outcomes for students include personal growth, a broadening of personal perspective and empathy with respect to different sectors, and even better performance in regular academic settings.

Study Tour Program Objectives are to:

  • Broaden horizons – immerse students in a new policy environment; hear different perspectives; share observations and thoughts, and be open to new ideas and attitudes
  • Develop Cross-sectoral Intelligence: the ability to look at policy issues from different sectoral perspectives and a deeper understanding of policy interdependence between the public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Understand better how decisions are made and things get done
  • Discover how governing institutions operate within a municipal, provincial and federal environment
  • Observe styles of leadership
  • Build confidence and learn to value the skills and techniques needed for personal and team success

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How to Apply

Admission to the MPA Program

MPA admission candidates will hold a four-year undergraduate degree, with a minimum B+ standing (3.3 GPA) in EACH of their last two years of study (or the equivalent). However, to be truly competitive, candidates should have an A- standing (3.7 GPA) in their last two years of study. Candidates who earned their previous degree from a university outside of Canada or U.S. must submit a GRE score as part of their application.

The School of Policy Studies is committed to equity and diversity in education and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society.

MPA applications received before 19 April 2024 will receive full consideration; after this date, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


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Download the MPA Program Brochure

Download the MPA Program Brochure
[PDF 4.7 MB]

The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs has launched the Graduate Inclusivity Fellows program. This year, Graduate Inclusivity Fellows will support recruitment efforts by connecting with prospective and incoming graduate students, and responding to their questions from a graduate student perspective.

Prospective and incoming students can easily submit questions to one of our fellows and connect with them through our Ask a Grad Student website.

Our fellows have been trained to respond to a wide range of questions about Queen’s for both masters and PhD students, and have also been trained to redirect questions related to program and admission requirements, supervision, and registration to relevant program and SGSPA contacts.

  • Application form (online). If you cannot complete the online application, please contact for a paper application.
  • Two academic recommendations are required, typically from professors under whom the applicant has studied
  • If your previous degree is NOT from a Canadian or U.S. university, you will be required to submit a GRE score. There are no exceptions to this rule. The minimum GRE score requirements are: Verbal Reasoning - 152; Quantitative Reasoning - 149; Analytical Writing - 3.8. We are unable to comment on the competitiveness of scores as this depends on the annual pool of applicants. GRE scores must be received directly from the issuing agency.*
  • Statement of Interest (4000 characters)
  • Transcripts:
  1. Official transcripts can be uploaded to the online applications, as PDF files. The transcripts must be scanned (black and white recommended) and saved as a PDF file, and uploaded successfully.
    In these unusual circumstances, the School of Graduate Studies will work with whatever arrangements applicants are dealing with. We need the final transcripts for our processes—the documentation is required. But, we can accept the transcript from the issuing university as a pdf or similar document, or any other electronic format, or by fax if that helps. If for some reason the issuing university cannot produce official transcripts, we can accept unofficial transcripts if they are generated and sent by the issuing university and as long as all parties understand an official hard copy transcript will still be required, eventually. We cannot accept any version of any transcripts from applicants directly by email.
    Transcripts can be emailed to or our fax number is 1-613-533-6015. Canada Post services on campus is still operational 2 days per week, so we can pick up and process mail, including transcripts, 2 times per week (mailing address - School of Graduate Studies, Queen's University, Gordon Hall Room 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6). But, our office building is closed to the public currently, so courier deliveries (ie FedEX, UPS, Purolator, etc.) cannot be processed for now.
  2. If a transcript or transcripts cannot be successfully uploaded to the online applications, applicants are responsible for ensuring that an official transcript or transcripts of all current and previous university-level studies are sent to the School of Graduate Studies by all universities previously attended. All hard copy transcripts received as part of an application for admission must be received in sealed envelopes.
  3. Final transcript: hard copy original official transcript showing degree completion and conferral, will be required from all applicants who accept an offer of admission to graduate studies at Queen's University. These final transcripts are to be sent directly from the issuing institutions to the School of Graduate Studies, in sealed envelopes. Official transcripts are NOT REQUIRED for any study of any kind carried out at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. The School of Graduate Studies will access the student record directly for applicants who have attended or are currently attending Queen's University.

*Transcripts and GRE scores are to be sent from the issuing university and testing center to the following address:

School of Graduate Studies
Gordon Hall, Room 425
74 Union Street
Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 CANADA

Admission decisions are made on a competitive basis among qualified applicants each year. As the number of applications greatly exceeds the number of available places, not all qualified candidates will be offered admission. An applicant should note that no decision on admission can be made until the applicant's file is complete. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that Queen's has received all documents. You may check online to see if your file is complete.

The review of MPA applications will take place in March. Successful MPA candidates may expect to receive notice of their admission no later than 15 April. A second review of MPA applications, being held on a waiting list, may take place in the early summer or later, as places become available prior to the start of classes in September.

Formal offers of admission are issued by the School of Graduate Studies.

Please see the Graduate Tuition details here:

1. Graduate students who do not enroll in the Payment Plan must pay tuition and fees by the due date of each term enrolled (September 30 for Fall term, January 10 for Winter term and May 1 for Summer term).

2. Ancillary Fees have mandatory and optional components. Please see your respective student government website for more details about Ancillary Fees.

3. The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is applied at the single rate to all International Students. Coverage for dependent family members who will be in Canada with you is mandatory at an additional cost. Visit for more information.

General Information on tuition and fees for the graduate programs can be found through the Office of the University Registrar. Be sure to also review the university's Fee Policies.

Application Deadlines: April 19, 2024

For further information, please contact:


MPA Courses

Students in the MPA program must complete 12 courses (3.0 credits), normally taking 5 courses in each of the fall and winter terms and 2 in the summer term. They may choose to complete a Master's Research Project, in lieu of 2 elective courses.

MPA students normally complete seven required courses from the following four groups:

1. Political and Institutional Analysis

2. Economic and Quantitative Analysis

And at least one of:

3. Management

4. Policy Process

  • MPA 810 - Introduction to Public Administration (Fall)

    This course introduces basic policy concepts, the policy process and elements of the machinery of government in the first term, showing the links between the foundations of policy analysis and contemporary public issues. In the second term this course creates a framework to integrate the concepts of policy analysis with those of policy implementation.

Students may take at least six elective courses, typically, four in the winter and two in the spring. Students may choose to take elective courses offered by the School of Policy Studies or related graduate courses offered by other academic departments or professional schools at Queen's University, with prior approval of the School.

Winter 2024

Summer 2024

Scholarship Opportunities

There are 10 Academic Excellence Awards available to new Master’s students (entering Year 1 as of Fall term) valued $15,000 for one year. Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have achieved a first-class average (equivalent to an A- or better at Queen’s), in each of the last two completed years of study (full-time equivalent), are eligible to be considered for the AEA.

Prospective new students who have also applied, or who will apply, to NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR, need not make a separate AEA application—we will use their tri-council application to considered them for the AEA. The online application is for prospective new students who are eligible to be considered for the AEA, but who did not submit an application for the current tri-council competition.

The online application to the Academic Excellence Award (AEA) has not been announced for 2021-2022 at this time. Details about the award, and a link to the online application when and if available, can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website. More details, including the deadlines, are available here.

Some of the most common questions students have when both applying to and once enrolled in graduate school relate to funding their degree. Queen’s offers a range of opportunities for students to receive financial support.

Find out more about funding opportunities for Indigenous students by visiting the School of Graduate Studies website.

Students should apply for all scholarships and awards for which they are eligible and many apply in the fall prior to starting a graduate degree program. Check the agency websites for eligibility requirements and instructions about how to apply.

Eligible CGS holders who identify Queen's as their destination of choice (host institution) are automatically considered for Queen's Tri-Agency Recipient Recognition Awards, which are valued at $5,000 for master's students and $10,000 for PhD students.

The Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) promote excellence in graduate studies at the master's and doctoral levels. OGS awards are merit-based scholarships available to graduate students in all graduate disciplines in Ontario Universities. Eligible students apply for OGS through each university for which they have applied.

Scholarship Value: $15,000 for one academic year, normally paid out in 3 equal installments. The award is not renewable.

Where can my MPA degree take me?

pie chart

  Queen's MPA Graduates:
  Employment by Sector

Government of Canada [image] Government of Canada (25%)
Government of Ontario [image] Government of Ontario (24%)
Other Provincial/Territorial Governments  [image] Other Provincial/Territory Governments (4%)
Municipal Governments [image] Municipal Governments (6%)
Private Sector [image] Private Sector (16%)
includes consulting, financial services, professional associations
Not For Profit [image] Not-for-Profit (4%)
Education [image] Education (11%)
includes colleges, universities, schools, school boards
Health  [image] Health (9%)
includes community health and health institutions
Other sectors [image] Other (1%)