Skip to main content

Calgary SPP

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

MPP/MPA Curricular Types
Program Rankings by Curricular Attributes
Curriculum Comparison Tables - North America
Curriculum Comparison Tables - Outside N. America
Professional Program Features
Patterns in Specialization
Comparisons with International Affairs Programs
PA & IA Degrees from THE Top 50
Noteworthy Practices
Credit and Course Equivalencies
MPP/MPA Core Competencies
PEACO Algorithm
Albany Rockefeller
American SPA
ANU Crawford
Arizona State SPA
Beijing Normal
Berkeley Goldman
Bocconi Milan
Brunei IPS
Calgary SPP
Cambridge POLIS
Canberra SGP
Carleton SPPA
Carnegie Heinz
Chicago Harris
Colorado SPA
Columbia SIPA
Concordia DPS
Cornell CIPA
Dalhousie SPA
Duke Sanford
Edinburgh AoG
ÉNAP Québec
Exeter Politics
FGV Brazil
Florida Askew
GW Trachtenberg
Georgia SPIA
Glasgow SSPS
Griffith GBS
Harvard Kennedy
Hertie Berlin
Hong Kong DPPA
Illinois Chicago
Indiana SPEA
Jindal Delhi
Kansas SPAA
King's SSPP
LSE Inst Pub Aff
LSE Government
Macquarie PIR
Maryland SPP
Melbourne MSG
Michigan Ford
Michigan State PS
Moncton DAP
New Mexico SPA
New South Wales
NYU Wagner
North Carolina
Northwestern SPS
Ohio Glenn
Oregon PPPM
Ottawa GSPIA
Ottawa SPS
Oxford BSG
Pennsylvania Fels
Pittsburgh GSPIA
Princeton Wilson
Queen Mary SPIR
Queen's SPS
Rutgers SPAA
Ryerson DPPA
Sac State PPA
Sask-Regina JSGS
SciencesPo Paris
SF State DPA
Simon Fraser SPP
Singapore LKY
Stanford GPPP
Sydney GIR
Sydney GSG
Syracuse Maxwell
Tenn State CPSUA
Texas Johnson
Tokyo GraSPP
Toronto SPPG
UCLA Luskin
UC London SPP
USC Price
Victoria SPA
Vic Wellington
Virginia Batten
Warwick PAIS
Waterloo MPS
Washington Evans
Western LGP
York Glendon
Carleton Paterson
Columbia SIPA
Toronto Munk
NYU Wagner MPA with Int Spec'n
Rutgers (Bloustein)


MPP and MPA Programs

University of Calgary, School of Public Policy (SPP) - MPP 

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Calgary MPP was launched in 2011 by the School of Public Policy (SPP), a unit in the Faculty of Graduate Studies that was created in 2009. (See

Curriculum Design: The Calgary MPP one of the newer North American MPP programs, and is unusual in being designed to be completed in 12-months, including the summer semester. The Calgary MPP requires the equivalent of 11-one-semester courses to graduate. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 51% of their coursework in policy-oriented subjects and 49% in management-oriented subjects, and that they take about 27% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content. This places the Calgary MPP in the "low course requirement, management-oriented, higher math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Cambridge MPP and the Northwestern MPPA (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). The Calgary MPP provides access to a range of courses in a number of University of Calgary departments. Our PEACO calculations suggest that typical students take about 85% of their coursework in program-specific courses delivered in the School and 15% of their coursework outside the School. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Calgary MPP student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 67 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of about 16 course-weeks in Policy and Management Analysis and about 8 course-weeks in both Quantitative Methods and Leadership Skills. On the other hand, this student would graduate with well over the minimum competency requirements in Economic Analysis and Communication Skills. 

Professional Program Features: The teaching faculty at the Calgary SPP includes a number of former practitioners. The School website describes the Professional Development opportunities as follows: "As an MPP student you have numerous opportunities to add to your network of contacts by attending events with public policy leaders, alumni and employers. In addition to the weekly MPP Speaker Series where working professionals from numerous policy related fields visit the School for an interactive discussion with students, the School enables students to build their professional capabilities through sessions such as: creating job application documents for paid internships and post-graduation employment; social media and your job search; interview techniques; understanding the hiring cycle of various federal government departments;recruitment in the private sector and not for profit realm; how to leverage your capstone for employment-related purposes; ways to develop and sustain relationships with MPP alumni in Calgary, Canada, and beyond; professional development options available at the University of Calgary main campus; and opportunities in the City of Calgary to meet numerous professionals and build local contacts." (At, accessed 2 April 2015.) The Research section of the School website is found at and includes papers dated from 2008.

Program Summary


University: University of Calgary

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Degree: Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Marketing Approach: "Unlike traditional, theory-based graduate programs, the Master of Public Policy (MPP) enables students to solve a broad range of real-world policy problems. This practical, hands-on and intensive program is unlike any other policy program in Canada. Program components are guided by The School's three focus areas: Economic and Social Policy; International Policy; Energy and Environmental Policy. Students interested in pursuing a professional degree program in public policy that can be completed in 12 months through intensive study will find the Master of Public Policy (MPP) an ideal choice for a public policy role in the government, private sector, and not for profit realm. The School has graduates working in a diverse number of fields across Canada, and by joining the MPP program, you will have the ability to tie into this network of professionals. Students graduate with a comprehensive set of analytical and quantitative skills that enable them to formulate and implement policy across multiple business sectors. The School offers students a series of professional development sessions aimed at providing them the ability to obtain a paid summer internship and secure meaningful, policy related work upon graduation. Students regularly interact with MPP alumni employed in numerous fields while also developing professional contacts in Calgary and beyond." (At, accessed 2 April 2015.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: Approximately 30 (based on page 1 of the April 2013-March 2014 Annual Growth Review which states: "In September, we welcomed our third Master of Public Policy class consisting of 30 students..." (At, accessed 2 April 2015.)

Academic Unit within University: School of Public Policy, in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (see list of Departments & Programs at

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The University of Calgary's graduate programs are listed at: Master's degrees in economics and political science are delivered through the respective departments in the Faculty of Arts. There are professional Master's degrees in business, architecture, planning, education, nursing, social work, law, medicine, geographic information systems, public policy, sustainable energy development, geoscience, and engineering (at, accessed 2 April 2015) delivered through distinct academic units (departments, schools or faculties). There is no graduate program in international relations or development.

Posted Tuition: $20,492.88 for the one-year program for a full-time Canadian student; $30,739.35 for International students (at, accessed 2 April 2015) 

Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The MPP is a 12-month program primarily designed for full-time study. Program curriculum is guided by The School of Public Policy's three focus areas: Economic and Social Policy; International Policy; and Energy and Environmental Policy.  

Summary: Students are normally required to complete two preparatory courses, a block week course on effective writing and research skills, eight core courses (one of which involves completion of a capstone project in which they apply the skills they have learned to a well-defined issue of public policy) and two elective courses. The final product of the capstone project is expected to be a high quality research report. Work on the capstone project will be supervised by a School of Public Policy (SPP) faculty member and will typically also involve input from an expert in the private sector or government. Of the ten required courses beyond the preparatory stage, eight are mandatory. Required courses are designed for the MPP program and are taught by faculty appointed to or affiliated with the School of Public Policy. Depending on their background, students may be exempted from one or more of the mandatory courses. In such cases students will be required to replace the course from which they have been exempted with an approved elective course.

The remaining two courses are electives. The elective courses must be selected from graduate-level courses offered at the University of Calgary. In selecting electives, students need to be aware that they must satisfy the prerequisites for those courses. Examples of courses (see for which it has been determined that MPP students would typically have the necessary prerequisites are listed below.

Duration: 1 year "The Master of Public Policy is composed of three terms beginning with two preparatory courses in late August and ending with the completion of the capstone project 12 months later" (at, accessed 2 April 2015).

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 11: 10 one-semester courses plus 2 preparatory courses and a block-week course on effective writing and research skills (estimated at 1/3 course-equivalent each).

Note 1: The preparatory courses are five days with 5.5 contact hours per day for a total of 27.5 contact hours. If we assume this requires a total of 40 hours of in and outside class study this is roughly 1/3 of the estimated 120 hours of study associated with a normal one-semester course.

Number of Required Courses: 9 (including preparatory and block-week courses) 

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 2

Number of Courses Offered within Program: 18 Note 2: The Course Map below also lists courses from departments outside the School that are listed (see as examples of courses for which it has been determined that MPP students would typically have the necessary prerequisites.

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No

Internship Required: No

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes. School has a Career Specialist (see page 18 of, accessed 16 November 2013) and a series of professional development workshops.

Student-run Journal: No

Applied Projects:  PPOL-623: Capstone Project

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The list of required courses, with brief course summaries, can be found on the drop-down menus at: Four elective courses currently offered at the School are listed at These have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses are indicated by (R) and those used as "compass courses" for the Atlas are marked with an asterisk (*).

Course Syllabi Online: Syllabi for the courses offered by the School are provided at (accessed 2 April 2015).

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm. PPOL course are offered within the School. Required courses are marked (R).




Curricular Type Parameters

Number of Courses Required for Graduation


Math-Economics Subjects (EA, QM, Macro, Fin Markets)


Policy-Oriented Subjects


Management-Oriented Subjects


Enrolment-Adjusted Course Distribution

Analysis and Skill Subjects


  - Policy and Management Analysis


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative  and Analytic Methods


  - Leadership and Communication Skills


Institutions and Context Subjects


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability


  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts


Management Function Subjects


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sector Subjects


  - Macroeconomic Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




Competency Gap Analysis (in Course-Weeks of Instruction)

Course-Weeks in Core Subjects taken by Typical Student


Surplus or Shortfall Relative to Core Competency Requirement

  - Policy and Management Analysis (CCR = 18 course-weeks)


  - Economic Analysis (CCR = 12)


  - Quantitative Methods (CCR = 12)


  - Analytic Methods (CCR = 6)


  - Leadership Skills (CCR = 9)


  - Communication Skills (CCR = 3 courses)


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process (CCR = 18)


  - Ethics, Rights and Accountability (CCR = 6 courses)


  - Socioeconomic and Political Context (CCR = 6)


  - Global Context (CCR = 3)


  - Public Financial Management (CCR = 6)


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement (CCR = 6)


  - Human Resource Management (CCR = 3)


  - Information and Technology Management (CCR = 3)


  - Macroeconomic Policy (CCR = 6)


  - Environment and Sustainability (CCR = 3)


Subject-Matter Shortfall for Typical Student (Sum of Shortfalls)


Additional Parameters

Total Courses Listed


Courses Designated as Required (inc. Specialization Reqs)


Archetypal Public Affairs Subjects (P&MA, EA, QM, DI&PP)


Archetypal International Affairs Subjects (I&GC, ID, DS&FR)



Source: At and (accessed 2 April 2015)

Page Created By: Ian Clark on 18 November 2013, last updated 10 May 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program's structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

University of Calgary, School of Public Policy MPP Course Map
Courses Listed, organized by Public Policy and Management Subject

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PPOL 611.12 - Public Sector Management and Rule of Law
  Political Science 651: Policy Studies
  SGMA 701, Strategic Management

 Economic Analysis

  PPOL 601 - Foundations l – Analytical Foundations (R/3)
  PPOL 605 - Markets and Public Policy (R)
  PPOL 615 - Public Finances (R)

 Quantitative Methods

  PPOL 603 - Foundations Il – Empirical Analysis (R/3)

 Analytic Methods

  PPOL 609 - Decision Analysis (R)
  Economics 655, Cost/Benefit Analysis

 Leadership Skills

  HROD 691, Project Team Building and Interpersonal Skills
  HROD 721, Advanced Leadership and Technical Skills

 Communication Skills

  PPOL 613 - Effective Writing and Research Skills (R/3)
  PPOL 621 - Communicating Policy (R)
  COMS 605: Organizational Communication
  COMS 641: International and Intercultural Communication


Multiple Subjects

 Internships, Major Projects, Theses, Capstones, etc.

  PPOL 623 - Capstone Project (R)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PPOL 607 - Politics and Collective Choice (R)
  PPOL 619 - Governance and Public Policy (R)
  Political Science 617: Advanced Political Theory
  Political Science 631: Parties Elections and Representation
  Political Science 641: Selected Topics in Public Law
  COMS 627: Mass Media and Democracy

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

 Socioeconomic and Political Context

  PPOL 611.07 - The Multi-Faces of Israel
  SOWK 632, Social Policy and Social Justice
  Sociology 665, Seminar on Social Stratification and Inequality
  Sociology 671, Seminar on the Sociology of Families
  Sociology 677, Seminar in Sociology of Gender Relations
  COMS623: Social and Economic Impacts of Communication and Information Technology

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

  PPOL 611.06 - Foreign Policy Analysis

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

  Economics 653, Public Revenue Analysis

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

 Human Resource Management

  HROD 601, Managing Human Resources
  HROD745, Cross Cultural Leadership and Human Resources Management

 Information and Technology Management

 Local Government Management

 Regulatory Policy and Management

  PPOL 617 - Regulation and the Law (R)
  LAW 648, Securities Law
  Economics 635, Regulatory Economics

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  PPOL 611.03 - Tax Policy

 International Development

 Social Policy and Welfare

  PPOL 611.04 - Social Policy


  Economics 679, Health Economics I
  Economics 681, Health Economics II
  MDSC 659.06, Decision Analysis in Health Care Economics


 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

  Sociology 653, Seminar on Urban Sociology


  LAW 624, Environmental Law and Ethics
  Economics 677, Seminar in Economics of the Environment

 Agriculture and Resources

  Economics 675, Advanced Topics in Natural Resource Economics

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  Economics 621, International Trade
  Economics 625, The Economics of the Petroleum Industry
  Economics 667, Seminar in Industrial Organization
  Economics 619, Economics of International Commercial Policy
  LAW 630, International Petroleum Transactions
  COMS 619: Communication Policy and Regulation

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  PPOL 611.08 - Energy Politics in Alberta
  Economics 627, Energy in the Production Sector of the Economy

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PPOL 611.13 - Military Procurement Policy in Canada
  Political Science 619: War and Interpretation
  Political Science 685: Strategic Studies
  Political Science 683: Advanced Studies in Foreign Policy
  Political Science 689: Unconventional Warfare

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance