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Albany Rockefeller
American SPA
ANU Crawford
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Beijing Normal
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Canberra SGP
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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

McMaster University - University of Guelph, Collaborative Program in Public Policy and Administration (PPA) - MA 

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Collaborative Program in Public Policy and Administration (PPA) is jointly provided by the Department of Political Science within McMaster University's Faculty of Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science within the University of Guelph's College of Social and Applied Human Sciences.

Curriculum Design: The MA in Public Policy and Administration offered by the McMaster-Guelph collaborative program differs from most other North American MPP/MPA programs reviewed to date in that it a) required only 9 semester-course equivalents for graduation and b) has a comprehensive examination with one semester of preparation (3 course-equivalents). Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 66% of their course work in policy-oriented subjects and 34% in management-oriented subjects and that that typical students take about 17% of their work in courses with high math-economics content. This places the McMaster-Guelph MA in the "low course requirement, policy-oriented, lower math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Ryerson MAPPA and the Saskatchewan-Regina MPP (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). The competency gap analysis below suggests that a McMaster-Guelph MA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 75 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 12 course-weeks in both Economic Analysis and Democratic Institutions and Policy Process. 

Professional Program Features: The program website does not make reference to current of former practitioners among the teaching faculty, career services, or research institutes.   

Program Summary


University: McMaster University - University of Guelph

Location: Guelph and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Degree: MA

Marketing Approach: "The Public Policy and Administration Program (PPA) ... addresses issues related to the role of the state in contemporary society and the organization and operation of modern government [through a] mix of core courses and specialized electives on various aspects of policy making and implementation in particular areas of public policy. [It p]rovides training in a number of theoretical approaches and relevant analytical techniques [and o]ffers background and training for a career in public policy and administration as well as an intellectually rigorous set of courses. The Public Policy and Administration Program stands out from other PPA programs in being rooted in the discipline of Political Science. [The t]heoretical cast of program means a greater proportion of our students go on to doctoral studies than in comparable PPA programs. ... The specific aims and objectives of the Public Policy and Administration Program are: to provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of public policy and administration on both a theoretical and practical level; to instruct them in the examination and analysis of policy and administrative issues using a wide range of methodologies; to develop familiarity with, and competence in, substantive areas of public policy and administration; and to relate the student's work in policy and administrative studies to the broader discipline of political studies in a Canadian and/or comparative/international context." At, accessed 4 May 2015.

Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: The PPA is jointly provided by the Department of Political Science within McMaster University's Faculty of Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science within the University of Guelph's College of Social and Applied Human Sciences.

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The related degree within the McMaster Department of Political Science is the MA in International Relations. A related program within the University of Guelph Department of Political Science is the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy, a collaborative program with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Both McMaster and Guelph offer PhD programs in Political Science.

Posted Tuition: The 2014-15 McMaster graduate student fees three semesters of study are $7,008 for domestic students and $16,761 for international students. At accessed 4 May 2015. 

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

MA Degree Requirements

Summary: The fall and winter semester are coursework based (completing six courses, including the four required ones below). The summer semester is dedicated to preparing comprehensive examinations, which are written in the second half of July. Students in the program write in the major field of Public Policy and Administration, and in their choice of minor field (Canadian politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory). The following four courses are required: POL SCI 783 Comparative Public Policy; POL SCI 794 Public Policy and Administration Research Seminar; POL SCI 796 Statistical Methods for Public Policy; either POL SCI 785 Public Sector Management or POL SCI 786 Organizational Theory and the Public Sector. 

Duration: One year (3 semesters).

Academic Prerequisite: Admission to the M.A. in Political Science degree program requires an average of B+ or better in Honours Political Science or, with the approval of the Department’s Graduate Chair, in another discipline (at, page 2, accessed 4 May 2015). 

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 9 (6 one-semester courses preparation for the comprehensive examination, see Note 1.)

Note 1: We assume that the study requirement for the third semester (end of the second semester to the writing of the comprehensive examinations in mid July) is equivalent to that of the first two semesters (3 courses each semester).

Number of Required Courses: 4

Number of Electives Typically Taken: 2

Number of Electives Offered within Program: x.

Comprehensive Examination: Yes

Thesis Required: No

Internship Required: No

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Not referenced on program website.

Student-run Journal: No

Applied Projects: No

Pro Bono Consulting: Not referenced on program website.

Courses Offered: The full list of courses offered by the McMaster Department of Political Science is found at on page 5 of the 2014-15 Handbook,, (accessed 4 May 2015). The course descriptions for all the Master's-level courses offered by the Guelph Political Science Department are found at: (accessed 4 May 2015).

Course Material Online: One-paragraph course descriptions for the Guelph courses are found at the site noted above. More detailed syllabi for some of the Guelph courses can be found at (accessed 4 May 2015). We were unable to locate links to the course descriptions on the McMaster website. 

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.   



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  and Analytic 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 (0s will be replaced soon)


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 related sites at McMaster and at and related sites at Guelph (accessed 4 May 2015).

Page Created By: Ian Clark on 4 May 2015.

McMaster-Guelph Public Policy and Administration MA Course Map
Courses Offered, listed by Public Policy and Management Subject

McMaster courses have the prefix POL SCI. Guelph courses have the prefix POLS*. Required courses are marked with (R).

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  POL SCI 6O6 Canadian Public Policy
  POL SCI 701 Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis: Frameworks and Models
  POL SCI 785 Public Sector Management (R/2)
  POL SCI 794 Public Policy and Administration Research Seminar (R)
  POL SCI 783 Comparative Public Policy (R)
  POL SCI 786 Organizational Theory and the Public Sector (R/2)
  POLS*6630 Approaches to Public Policy
  POLS*6800 Public Policy and Governance - Selected Topics

 Economic Analysis

 Quantitative Methods

  POL SCI 784 Statistical Analysis for Public Policy (R)

 Analytic Methods

  POL SCI 796 Research Design and Methods
  POLS*6940 Qualitative Research Design and Methods

 Leadership Skills

 Communication Skills


Multiple Subjects

 Internships, Major Projects, Theses, Capstones, etc.

  Preparation for Comprehensive Examination (3R)
  POLS*6950 Specialized Topics in Political Studies
  POLS*6960 Directed Readings
  POLS*6970 Major Paper

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  POL SCI 740 Theories of Comparative Politics
  POL SCI 741 Comparative Politics of Social Movements and Political Parties
  POL SCI 757 Theory of Political Community
  POL SCI 758 Cosmopolitanism and Its Critics
  POLS*6250 Comparative Governments in the Americas
  POLS*6640 Canadian Public Administration: Public Sector Management

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

 Socioeconomic and Political Context

  POL SCI 761 Social, Cultural & Economic Foundations of Canadian Politics
  POL SCI 748 Democracy & Diversity
  POLS*6210 Conceptions of Canada

 Global Context

  POL SCI 705 Global Public Policy
  POL SCI 767 Politics of the Global South: An IR Perspective
  POL SCI 769 Political Economy of East Asia
  POL SCI 770 Globalization and the Canadian State
  POL SCI 771 Advanced Concepts in International Relations Theory
  POL SCI 772 Theories of International Politics
  POL SCI 774 Global Political Economy
  POL SCI 777 Global Governance
  POL SCI 789 Global Finance
  POLS*6450 International Political Economy

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

 Human Resource Management

 Information Management and Technology

 Program and Service Delivery

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

 International Development

  POL SCI 782 Development Theory and Administration
  POL SCI 742 Politics of Developing Areas
  POLS*6380 Democratization in Comparative Perspective
  POLS*6750 Development in Practice

 Social Policy and Welfare

  POLS*6400 Comparative Social Policy



 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development


  POLS*6390 Environmental Politics and Policy

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  POL SCI 776 Advanced Issues in Critical Security Studies
  POL SCI 788 Comparative Foreign Policy: Canadian and U.S. Foreign Policy

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

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