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MPP and MPA Programs

Carleton University, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) - MA in International Affairs

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: Carleton's Master of Arts in International Affairs is delivered through the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), an academic unit within the Faculty of Public Affairs. Most teaching staff hold faculty appointments within the School. Unlike many such schools in other universities, NPSIA delivers only one professional Master's degree; other cognate professional degrees such as the MA in Public Administration are delivered by other academic units.

Curriculum Design: The Carleton MAIA degree requirement of 11 courses is in the lower quintile of the programs reviewed. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical Carleton MAIA students take about 74% of their course work in Analysis/Context/Policies subjects and 26% in Skills/Institutions/Management subjects. Typical students take about 9% of their course work in subjects with high math/economics content. This would place the Carleton MAIA in the "low course requirement, analysis/context/policy oriented, lower math/economics content" curricular type. The Carleton Paterson MAIA has a relatively high number of courses taught within the school.

Professional Program Features: Unusually among Canadian professional Master's programs, the Carleton MAIA has a second language requirement: “Students must successfully complete an examination in second language proficiency administered by Carleton University’s School of Linguistics and Language Studies, or meet the equivalent standard as determined by the School of Linguistics and Language Studies. Students are strongly encouraged to take the opportunity to improve their language skills during their studies, including during their summer terms.” (at The program makes extensive use of current and former practitioners in its teaching. Students have access to professional development modules (see and co-curricular activities with a professional focus. There are no courses with a requirement for undertaking a project with an institutional client. There are 5 research centres and initiatives (see and many of the faculty have a moderate to active practice-orientation in their research.

Program Summary


University: Carleton University

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Degree: MA in International Affairs

Marketing Approach: "For close to 50 years, The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) has been training Canada’s best and brightest graduate students in international affairs. We have well over 2,000 alumni, many of whom have gone on to key leadership positions in the Canadian federal and provincial public service, foreign governments, the United Nations, and the private and not-for-profit sectors.  NPSIA offers the most comprehensive, advanced degree programs in international affairs at the Master’s and Doctoral level in Canada. The NPSIA program is interdisciplinary, reflecting the philosophy that exposure to a wide range of disciplines such as political science, economics, law, sociology, public health and history is necessary to develop an understanding of our complex global environment. NPSIA is a longstanding, fully accredited member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), an association of the leading graduate programs in international affairs in countries that include the United States, Britain, France, Singapore, Korea, Russia, Switzerland, and China. Like other APSIA schools, our mission is the training of students for leadership in a world in which the destinies of all countries are increasingly linked by considerations of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, international trade and finance, development, human rights, governance, environmental stewardship, and the sharing of human and natural resources. Like our peers in APSIA, NPSIA is proud of its reputation for producing diverse, well-educated and sophisticated international affairs professionals. The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs focuses on providing students with more than an academic, classroom experience. In order to prepare students for future careers, NPSIA utilizes various programs that provide students with opportunities to enhance their interest and knowledge through conferences, internship programs, exchange programs, as well as providing access to general information." (Director's Message at, accessed 8 March 2015.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: Not Stated

Academic Unit within University: The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs is, like the School of Public Policy and Administration, an academic unit within the Faculty of Public Affairs. Other units within this faculty include the Departments of Economics and Political Science, the School of Journalism and Communications and the School of Social Work.

Posted Tuition: Fees for 2014-15 are $7,914.16 per year for domestic students and $17,696.16 for foreign students (at and, accessed 8 March 2015).

Curriculum Overview: "NPSIA students receive comprehensive, interdisciplinary, high-quality instruction and training in their chosen specialization of international affairs. Our programs develop a strong foundation in policy formulation, policy research methods, and economics. We focus on practical knowledge and skill development that complement theoretical instruction through the regular use of research assignments, case studies and simulations, mediation exercises, the preparation of  policy papers, and project evaluation activities. Recognizing that the ability to communicate is essential to international affairs, all students must be able to function in a second major international language by the completion of their degree." (At, accessed 8 March 2015.)

Degree Requirements:

Summary: The program requirements for the MA program are completion of 5.0 credits (10 one-semester course equivalents) plus a second language requirement, which we are counting as 1 credit (2 one-semester course equivalents). Students complete the 5.0 credit program by Course Work Option, Research Essay Option or Thesis Option.

Course Work Option:
INAF 5011  (0.25 credits), INAF 5012  (0.25 credits), INAF 5013  (0.25 credits) and INAF 5014 (0.25 credits) – (1 credit in total)
Completion of designated field economics course (0.5 credits)
Completion of 7  field and / or elective courses in international affairs or related disciplines (3.5 credits)
Successful completion of the language requirement (may require completion of up to 3 language classes)

Research Essay Option
INAF 5011  (0.25 credits), INAF 5012  (0.25 credits), INAF 5013  (0.25 credits) and INAF 5014 (0.25 credits) – (1 credit in total)
Completion of designated field economics course (0.5 credits)
Completion of 4.5 approved field and / or elective courses in international affairs or related disciplines (2.5 credits)
Research Essay (1.0 credit)
Successful completion of the language requirement (may require completion of up to 3 language classes)
Oral comprehensive examination (INAF 5908)

Thesis Option
INAF 5011  (0.25 credits), INAF 5012  (0.25 credits), INAF 5013  (0.25 credits) and INAF 5014 (0.25 credits) – (1 credit in total)
Completion of designated field economics course (0.5 credits)
Completion of 3 approved field and / or elective courses in international affairs or related disciplines  (1.5 credit)
Thesis (2.0 credits)
Successful completion of the language requirement (may require completion of up to 3 language classes)
Oral comprehensive examination (INAF 5909)

The 6 fields from which students must chose a specialization are: International Economic Policy; Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution; Intelligence and National Security; International Organizations and Global Public Policy; International Development Policy; Development Projects and Planning (see  

Duration: 2 years

Academic Prerequisites: The minimum requirement for admission into the Master’s program is a BA (Honours) degree in a discipline related to international affairs. Under current practice, at least a high honours standing (B+ minimum) is normally required to be considered for admission to the program. Applicants may submit Graduate Record Examination aptitude test scores; in some circumstances, students may be required to submit GRE scores. Students admitted to the NPSIA MA program must have successfully completed a 1.0 credit (or the equivalent) course in introductory economics (introductory microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics for economics majors) before starting the program. The minimum requirement for admission into the Master’s program is a BA (Honours) degree in a discipline related. Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs requires applicants whose native tongue is not English to be tested for proficiency in English. NPSIA applicants must submit a CAEL Assessment™ score of a minimum of 70 or a TOEFL score of 250 computer-based or 100 iBT (minimum score of 25 in each of reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 11 (10 one-semester course equivalents plus a second language requirement assumed to require 2 one-semester courses of instruction).

Number of required courses: 4 (see PEACO calculations below)

Number of Typically Taken Electives: 7

Number of Electives offered within program: 95

Comprehensive examination: Course Work Option: No, Research Essay Option: Yes, Thesis Option: Yes

Thesis required: Course Work Option and Research Essay Option: No, Thesis Option: Yes

Internship required: No

International study required: No

Co-Curricular Activities Supportive to Degree:    

Professional development and career support: Yes

Student run journal: Yes,

Applied Projects: No

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The full list of 2014-2015 courses can be found at:  

Course Material Online: Short descriptions of each course are offered. Additional information and syllabi are not available online.  

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. The language requirement is counted as two credits (4 one-semester courses). 




I. Courses Required and Offered

Number of one-semester courses required for degree


Number of required courses


Number of elective courses taken


Number of courses offered


Enrolment weight of elective courses


Number of courses provided from within the program


II. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among Atlas

     Domains and Subjects

Tools and Skills


  - Policy and Management Analysis


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative  and Analytic Methods


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Macroeconomic Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




III. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among

      Curricular Type Groupings of Subjects

Analysis, Context and Policy Subjects


Skills, Institutions and Management Subjects


Math/Economics Subjects (EA, QM, Macro Pol, Fin Markets)


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


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


IV. Number of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student in NASPAA Required Competency Domains

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Total Course Equivalents taken in Required Competencies


V. Ratio of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student to Estimated Requirement for Competency

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Ratio of Total Instruction in Competencies to Amount Needed



Source: At and related sites, accessed 13 January 2014 and 8 March 2015.

Page Created By: Kyle Richardson on 13 January 2014: updated by Ian Clark on 8 March 2015. 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.

Carleton NPSIA MAIA Course Map
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d,  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  P o l i c y  a n d  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  INAF 5305: International Bargaining and Negotiation: Theory and Practice

 Economic Analysis

  INAF 5703: International Public Economics
  INAF 5214: Economics for Defence and Security

 Quantitative Methods

  INAF 5014: Statistical Analysis for International Affair (0.5R)
  INAF 5904: Quantitative Research Methods
  INAF 6002: Quantitative Research Methods

 Analytic Methods

  INAF 5013: Research Design and Methods for International Affairs (0.5R)
  INAF 5905: Qualitative Research Methods and Design
  INAF 6001: Qualitative Research Methods

 Leadership Skills

 Communication Skills

  Second Language Requirement (2R)

 Professional Practice

  INAF 5913: Co-operative Work Term

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  INAF 5011: Policy Process and International Affairs (0.5R)

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  INAF 5605: The Ethical Dimension of International Affairs

 Social and Political Context

  INAF 5408: Gender in International Affairs
  INAF 5704: Human Security: From Policy to Practice

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

  INAF 5012: Law and International Affairs (0.5R)
  INAF 5100: Canada in International Affairs
  INAF 5101: The Politics and Institutions of International Trade
  INAF 5102: Canada-U.S. Relations
  INAF 5207: Middle East Economic and Political Relations
  INAF 5401: International Financial Institutions and Policy
  INAF 5402: Territory and Territoriality
  INAF 5405: International Organizations in International Affairs
  INAF 5407: International Relations Theory
  INAF 5409: Selected Topics in International Affairs
  INAF 5410: Global Public Policy
  INAF 5419: Selected Topics in International Affairs
  INAF 5429: Selected Topics in International Affairs
  INAF 5439: Selected Topics in International Affairs
  INAF 5479: Selected Topics in International Organizations and Global Public Policy
  INAF 5501: Global Political Economy
  INAF 5502: State Sovereignty and Globalization
  INAF 5504: Advanced International Law
  INAF 5505: International Law: Theory and Practice
  INAF 5506: International Law: Use of Force
  INAF 5509: Law, Politics, and Economics in International Affairs
  INAF 5800: Asia Pacific Economic and Political Relations
  INAF 5804: International Relations in Europe
  INAF 5805: The EU in International Affairs
  INAF 5802: The International Political Economy of Transition
  INAF 5803: European Economic Integration
  INAF 5901: Tutorials in International Affairs
  INAF 6003: Advanced International Policy Analysis

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

  INAF 5309: International Finance: Theory and Policy

 International Development

  INAF 5002: International Development Policy
  INAF 5003: Project Operations in a Developing Country Context
  INAF 5007: Theories of Development and Underdevelopment
  INAF 5008: Economic Development Policy and Planning
  INAF 5009: International Aspects of Economic Development
  INAF 5219: Rights, Development, and Conflict
  INAF 5489: Selected Topics in International Development Policy
  INAF 5499: Selected Topics in Development Projects and Planning
  INAF 5600: Human Resource Development
  INAF 5601: Social Theory and International Development
  INAF 5602: Development Assistance: Theory and Practice
  INAF 5603: Issues in Development in Africa
  INAF 5604: Issues in Development in Latin America
  INAF 5609: Development Project Evaluation and Analysis
  INAF 5612: International Development Institutions
  INAF 5707: Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  INAF 5709: Human Rights: International Politics and Policies
  INAF 5801: Regional Cooperation Among Developing Countries

 Social Policy and Welfare

  INAF 5705: Global Social Policy


  INAF 5706: Global Health Policy


 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

 Environment and Sustainability

  INAF 5701: Global Environmental Change: Human Implications
  INAF 5702: International Environmental Affairs

 Agriculture and Resources

  INAF 5006: Food Security and Rural Development

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  INAF 5300: Political Economy of Multinational Enterprises
  INAF 5306: Trade Policy in North America
  INAF 5308: International Trade: Theory and Policy
  INAF 5400: Trade Policy Analysis
  INAF 5500: Comparative Trade Policy
  INAF 5507: International Economic Law: Regulation of Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  INAF 5108: Conflict Analysis
  INAF 5109: Conflict Management: Theory and Evidence
  INAF 5200: Peacebuilding and Reconstruction: Theory and Practice
  INAF 5201: Disarmament, Arms Control and Nonproliferation
  INAF 5202: Contemporary International Security
  INAF 5203: International Mediation and Conflict Resolution
  INAF 5204: Intelligence and International Affairs
  INAF 5206: Civil-Military Relations
  INAF 5208: U.S. Foreign and Security Policy
  INAF 5209: Conflict and Development
  INAF 5224: Intelligence and National Security
  INAF 5234: National Security Policy and Law
  INAF 5244: Terrorism and International Security
  INAF 5469: Selected Topics in Intelligence and National Security

 Policing and Justice Administration

  INAF 5218: Post-Conflict Justice: Theory and Practice

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

Important Notices
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School of Public Policy and Governance