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MPP and MPA Programs

Queen's University, School of Policy Studies (SPS) - MPA 

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Queen's School of Policy Studies (SPS) is a separate academic unit, reporting to the Dean of the School of Business, and overseen by a Policy Council chaired by the Provost. 

Curriculum Design: The Queen's MPA degree requirement of 12 courses is in the lower quartile of the programs reviewed. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 69% of their coursework in policy-oriented subjects and 31% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students take about 23% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content. This places the Queen's MPA in the "low course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content" curricular type, along with such programs as the Maryland MPM and the King's College London MAPP. Among peers in its curricular type, the Queen's MPA has an average proportion of required courses, a relatively high number of program-specific courses on offer and a high proportion of the coursework of a typical students is in program-specific courses taught within the school. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Queen's MPA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 34 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 8 course-weeks in Leadership Skills, 6 course-weeks in Analytic Methods, and shortfalls of 3 course-weeks in: Ethics, Rights and Accountability; Public Financial Management; and Human Resource Development.

Professional Program Features: The Queen's MPA has many former practitioners among its teaching faculty. Courses (such as MPA 814 - Federalism) are occasionally taught in collaboration with government ministries. Its Works For You career support program includes career coaching and alumni networking links. There is an active public policy research program, including through the SPS Centres, Institutes and Programs listed on the School's Research page: Canada Opinion and Research Archive (CORA); Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIPD)Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (IIGR); Multiculturalism Policy Index (MCP); Queen's Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP); Queen's Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP); and the Third Sector Program.

Program Summary


University: Queen’s University

Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Degree: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Marketing Approach: "Queen's MPA is a one-year, multidisciplinary 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." (At, accessed 11 May 2015.)

Degree’s Awarded per Year: TBD

Academic Unit within University: The Queen's School of Policy Studies (SPS) is a separate academic unit, reporting (since July 1014) to the Dean of the School of Business, and overseen by a Policy Council chaired by the Provost. (At, page 1, accessed 11 May 2015.) The School is also home to the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (IIGR), the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP), and the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP).              

Posted Tuition: Tuition and Fees 2014-15: $11,445.77 for domestic students and $23,517.02 for international students (at and, accessed 11 May 2015).

Concentration/ Curriculum Overview 

Degree Requirements: 

Summary: Students in the MPA program must complete 12 one-semester course credits, normally taking five courses in each of the fall and winter terms and two in the summer term. They may choose to complete a Master's Research Project, in lieu of two optional courses. Six one-semester courses must come from their core course offerings. Core courses are grouped into Political and institutional analysis, economic and quantitative analysis, and Management. The remaining 6 half credit courses come their elective course options. Following 3 terms of academic study, students can participate in a non credit internship program.

Duration: 10 Months

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 12

Number of Required Courses: 6 (Unless student can demonstrate background in MPA 800, MPA 804, MPA 801 and MPA 808 or 809)

Number of Electives Typically Taken: 6

Number of Courses offered within program: 57

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No

Internship required: No, but available as MPA 890. 

International Study Required: No, but optional. The School of Policy Studies has an established relationship with Fudan University, China.

Co-Curricular Activities Supportive to Degree      

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes

Student Run Journal: Yes, Queen's Policy Review at:

Applied Projects: Not referenced on the School website.

Pro Bono Consulting: Yes, through the MPA896 Policy Pro Bono course.

Courses Offered: The full list of 2014-2015 Queens' University core courses are found at and electives are found here With permission, students can also select graduate-level courses offered by other units at Queen'sUniversity. The courses offered by the School of Public Policy and Administration have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses are indicated by (R).

Course Outlines and Syllabi Online:  Queen's SPA provides online syllabi for many of its courses. Those publicly available on 11 May 2015 are noted in the Course Map below. 

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 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 (accessed 11 May 2015).

Page Created By: Kyle Richardson on 13 October 2013, last updated by Ian Clark 11 May 2015. .

Queen's SPS MPA 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

  MPA 802 - Approaches to Policy Analysis (R)
  MPA 809 - Management in the Public Sector (R)
  MPA 871 - Approaches to Policy Development
  MPA 874 - Public Sector Reform
  MPA 820 - Principles of Management

 Economic Analysis

  MPA 804 - Principles of Economics (R)
  MPA 815 - Economic Analysis (R/5)

 Quantitative Methods

  MPA 805 - Quantitative Analysis (R)

 Analytic Methods

 Leadership Skills

  MPA 889 - Policy Leadership [syllabus link]

 Communication Skills

  MPA 881 - Government Communications [syllabus link]

Multiple Subjects

 Professional Practice

  MPA 890 - Internship
  MPA 894 - Professional Placement
  MPA 896 - Policy Pro Bono
  MPA 897 - Directed Reading
  MPA 898 - Master's Research Project

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and the Policy Process

  MPA 800 - Governing Institutions (R) [syllabus link]
  MPA 812 - Law and Public Policy
  MPA 813 - How Governments Decide [syllabus link]

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  MPA 866 - Ethics in Public Service
  MPA 886 - Human Rights in Policy Design [syllabus link]

 Socioeconomic and Political Context

  MPA 859 - Indigenous Law and Public Policy [syllabus link]
  MPA 860 - Reconciling Indigenous Policy
  MPA 861 - Governance in First Nations
  MPA 879 - Indigenous Governance
  MPA 887 - Arctic and Northern Issues

 Global Context

  MPA 813 - How Governments Decide
  MPA 855 - Approaches to Global Governance
  MPA 857 - Public Policy in China
  MPA 858 - Dynamics of Chinese Economy
  MPA 870 - Public Policy Issues in Africa
  MPA 814 - Federalism

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

MPA 827 - Financial Management in Canada's Public Sector [syllabus link]
MPA 873 - Government Budgets: Politics and Process [syllabus link]

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

MPA 816 - Quantitative Program Evaluation (R/5)

 Human Resources Management

 Information Management and Technology

  MPA 885 - Canada and the Cyber Challenge [syllabus link]

 Local Government Management

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

  MPA 851 - Public Policy and the Third Sector [syllabus link]
  MPA 852 - Stakeholder Management [syllabus link]
  MPA 853 - The Nonprofit Sector and Population Health

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  MPA 844 - Canadian Economic Policy (R/5) [syllabus link]

 International Development

  MPA 864 - Policy and Development in Africa
  MPA 869 - International Development Policy

 Public Finance and Social Policy

  MPA 839 - Social Policy [syllabus link]
  MPA 840 - Economics of Social Policy (R/5)
  MPA 865 - Behavioural Public Finance (R/5)
  MPA 882 - Comparative Social Policy
  MPA 895 - Reforming Public Services [syllabus link]


  EPID-803 Issues in Health Services and Health Policy
  EPID-807 Introduction to Health Economics
  MPA 836 - Health and Public Policy in Canada [syllabus link]
  MPA 837 - Management in Healthcare
  MPA 838 - Economic Analysis of Health Policy


 Employment, Labour and Immigration

  MPA 848 - Immigration Policy in Canada [syllabus link]

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

 Environment and Sustainability

  MPA 847 - Environmental Policy

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  MPA 843 - Trade and Public Policy

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  MPA 877 - Energy Policy [syllabus link]

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  MPA 880 - Canadian Foreign Policy [syllabus link]

 Arts and Culture

  MPA 867 - Canadian Cultural Policy [syllabus link]

 Financial Markets

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