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Western LGP

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MPP and MPA Programs

University of Western Ontario, Local Government Program (LGP) - MPA

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The  is delivered by the Local Government Program within the Department of Political Science.O COME

Curriculum Design: The Western MPA is Canada's only MPA focused exclusively on local government. There are 14 courses, one worth two one-semester equivalents, and all are required. Our PEACO analysis below indicates that students take 8% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content and that the split between coursework in policy-oriented and management-oriented subjects is 38% to 62%. This places the Western MPA in the "medium course requirement, management-oriented, lower math-economics content" curricular type, the same type as the ENAP MPA and the Kansas MPA. The competency gap analysis below suggests that a Western MPA student would, on average, graduate with approximately 45 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including a shortfall of 12 course-weeks in Quantitative Methods, 9 course-weeks in Leadership Skills, and 6 weeks in each of Socioeconomic and Political Context, and Macroeconomic Policy. On the other hand, this student would graduate with well over the minimum competency requirements in Democratic Institutions and Policy Process and Human Resource Management.

Professional Program Features: The professional resources referenced on the program website include the Allan O'Brien Multilevel Governance Research Laboratory and Books Published by Our Faculty.

Program Summary


University: University of Western Ontario

Location: London, Ontario

Degree: Master of Public Administration

Marketing Approach: "Canada’s only MPA program exclusively focused on local government public administration."  "Western's Masters of Public Administration (MPA) is designed for mid-career local government administrators who wish to further their public management skills, as well as for future professionals looking to enter the field. Our Part-Time students are usually administrators in municipal government, but some are employed by separate boards, provincial ministries, not-for-profit organizations or in the private sector.  Our Full-Time students usually come directly from undergraduate degrees in the social sciences. The resulting student mix creates a unique classroom environment that combines the energy of fresh academic minds with the experience of working professionals. The MPA is Canada’s leading public administration program with a local focus. MPA courses offer specialized education in local administration and policy analysis, thoroughly preparing our students for the challenges of modern community, urban and regional governance and administration. The MPA has been offered annually since 1990. Our program’s alumni society includes many of Canada’s senior municipal officials, and is one of Western’s most active alumni associations. The annual alumni conference is an academic and networking event not to be missed." (At, accessed 13 May 2014.)

Degrees Awarded per year: "Western's MPA program admitted its first students in 1990, and currently accepts about 30 full time and part time students annually." (At, accessed 13 May 2015.)

Academic Unit within University: Local Government Program, Department of Political Science

Posted Tuition: $7,500

Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The MPA program aims to integrate general knowledge of management techniques with the broader understanding of politics and the public sector which is essential for local government executives. Demonstrating and exploring the connections between management and the political process is the central concern of the curriculum as a whole. That is why the prime responsibility for its development rests with the Department of Political Science.

Degree Requirements:

Summary: Students must receive fifteen credits in order to graduate. Each regular course counts for one credit and is completed within one academic term: fall, winter, or summer. In addition, all students must write a research report (Public Administration 9931) which counts for two credits.

Duration: 3 Terms (1 year)

Academic Prerequisites: Students are admitted to the MPA by Western's Faculty of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Admissions Committee for the MPA program. Applicants without relevant employment experience must possess a four year honours degree in the social sciences (with at least a B+ average) and demonstrate that they have taken at least two senior undergraduate courses concerned with local government, public administration and/or urban studies.

Applicants who have at least five years of Canadian local government employment experience are also expected to have an undergraduate or professional degree, but recommendations for special admission can be made in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Applicants without an undergraduate or professional degree must submit a one-or two-page statement explaining how they think their experience compensates for their lack of formal academic qualifications.

            Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses required for Completion: 15

            Number of required Courses: 15

            Number of elective courses typically taken: 0

            Number of electives offered within program: 0

            Comprehensive examination: No

            Thesis required: No, although a Final Research Paper, equivalent to two one-semester courses, is required.

            Internship required: No

            International study required: No, although Local Government Program has a growing relationship with Chinese Universities and Scholars. (At, accessed 13 May 2015.) 

Co-Curricular Activities Supportive to degree

            Professional development and career support: Yes

            Student Run Journal: Not referenced on website.

Applied Projects: The Final Research Paper often focuses on an applied project. The list of papers is included at Graduate Papers (

Pro Bono Consulting: Not referenced on website.

Courses offered: The full list of courses can be found at:

Course Material Online: Course descriptions, instructors and time slots are listed 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.




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 19 January 2014 and 13 May 2015).

Page Created By: Kyle Richardson on 19 January 2014 and updated by Ian Clark on 8 September 2014 and Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Last updated by Ian Clark on 13 May 2015.

Western Local Government 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

  PA 9923: Strategic Planning and Management (R)

 Economic Analysis

  PA 9913: Economics and Policy Analysis (R)

 Quantitative Methods

 Analytic Methods

  PA 9914: Research Methods (R)

 Leadership Skills

 Communication Skills

Multiple Subjects

 Capstone Courses, Internships, Major Projects, Theses, etc.

  PA 9931: Final Research Paper (2R)
  PA 997: Issues in Local Government (R)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PA 9902: The Policy Process in Local Government (R)
  PA 9911: Municipal Law (R)
  PA 9916: Theories of Public Administration (R)

 Social and Political Context

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PA 9904: Local Government Management/Administration (R)

 Global Context

  PA 9901: Advanced Local Government (R)

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

PA 9912: Financial Management (R)

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

PA 9915: Program Evaluation (R)

 Human Resource Management

  PA 9922: Human Resource Management (R)

 Information Management and Technology

 Local Government Management

  PA 9903: Organizational Behaviour in Local Government Environment (R)

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

 International Development

 Social Policy and Welfare



 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

 Environment and Sustainability

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

 Other Policy Sectors

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