Admission Requirements

  • Language Proficiency Requirements: Proof of English proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English. A minimum overall TOEFL score of 86 is required with a minimum score of 20 in each area, or a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in each area, or another approved test as outlined in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Academic Policies.
  • a four-year degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study
  • a cumulative weighted average of at least a 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. 60 credit units)
  • a current resume that includes background and relevant employment history
  • a letter of intent
  • three letters of reference

Applicants who do not meet the standard admission requirements may wish to apply using the non‐
standard application process. Successful applicants likely will have:

  • Recognized completion of at least one year (18 CUs) of higher education
  • A break of at least five years from formal higher education
  • At least ten years of work experience and at least five years of management experience.

In addition to completing the usual application package (e.g., CV, letters of reference, letter of intent), applicants must submit a letter indicating that they wish to be considered under the non-standard application process and why they wish to be considered under this process. Applicants must also submit evidence that they possess the following skills and expertise:

  • Ability to undertake effective critical thinking (e.g., to critically examine arguments, to critically examine data and the conclusions drawn from it)
  • Ability to collect and analyze data (whether qualitative or quantitative), and to connect the results of the analysis to broader concepts and idea
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both an oral and a written form

To provide evidence that they possess the above skills, applicants should draw from recent work where
they demonstrated competency in the three areas. The evidence should include concrete outputs (e.g.,
writing samples, reports), as well as explanations of their relevance and importance. The evidence
package should be three to four pages in length.

Applicants must also provide a list of the positions they have held and indicate the extent to which they
have acquired and relied on the three core competencies outlined in the MPA program — analysis and
use of evidence, politics and democracy, and policy delivery.

Applicants applying under the non-standard application process would generally not be required to take
additional undergraduate courses beyond those they have already taken. The reason is that there is no
basic theory or knowledge that is required for public policy; instead, if applicants can demonstrate that
they have the skills.

Certificate Requirements (9 credit units)

Required Courses

  • JSGS 893.3
  • JSGS 894.3
  • JSGS 895.0

Elective Course (select one)

  • JSGS 896.3
  • JSGS 863.3
  • JSGS 851.3 
  • JSGS 808.3
  • INDG 810.3 
  • POLS 826.3 
  • Another course approved by the JSGS Graduate Chair (3 CUs)