Degree Programs (General)

The graduate programs of the School are designed to provide the professional education essential to a career in modern public service. They are offered to students who either are preparing for initial employment or are returning to university with work experience. The School is part of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management. This gives students the opportunity to explore links between public administration, business, the environment and the information sciences.

The School offers six degree programs in total, each designed for a different audience. These are the Master of Public Administration (MPA), the Master of Public Administration Management (MPAM), the Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (GDPA), the combined Master of Public Administration/Juris Doctor (MPA/JD), and the combined Master of Public Administration/Master of Information Management (MPA/MI).

The programs are professional in that they equip students with both an understanding of the organization, process, and activities of government and the administrative skills required in public sector management. Each component is essential, and consequently required of all students. They are expected to achieve an expanded awareness of the public interest and a personal appreciation of the ethical standards and comptroller principles appropriate to a career in the service of the public. The professional requirements have been developed in consultation with senior officials of all levels of government (including graduates of the School).

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The quantity and quality of work expected in individual courses will reflect the high scholarly standards of graduate education.

The MPA curriculum encompasses the essential components of financial, human resources and statistical techniques on the one hand, and economic, organizational and policy analysis on the other. Students in the first year of the MPA program are required to complete eight half credit courses in these core fields.

Students in the second year will develop their program from the offerings in the School and may elect to take up to three half credits from graduate level courses outside the School. Elective courses proposed from outside the school must be relevant to the field of Public Administration and approved by the Program Manager. These include graduate level courses from other academic units at Dalhousie or other universities provided they have sufficient public sector content.

In exceptional circumstances, students might qualify for completion of the MPA program in one year. The program, consisting of nine half credits of course work, may be considered for students who have completed, with a first-class standing, a BA honours degree in public administration. Admission to the one-year MPA may also be based on completion, with first-class standing, of an MA degree in these academic areas or a professional graduate-level degree in a field relevant to public administration (e.g. with public sector content). Course work in the honours degree and/or the masters program must have included at least four of the eight course credits required in the first year of the two-year MPA program.

A Dalhousie Bachelor of Management graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 (A-) or higher over the four-year duration of the program might be accepted into the one-year MPA.The Program Manager of the MPA program shall determine the required courses the student must take to satisfy the requirements of the one-year MPA program consisting of nine half-credit courses.

Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (GDPA)

The GDPA consists of 27 credit hours to be completed in the fall and winter semesters. These include six first year courses (18 credit hours) plus three additional graduate elective course (9 credit hours) to be determined in consultation with the Program Manager.

JD/MPA

The School of Public Administration and the Schulich School of Law offer a joint JD/MPA program. The program allows students to take the two degrees simultaneously and to complete them in four years, rather than in five years as is the case if each is taken independently. Students interested in entering the joint program should apply separately to both the School of Public Administration and the Schulich School of Law, indicating on their applications that they wish to enter the JD/MPA program. The closing date for applications for the JD is the end of February.

Students in the JD/MPA program will be eligible to take one three credit hour graduate elective course from outside the PUAD course offerings. PUAD 6000.03: Senior Seminar: Ethics, Public Service, and Governance is not a required course for JD/MPA students, but may be taken as elective courses.

MPA/MI

As the information-based economy continues to develop, it is clear that employees must be effectively equipped with technical and professional competencies to survive and prosper in public sector environments. In response to this need, the School of Public Administration and the School of Information Management are jointly offering the only dual, MI/MPA degree program. The joint program allows students to complete the two degrees simultaneously and to complete them in three years rather than in four years, if each is taken independently. Students should apply separately to both the School of Public Administration and the School of Information Management.

Master of Public Administration (Management)

The MPA (M) program is one of the finest examples of blended learning at the graduate level in Canada, combining distance learning with classroom instruction. This cutting-edge Master’s degree is specifically designed for dedicated and goal-oriented mid-career public service professional who wish to pursue advanced management education on a part-time basis.

The MPA (M) consists of 39 credit hours; these include 27 core credit hours of the MPA (Management) program plus 12 additional elective credit hours to be determined in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator

The program focuses on core public administration disciplinary areas including human resource management, public policy, economics, accounting and research methods. It also emphasizes people, relationships and organizational culture, and addresses transparency, ethics, accountability, integrity, leadership and change.

Educational methods use interactive, web-facilitated instruction, classroom sessions and problem-based evaluation. The varied means of learning allow candidates to develop the skills and analytical ability necessary to successfully address current issues and priorities in the public sector.

Each course ends with a mandatory 2.5-day classroom session (Halifax and/or Central Canada). These sessions provide each student with individual attention from the instructor and the opportunity to share invaluable perspectives with fellow professionals from across the public sector and NGO.

Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (Management)

The GDPA(M) consists of 21 credit hours; these include 18 of the 24 core credit hours of the MPA (Management) program, plus three additional elective credit hours to be determined in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

Students seeking further information should contact the Centre for Executive and Graduate Education (CEGE), Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University at 1-800-205-7510 or (902) 494-6391 and ask for an application package or contact the CEGE Office by email at cege@dal.ca.