COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of public policy – that is, the decisions that governments make (or fail to make). At the most fundamental level, these decisions affect whether people live or die. They also influence how we experience the economic consequences of the pandemic; how those consequences are felt by different segments of the population; and how we will emerge from this period.

The pandemic is not the only critical public policy issue facing us. Climate change, and racial and economic inequality, are among the many challenges that must be addressed through public policy.

PAPM educates public policy makers. Our graduates are working to address these challenges as policy analysts (analyzing issues and advising governments); elected officials; leaders of advocacy groups; researchers and university professors.

Our students learn about public policy from a number of perspectives – from public policy studies, to economics, to history, to Indigenous studies and political science. We believe that in order to understand public policy, it is important to understand the context in which it takes place, as well as the technical and theoretical bases of policy.


Customizing your BPAPM Degree

BPAPM differs from other degree programs because it is focused on policy, and it is a limited-enrolment degree, which means that students start in a cohort of only around 100. This provides students with a small and supportive learning environment. Students in the the BPAPM program all take a set of core courses. Students then choose from four specializations, each with two to three policy streams which allows them to focus on specific areas of public policy. For more information on these, please visit our Specializations page.

– Communication and Policy Studies
– Development Policy
– International Policy Studies
– Public Policy and Administration

Experiential Learning

Students have a number of opportunities for experiential learning. From the end of their second year, students (with a B+ grade or better), are eligible for co-op, where they can work in a federal government department, or with a non-governmental organization such as the United Nations Association in Canada, or a private firm such as the polling firm, Abacus data. Many of our students’ co-op positions turn into part-time work for the rest of their degree, and may lead into jobs at the end of their degree.

We also have a program for first-year students, Kroeger Policy Connect, in which students spend half a day with a policy organization in Ottawa (a government department, an advocacy group, a private firm, or an MP’s office.)

Dedicated Student Advising and Support

Students have access to a program-specific advisor who helps students with navigating the program throughout the duration of the degree. Our program advisors are knowledgeable about the program and the university, and are also caring and supportive people. Students build a strong sense of community and belonging with their cohort, and particularly in their upper years, will have smaller classes and greater opportunity to interact with professors.

Tweets by @bpapmcarleton