BPAPM Specializations: Focusing your Program of Studies

After your first year of public affairs and policy management studies, which include an introduction to political and economic conceptions of the state and public policy and interdisciplinary understandings of public institutions and processes, you will begin to focus your studies by selecting a specialization and one of nine related policy areas. The four specializations, and nine policy streams within them, accommodate a wide range of policy interests and prepare you for a number of possible career paths and future studies.

Of the 20 credits that make up the BPAPM degree, 8 credits will relate to your selected area of specialization, including 6.5 credits from relevant courses offered by contributing departments (in addition to your 4th year PAPM courses). In year two of your studies you will commence your specialization requirements with 1.0 credit, moving to 3.0 credits related to the specialization in year three and 2.5 credits in year four, along with PAPM 4000 (capstone seminar) and PAPM 4099 (policy seminar).

The BPAPM specialization requirements were recently updated to enhance current policy relevance and to support a wider range of policy interests and possible career paths. We offer four specializations, each containing policy streams that reflect specific policy areas within the broader specialization field. This has enabled us to expand from the original 7 policy areas to offer study in 9 areas. All policy areas in the original 7 BPAPM specializations are retained, either in the form of updated specializations or as subsidiary policy streams (policy concentrations within the specialization), and we have incorporated emerging new areas of public policy concern (environmental and sustainable energy, security and intelligence). The new specialization scheme helps to ensures that the BPAPM is up to date and relevant for students encountering today’s world of public affairs, sustaining our reputation of providing an excellent background for careers as public policy professionals or for further graduate studies in a wide range of disciplines.

2024-2025 BPAPM Year-by-Year Guide for all Specializations and Policy Streams

A Note on Selecting a Specialization:

Students are encouraged to hold off on choosing or committing to a specialization until the conclusion of year one of the program. For many students the specialization they have in mind when applying to the program or at the beginning of first year will be different from the one they end up choosing. Keep an open mind during your first year of studies and with your introductory courses nearing completion you are in a better position to make an informed choice about a specialization. A specialization information session will also be held at the end of Winter Term for all first year students, with more details on the specializations, presentations and an opportunity for you to ask questions. Students formally choose their specialization by completing a “Change of Program Elements” form on Carleton Central and further details about this process will be provided at the information session.