The SPPA Student Society serves the interests of students attending the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) by promoting academic growth, social enrichment and professional development. Through events, information sessions, student advocacy and representation, the SPPA society is committed to helping SPPA students have an exciting and quality graduate experience.

The SPPA Society has an executive consisting of a President and five Vice-Presidents, as well as a broader steering committee which includes: a Community Representative, a Management Representative, a Professional Development Representative, two liaisons to the Graduate Student Association (GSA), two Student Representatives at Large, a Master of Sustainable Energy Representative, a Master of Philanthropy Nonprofit Leadership Representative, a PhD Program Representative, and a Diploma Program Representative — all of whom are elected by the SPPA student body.


SIGNALS is a group of Students, Interested parties, and Graduates Networking And Liaising around Sustainability. The network stems from the Innovation, Science, and Environment stream of Public Administration Program and the Sustainable Energy (SE) Program, both of Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA). SIGNALS brings together students, alumni and professors who are concerned about sustainable development issues.

Graduate Professional Development

As a graduate student at Carleton, you have access to a variety of professional development resources. These include skill workshops, one-on-one career and writing consultations, career-oriented events, and even structured programs. Challenge yourself by acquiring new skills that can help you boost your employability. Visit the Graduate Professional Development website to learn more.

National Student Public Administration Case Competition

The National Student Public Administration Case Competition is a joint project of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC). Canadian universities that have programs in public administration may compete at this annual competition. It is designed to highlight the excellence of Canadian public administration programs and students, and to provide a valuable learning experience for students.

Participants are organized into teams and presented with a “real world” public administration case, with accompanying background material. They work together to develop the best solution over a week and present at a weekend event. Teams deliver presentations for judges over the course of a day.

Carleton University won the first annual Public Management Case Competition hosted by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina in 2011. Carleton came in 4th in 2012 hosted by Queen’s University’s School of Public Policy. The School of Public Policy and Administration hosted the competition at Carleton University in 2019. In 2020, the Carleton students won the competition held at Laval University in Quebec City.

This is an opportunity to compete for the School, to share your talents in a competitive environment, to network with other schools and to participate in a truly national event.

National Evaluation Case Competition

Each year more than 20 teams from across the country participate in the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) National Evaluation Student Case Competition. The Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education (CUEE) and the Canadian Evaluation Society Education Fund (CESEF), of which the School of Public Policy and Administration is a member, jointly organize this annual event. The competition is carried out in two rounds: a preliminary round, and a final round which is held at the CES annual conference.

Professional Skills Workshops

The workshops bridge the professional aspect of the Master of Public Policy and Administration program with the academic. They are structured to provide students with practical skills that are highly applicable in public sector jobs. For example, a number of workshops will focus on communications skills and will instruct students how to write briefing notes for executives and ministers, prepare memoranda for cabinet and effectively deliver presentations. They are taught by experienced public servants and consultants, most of whom are alumni of the SPPA.

To obtain the Professional Skills certificate, students must participate in five different workshops during the course of their degree. This means that you do not have to complete all five sessions in one year of study, and if you miss an important workshop, you may have the opportunity to take it the following year.

It is highly recommended that students take advantage of the workshops. It will demonstrate to potential employers that you have specific skills training and have taken initiative to prepare yourself for the demands of public sector employment.