Our students dive into real-word issues to discuss what governments can or should do. Our core courses connect the concrete to the conceptual, balancinge theory with practice. On this page, you will find program information, application instructions, alumni profiles, and more to help you learn about the program.

Prospective Students

Note: The application deadline for those wishing to be considered for funding is February 1, 2022.
For information on the application process for the MPPA and other Carleton graduate programs, see the Carleton Graduate Admissions website.


For more than sixty years,  our alumni — almost 2,500 strong — have worked to address the diverse challenges over the years. They serve as deputy ministers, officers of Parliament and policy analysts at federal, provincial or municipal levels. They include leaders of government relations offices within businesses, executive directors of NGOs and senior officials of international organizations. Some go on to complete PhDs. Our alumni form a network that spans the globe, fostering ongoing learning and professional opportunities.

The Program

Our students dive into real-word issues to discuss what governments can or should do. They learn to identify key considerations and influences, interconnections and responsiveness to policy tools. Our core courses connect the concrete to the conceptual, balancinge theory with practice. Our students learn about the types of challenges governments face and the techniques of policy analysis. Grounded in research methods to measure the need for and effects of public policies and programs, our courses prepare students to work with government institutions, the central skills required by public managers, and legal and ethical frameworks. A final-year capstone course gives students the experience of working with a team to develop strategies to address a national policy problem and receive expert feedback from practitioners with decades of experience in politics and public administration.

The Experience

MPPA students come from a variety of educational backgrounds including the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences or engineering. The first two terms of full-time study focus on understanding the issues and processes of public policy and administration. The final terms allow students to specialize — whether to complete a concentration in Indigenous Policy and Administration, or to focus on areas such as health, sustainability, evaluation or public management.

The School’s faculty link the academic and professional worlds of public policy through their teaching and research. As well, seasoned practitioners, guest speakers and study tours bring practical insight to the program. Many students build career experience by completing one or two terms of paid co-op work with a federal, provincial or municipal government department, or in the private or nonprofit sectors.

Alumni Career Paths*

Degree Structure

The MPPA is made up of  ten required single-semester courses and four electives. Electives may be completed as four individual courses, as two courses and a major research essay, or as a MPPA thesis. To complete a research essay or MPPA thesis, you must find a faculty supervisor to support your work. Students in Carleton’s Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management should consult requirements for our accelerated pathway options that can reduce the required or elective courses they must complete.

The program can be completed in five or six terms of full-time study, including two terms of full-time co-op work. Please see the  Graduate Calendar for detailed information on the degree structure and course descriptions.

Core Program
Master of Public Policy and Administration
Degree Options
Concentration in Indigenous Policy and Administration
Specialization in Data Science
Concurrent Diploma in European Integration Studies
Concurrent Diploma in Health: Science, Technology and Policy
Concurrent Diploma in Infrastructure Protection and International Security
Concurrent Diploma in Northern Studies

Information on Admissions

Please see the Graduate Calendar for admission requirements.

Required Application Documents

For an estimate of tuition fees, please use the fee estimate calculator.