The PhD in Public Policy has four single-semester core courses and a doctoral research seminar. Details on these courses are provided below. Be sure to refer to the Graduate Calendar for complete information on the program’s other requirements, including elective courses, comprehensive exams and thesis.
You can also find all the thesis requirements and associated forms here.
Current Issues in Public Policy
Current issues in Canadian public policy, their historical contexts, and interdisciplinary approaches to analyzing them. Issues may include inequality, gender, environment, Indigenous governance, US/Canada relations, populism. Approaches to analysis may include contemporary and classic thinkers.
Theoretical Foundations of Public Policy
Normative and explanatory theories fundamental to public policy, drawing on multiple social science disciplines and incorporating ethical, economic, and political/administrative perspectives. Topics may include utilitarianism, rights-based traditions, contractualism, market failure, life-course dynamics.
Policy Process and Institutions
Various theoretical approaches to policy-making. Topics may include policy formation, agenda-setting, institutionalism, theories of the bureau, theories of policy change, policy design and implementation, policy evaluation, advocacy and coalitions, private policy-making.
Research Design for Public Policy
Introduction to the analytical challenges to the study of public policy, and ways of addressing them. Exploration of why particular explanatory, interpretive and normative research questions are asked; and why particular theories, units of analysis, concepts, methods and data are used.
Doctoral Research Seminar
Presentations on research skills and strategies such as ethics approval, bibliographic software, work-flow management, subsequent publication. Supervised independent research projects preliminary to Ph.D. Thesis, drawing upon interdisciplinary approaches to study of public policy.
Not all courses listed are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings for the current session and to determine the term of offering, consult the public class schedule.