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Public Administration and Governance, BA


Fire Services personnel looking for curriculum information should refer to information specific to your situation.

First Nations' personnel looking for curriculum information should refer to information specific to your situation.

On this page, you will find information about:

Ryerson's Tripartite Curriculum

Like all programs at Ryerson University, Public Administration and Governance has a tripartite curriculum structure. This structure was developed in order to ensure that all Ryerson University students are exposed to a body of material from within their own discipline (Professional courses), a body of material relevant to their own discipline but delivered by other disciplines (Professionally-Related courses), and a breadth requirement in the form of material deliberately not from their own discipline (Liberal Studies). The goal is a well-rounded total package intended to emphasize a particular base of applied knowledge, but also to broaden the horizons of the student. Each level of the Public Administration and Governance program requires courses from each category of the tripartite curriculum.

Checklists and Informal Progress Audits

For your convenience, two checklists are provided below in MS-Excel format so they can be completed electronically and saved for future reference and additions. An up-to-date checklist is very helpful when doing course selection, or when seeking advice from the Department.

Schedule of Course Offerings

Schedule of Program (Professional) courses offered on Ryerson campus:

Evening, Continuing Education, Distance Ed, and Spring/Summer Offerings of Professional, Professionally Related, and Liberal Studies

Level I: Certificate in Public Administration and Governance

Level I comprises eight one-semester courses* which introduce the fundamentals of public administration. The program focuses on the organization of government; the unique institutional role of government in society; the structure, processes, and issues characterizing Canadian public administration; and human rights and employment equity issues.

NOTE 1: Students intending to proceed to further levels of the program should familiarize themselves with prerequisites pertaining to professionally related elected courses at all levels of the program, including options leading to a minor.

NOTE 2: Upon successful completion of Level I students may apply for a Certificate in Public Administration and Governance.

* A one-semester course typically consists of a three-hour class one evening per week for 12 or 13 weeks, during the fall, winter, spring or summer terms. Some intensive mode and distance education options are also available. For Distance Education offerings, consult the Chang School calendar.

Level II: Advanced Certificate in Public Administration and Governance

Level II of the program emphasizes public policy through eight one-semester courses. Required courses analyze public policy, public sector union-management relations, research methodology, and the ideological basis of administrative institutions. Students also have the opportunity to continue their study of specific administrative functions and skills.

NOTE: Upon successful completion of Level 2 students may apply for a Certificate in Public Administration and Governance.

Level III: Bachelor Arts - Public Administration and Governance

Courses taken in the third level of the program offer more sophisticated investigations of specialized areas in public administration.  Successful completion of Level III leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Public Administration and Governance.

Normally, this level consists of 24 one-semester courses, culminating with a major Public Policy Research Paper (PPA 51A/B).

Students with significant public sector experience, however, may be eligible to enroll in the Practicum (PPA 50A/B), which reduces the number of courses required at this level to 17 one-semester courses. To determine eligibility to enroll in PPA 50A/B, please complete a Work Experience Assessment Form.

Students admitted prior to Fall 2011 should be guided by the Calendar in effect at the time of their admission.  Click here for the specific requirements of Level III as of the 2010-11 academic year.

Specific requirements of Level III for students admitted in or after Fall 2011:

  • Research Paper Option
  • Practicum Option
  • Practicum Option – Admission through a First Nations partnership
Course Renumbering and Program Redesign

Effective Fall 2011, some changes to the Public Administration and Governance program took effect. Please consult the Calendar for details.

  • Courses in the program have been renumbered so that they all have a “PPA” prefix, and so that they follow a more traditional University nomenclature, with 100, 200, 300, and 400 indicating (approximately) the “year” in a 4-year BA program in which they should be taken
  • Click here for a summary of course renumbering 

In terms of program structure, features include:

  • Slight changes to what is required and what is elective at Level 1 and Level 2
  • Some relocation of courses between Level 2 and Level 3, and an expansion of courses that can satisfy the Economics requirement at Level 2
  • Separation of Level 3 into three distinct “options” (Research Paper, Practicum, and Practicum – First Nations)

Students admitted prior to Fall 2011 who wish to follow the new curriculum should contact the Department of Politics and Public Administration and complete a Term Requirement Change Form. The form is available in hard copy only from the Program Administrator in the Department.