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Public Administration and Governance, BA

Frequently Asked Questions

Who takes this program?

How will I benefit from this program?

How long does it take?

How many courses can I take per semester?

How is this program regarded by employers?

I have been out of school for a long time! How do I get help with planning my program of study?

How do I get help with essays and other course work?

What other student services are available to me?

What credits are given for previous studies and employment experience?

How do I apply for admission to the program?

Who takes this program?

This program is designed for people working in the public sector, or those who wish to learn more about how it works. This includes practitioners at the federal, provincial or municipal level, people involved in policy or administration in social service agencies, health services, advocacy groups and other public or non-profit organizations and agencies. Social workers, policy analysts, health administrators, police officers, fire personnel and First Nations administrators are among those who have benefited from our program. Indeed, through our partnership with the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI), we have delivered, in Aboriginal communities, the Public Administration and Governance program in specialized formats designed specifically for First Nations administrators.  Similarly, courses making up the Level I Certificate and Level II Advanced Certificate are delivered to fire services personnel in non-standard delivery formats.

How will I benefit from this program?

Ryerson’s Public Administration and Governance program provides:

  • A better understanding of current public administration practices
  • The attainment of skills (analytic, administrative, communication, managerial) for career development in the public sector and in organizations that deal with it
  • Preparation for post-graduate studies in law, political science, public administration, public policy and business administration
  • For fire services personnel, the Public Administration and Governance program is designed to provide career-relevant education that will help fire service professionals advance in their careers in an environment where a baccalaureate degree is increasingly expected.

How long does it take?

A Certificate (Level 1) requires the successful completion of eight one-semester courses. A one-semester course consists of a 3-hour class, one night per week for 12 weeks, taken either in the Fall, Winter, or Spring/Summer Semester.

After completion of the Certificate, students can continue on to the Advanced Certificate (Level 2) and/or Bachelor of Arts. Several courses are available through different modes: day, off campus-on site, distance and intensive mode.

How many courses can I take per semester?

The program is a part-time program designed for people who work, usually full-time.  That said, it is possible, with extremely careful planning, to pursue the program on something approaching a full-time basis.  The number of courses you take will depend on such considerations as your own schedule, work and family commitments, previous educational experience, the scheduling of desired courses, etc.

Many part-time students begin with one course and move to two courses per semester. Others find they can take three courses per semester, sometimes completing online courses at home. These people obviously move much more quickly through the program obtaining a Certificate in a little over a year.  

Those attempting to complete the program on a full-time basis must schedule their professional (PPA) program courses in as many evenings as they are prepared to devote, and then fill out the semester's course load with professionally-related (Table I) courses and Liberal Studies Electives (Tables A and B) taken during the day. 

Our flexible program allows students to set their own pace, but careful course enrolment is necessary.

How is this program regarded by employers?

The Public Administration and Governance program enjoys the active support of prominent administrators and employee representatives from the public and para-public sectors. The program has an Advisory Council which provides ongoing advice and expertise to ensure that the curriculum remains current and relevant. Advisory Council members bring to our program an in-depth understanding of the educational and professional development needs required in the public sector. The Advisory Council includes representatives of the municipal, provincial and federal governments; unions; and third (non-profit) sector organizations.

The Department also has a Deputy Minister Champion from each of the federal and provincial governments, an OPS Fellow, and a Distinguished Public Servant in Residence. 

Finally, the Department frequently hosts Distinguished Visiting Professors.

See our website for a list of External Advisors.

I have been out of school for a long time! How do I get help with planning my program of study?

Most of our students have been out of school for a long time, so you are not alone! Take the time to get familiar with both the website and the calendar, which explain the course requirements of the program in some detail. For further advice, call the Program Administrator at 416-979-5057.

Early in the fall term an orientation evening will provide the opportunnity to meet faculty and fellow students and to ask questions.

How do I get help with essays and other course work?

We understand that many students in the introductory courses have been out of school for some time. Instructors have experience with, and are sensitive to, the needs of mature students and will ensure an enjoyable initiation back into the classroom. In addition to creating a friendly, flexible learning environment, faculty will be able to give students individual attention and assistance because classes in this program are typically smaller than university norms. The program is very concerned with developing good communication skills and therefore emphasizes teaching students how to think and write effectively.

In addition, Student Learning Support provides various forms of assistance, including workshops in essay writing and effective study skills.  The Ryerson University Library and Archives (RULA) provides tours of the Library, workshops, and assistance with research.

What other student services are available to me?

Part-Time students are represented by the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR). CESAR provides a number of services and materials to help part-time students at Ryerson. Call 416-979-5193.

For the convenience of evening students, the Campus Store is open in the evenings at the beginning of the term to facilitate the purchase of textbooks and other supplies, and the Library is generally open evenings and weekends.

Part-time students are also eligible for membership in Ryerson Athletics.

What credits are given for previous studies and employment experience?

Students who have completed University and/or Community College courses may be eligible for course credits. Review your “Academic History” on RAMSS (access through my.ryerson.ca) and if you believe you are entitled to additional credits that were not granted at the time of admission, you may apply for them following the procedure outlined in the Transfer Credit Section of the Departmental website.

Students enrolled through the fire services partnership who possess Level II NFPA accreditation (or a Company Officer, Prevention Officer, or Training Officer Diploma from the Ontario Fire College) may apply to receive six (6) Professionally-Related course credits.

How do I apply for admission to the program?

Visit Ryerson Undergraduate Admissions online, and follow the instructions.

If you have questions concerning an application already submitted, please call the Admissions Officer, Cheryl Maine, at (416) 979-5000 extension 6006.