The curriculum reflects the latest developments in public sector issues and initiatives, and features a mix of courses providing students with a broad understanding of the Canadian political process. The courses emphasize the importance of linking the theory and practice of public administration to concerns of political economy and public policy.
The program is also delivered to First Nations administrators through a partnership with the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and to fire services personnel through a slightly modified curriculum.
The program provides students with:
- a better understanding of organizations and operations in the public sector
- the attainment of analytic, administrative, communication and management skills necessary for career development in the public sector and in organizations that deal with it
- an awareness of the political forces that shape public administration and policy
Those currently working in or dealing with the public sector will enjoy the immediate benefit of improved understanding of their work environment and greater potential for long-term career development and mobility.
To enhance the flexibility of learning opportunities, the program offers courses in various teaching modes including classes at Ryerson campus, distance education, intensive study, and on-site delivery at various locations.
The Public Administration and Governance program consists of three separate, but interrelated levels of study that allow students to set their own educational goals. Students may apply to graduate with a Certificate after completing Level 1, with an Advanced Certificate after completing Level 2, and with a Bachelor of Arts Degree after completing Level 3.
Each level features a mix of program courses in Canadian politics, policy, and public administration, complemented by professionally-related offerings in areas such as accounting, economics, communication, human resource management, and business technology management. Also included are liberal studies courses to broaden intellectual horizons and create an awareness of the philosophical and moral premises upon which many public administration activities are based.
CERTIFICATE (LEVEL 1): In order to earn a Certificate, students are required to take eight courses. Students will be introduced to the basics of public administration. They can then choose two courses in Canadian, Ontario, Local, or Indigenous Politics. Students may also develop or enhance administrative skills by choosing professionally-related courses in accounting, communication, economics, human resources management, information technology management, law, nonprofit and voluntary sector management, and occupational and public health.
ADVANCED CERTIFICATE (LEVEL 2): Students can continue into Level 2 of the program and obtain an Advanced Certificate after completing eight additional courses. At this level, students will analyse the framework of public policy, and will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between government and labour, the ideological basis for administrative institutions and financial management. Students will continue to develop their administrative and communication skills by choosing additional professionally-related courses from a lengthy table.
DEGREE (LEVEL 3): Students at Level 3 will participate in a sophisticated investigation of specialized areas in public administration, beginning with a required course in Research Methods. Students will then select eight courses that allow for the exploration of theories of bureaucracy and organization, administrative law, e-Government, financial planning and management, intergovernmental relations, collaborative governance, program planning and evaluation, current issues, and comparative public policy. Administrative skill development continues in Level 3 with a minimum of two professionally-related courses from the lengthy table. Students who have a minimum of two years of work experience in the public, para-public or voluntary/nonprofit sectors may apply to pursue the practicum option. Students eligible for the practicum are encouraged to situate their practicum paper in an area related to their work environment. Students who pursue the Research Paper Option must complete an additional two professional courses, an additional five professionally-related courses, and a Public Policy Research Paper. Students admitted through a First Nations partnership follow the general outline of the Practicum Option, but complete a series of courses specially designed to address an Indigenous context. Upon successful completion of Level 3, students may apply to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Public Administration and Governance.
Students may apply for transfer credit or advanced standing based on previous post-secondary studies. Consult the Department of Politics and Public Administration for details.