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Public Administration and Governance, BA


Fire Services

Public Administration Program for Fire Service Professionals


An Exceptional Opportunity for Fire Service Professionals to earn a  Certificate and an
Advanced Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, both of which are part of the B.A. in Public Administration and Governance.

Timmins Firehall

Ryerson's Department of Politics and Public Administration offers the only part-time degree program in public administration in Ontario. Designed for working, adult learners, the program provides several features that assist part-time students attain their career and educational goals.  

The traditional curriculum and program requirements have been modified slightly for fire service professionals to acquire related knowledge and management skills. For the curriculum of the fire services partnership, please see “Program Details” (link below) and, for further information about the Public Administration and Governance program (including the fire services partnership), please consult the Student Handbook (see link below).

The Fire Services curriculum is designed for fire services personnel working in the public and para-public sectors. It is structured so that fire service professionals can work towards earning a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate in Public Administration and Governance. The Certificate is also the first "level" -- and the Advanced Certificate the second "level" -- of the BA program in Public Administration and Governance.  The attainment of a baccalaureate degree is recognised as increasingly necessary for career advancement within the Fire Service and within municipal government more generally.

Through a partnership with the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), Ryerson’s Department of Politics and Public Administration delivered, from 2000 to 2014, accredited program courses in intensive-mode, week-long format at the Ontario Fire College (OFC) in Gravenhurst. The partnership was formalised in November 2006 with the signing (see photo) of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, among other things, provided recognition -- in the form of a reduced number of Professionally-Related course requirements -- of the Company Officer, Training Officer, and Prevention Officer Diplomas conferred by the Ontario Fire College (OFC).

When Ontario adopted the accreditation model of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), NFPA Level Two was deemed equivalent to the former OFC Diplomas. This will be so recognised by Ryerson upon presentation of the appropriate Letter of Compliance from Fire Chief or designate. Such Letters of Compliance will be based on post 31 Dec 2015 written and practical skill testing or, for those whose NFPA credentials were issued before 31 December 2015, the Letter of Compliance must 
show clearly that the credential is based on knowledge, usually the former OFC Diplomas.

Although the Memorandum of Understanding was terminated by the OFMEM and the OAFC in Fall 2014, Ryerson is exploring the delivery, in accessible alternative formats, of all of the courses necessary for fire personnel to complete their program(s) of study and, indeed, to complete the degree. 

The Level 1 Certificate can be completed completely online.  The Department is working to make available in hybrid (approx. 16 hours of intensive-mode class, with the balance completed online) or fully online  format all of the courses necessary to complete the Level 2 Advanced Certificate and, eventually, all the courses necessary to complete the degree.  Future developments will be announced in this space.

"The Public Administration Program has assisted in advancing my career, allows for flexible learning and faculty strive to meet the needs of the students as adult learners."

Tim Beckett, BA-09
(Graduate of Fire Services Program)
Fire Chief, City of Mississauga

Questions?  Contact the Program Administrator,
Viola Ing (; 416-979-5057)

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