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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, a partnership with the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) continues the delivery of the Public Administration and Governance program in Indigenous communities in specialized formats designed specifically for First Nations administrators. From 2000 to 2014, a partnership with the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) saw the courses necessary to complete Levels 1 and 2 delivered to fire services personnel at the Ontario Fire College.  Since 2014, fire services personnel have been able to complete Levels 1 and 2 through any combination of in-class, hybrid, and online courses.

Ryerson’s Public Administration and Governance program provides you with:

  • 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.

The Level 1 Certificate requires successful completion of eight (8) one-semester courses. Each one-semester course completed in-class consists of the equivalent of one 3-hour class per week for 13 weeks, taken either in the Fall, Winter, or Spring/Summer Semester.

After completion of the Level 1 Certificate, students can continue on to a Level 2 Certificate and/or Bachelor of Arts. It, too, consists of eight (8) one-semester courses.

Please note that Level 1 and Level 2 can be completed completely with online and hybrid courses.  Courses in the FNTI partnership are offered in intensive sessions.  In all cases the expection is that each course will have 36 hours of class time per semester.  However you should expect the total time commitment per course to be approximately 2.5 times that amount, given the reading and assignment load of each course.

This depends on your own schedule, work and family commitments, previous educational experience, etc. Many people begin with one course and move to two courses per semester. Others find they can take three courses per semester, sometimes completing courses in online and/or hybrid formats. These people obviously move much more quickly through the program obtaining a Certificate in a little over a year. Our flexible program allows students to set their own pace.

We urge caution in deciding how many courses can be handled.  It is good to remember that the actual time commitment required to do well in an undergraduate course is approximately 7.5 hours per week on average.  It is wise to avoid "biting off more than you can chew."  

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 managers from municipal, provincial and federal governments; the Institute of Public Administration of Canada; and several community and non-profit sector organizations. See the External Advisors, opens in new window section of our website for a list of Advisory Council members.

Most of our students have been out of school for a long time, so you are not alone. Take the time to familiarize yourself with both the website and the calendar, both of which explain the course requirements of the program in some detail. If the information there doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, contact the Program Administrator or the Program Director for further advice.  See the Contact section, opens in new window of this website for contact information.

Early in the fall, winter, and spring terms there will be an orientation evening at which you will meet faculty and fellow students and ask questions related to the PAG Program.

We understand that many students in the introductory courses have been out of school for some time. Our faculty and contract lecturers have experience in, and are sensitive to, the needs of mature students and will ensure that your initiation back into the classroom is enjoyable. In addition to creating a friendly, flexible learning environment, faculty will be able to give students individual attention and assistance because of the relatively small class size at Ryerson (between 20-65 students). The program is very concerned with developing good communication skills and therefore emphasizes teaching how to think and write effectively.

In addition, Student Life and Learning Support, opens in new window at Ryerson offers workshops in essay writing and effective study skills, and can advise on tours of the Library and assistance with research.

As a Part-Time student, you are represented by the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR), external link, opens in new window. 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 Ryerson Book Store is open in the evenings at the beginning of the term, and the Library is generally open evenings and weekends.

Part-time students are also eligible for membership in the Recreation and Athletics Centre.

View Ryerson University’s Student Learning and Support, opens in new window.

Students who have completed University and/or Community College courses may be eligible for course credits. Review your “Academic History” on RAMSS (access through 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 by the Transfer Credit unit, opens in new window.

Fire services personnel who hold NFPA Level 2 or a Company Officer, Prevention Officer, or Training Officer Diploma from the Ontario Fire College, may be eligible to receive six (6) Professionally-Related course credits.  Consult with the Program Administrator.

Visit the Undergraduate Admissions online, and follow the instructions.

You will find the application guidelines at:
Be sure you use the Ryerson Application Form.

If you have questions concerning an application already submitted, please call or email the ServiceHub at 416-979-5036.