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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, partnerships with the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and with the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) have resulted in the delivery of the Public Administration and Governance program in Aboriginal communities and at the Ontario Fire College in specialized formats designed specifically for First Nations administrators and fire services personnel respectively.

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 administered by a partnership with the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), so it is designed to provide career-relevant education that will help fire service professionals advance in their careers.

To earn a Certificate (Level 1), you need to successfully complete eight one-semester courses. A one-semester course consists of a 3-hour class, one night per week for 13 weeks, taken either in the Fall, Winter, or Spring/Summer Semester.

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

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 at home via correspondence. 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.

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 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 explain the course requirements of the program in some detail. If the information there doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, call the Administrative Assistant at 416-979-5057 for further advice.

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. They 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 small class size at Ryerson (between 15-35 students). The program is very concerned with developing good communication skills and therefore emphasizes teaching students how to think and write effectively.

In addition, the Learning Success Centre 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). 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.

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 in the Transfer Credit section of the Departmental website.

Students enrolled through the fire services partnership who possess a Company Officer, Prevention Officer, or Training Officer Diploma from the Ontario Fire College, will also receive six (6) Professionally-Related course credits.

Visit the Undergraduate Admissions & Recruitment 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.