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Student Handbook

In addition to the comprehensive Student Guide produced annually by Ryerson University, the Department of Politics and Public Administration has created this Student Handbook to assist students enrolled in the Public Administration and Governance undergraduate program. Information of specific relevance to students in the First Nations and Fire Services partnerships is noted throughout. It is organised as an annotated Table of Contents.

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    I    L    M    O    P    R    S    T    W

Even when not enrolled through the Chang School of Continuing Education, students in this (part-time) program are represented by the Continuing Education Students at Ryerson (CESAR, external link).  Their website contains further helpful information.

Students may also find additional helpful information on the web-site of the Ryerson Students’ Union, external link (RSU), but be aware that students in this (part-time) program are NOT represented by the RSU, but by the CESAR.



Academic Advising

A division of the Registrariat, the Curriculum Advising Office provides academic advice and service to all students about minors, graduation, transcripts, transfer credits, challenge credits, letters of permission and more.

Advice is also available from the program (Public Administration and Governance)

Academic Council/Senate

The University body responsible for the creation and update of academic policies was, until 2007, known as “Academic Council.” It is now the Senate.

Academic Integrity

Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth. The pursuit of truth is grounded in certain core values, including diligence, civility, and honesty. All students, faculty and staff must maintain the highest standards of academic integrity.

Under the auspices of the Senate, the University has an Academic Integrity Officer, and maintains an Academic Integrity web-site to provide information to the University community.

Academic Standing

When the grades are tabulated at the end of each semester, every student has an academic standing.


Undergraduate Admissions deals with requirements, processes and advice for all programs at Ryerson.

Advisory Council

Appeals (see “Forms – Appeals” and “Policies – Appeals”)


In order to avoid the loss of hard copy assignments, it is best to submit them directly to your instructor. If that is not possible, use the locked and secure drop-off box that is located on the 7th floor of Jorgenson Hall (close to the elevators).

The drop box is emptied at 4:30 pm each day, and the assignments date-stamped with that day’s date. Submissions received after that deadline will not be removed from the essay box until the following day, and will be stamped with that day’s date. Where late penalties are involved, and where instructors have elected to use in any course, students are advised to retain the turnitin receipt showing the date and time of electronic submission, in the event of any dispute.

Be sure that your name, the course and section number, and the instructor’s name (and GA’s name, where appropriate) are clearly identified on your paper.

Students must retain a copy of their assignment together with their rough notes.

Do not

  • submit assignments by fax (they will be discarded)
  • submit assignments by email attachment unless otherwise directed by the course instructions.
  • push assignments under the door of an instructor’s office,
  • leave assignments in the wall pockets outside your instructor’s office, or
  • expect Department staff to receive them.


  • The University maintains a listing of Scholarships and Awards.
  • For further information on awards specific to the Politics and Governance program, consult the Awards section of the Departmental web-site.

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Blackboard (see "D2L Brightspace")

Bookstore (see “Services – Ryerson Bookstore”)

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The calendar outlines the degrees and courses offered by the university in addition to the policies, procedures, significant dates, services and more.

The Faculty of Arts Career Counsellor, Sonny Wong, offers individual, confidential counselling and workshops to assist you with many aspects of career and educational planning, such as confirming your degree choice, discovering your career options, job search strategies, and more. Sonny is located in POD-344-K and can be reached at 416-979-5000 x2141, or at

Career information is also available from the Ryerson Career Centre

Challenge Credits
See Challenge Credits on the Curriculum Advising web-page.  Please note that not all courses are eligible to be challenged

Cheating (See “Academic Integrity”)

Collaborative Work (see “Policies – Collaborative/Group Work”)

Any student at Ryerson University has the right to register a concern about a course or faculty member without placing his/her academic evaluation in jeopardy. In the event of any dispute regarding a course offered by the Department of Politics and Public Administration, the student should first contact the Instructor. If the student is dissatisfied with the response from the Instructor, the next step is to contact the Undergraduate Program Director or the Chair. In fairness to all concerned, anonymous communications will not be followed up or acted upon. The Undergraduate Program Director or Chair will not identify the complainant to the Instructor involved without the prior permission of the complainant.

Continuing Education
Many courses are also available through Ryerson’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, in various formats, including Distance Education. Courses offered through Continuing Education are identified by a four-digit alpha-prefix, the first digit of which is “C” (e.g., “POL 122” offered through Continuing Education would be “CPOL 122”).



For guidance on course selection, course drops, academic standing and other concerns specific to your program of studies, your first step should be to consult with the Program Administrator or Undergraduate Program Director (see Contact for contact information).

The Career Counsellor in the Faculty of Arts Student Experience Centre can assist you with educational decision-making and planning including changing programs and future studies (post-diploma, graduate and professional).  The Career Counsellor also counsels Faculty of Arts students who have an academic standing of Required to Withdraw or Permanent Program Withdrawal who are thinking about taking their studies in another direction. 

Career – see “Career” above

The Faculty of Arts Personal Counsellor, Ruth Frolic, is available for confidential, one-on-one counselling about general school-related issues that you can no longer handle on your own (like settling into a new environment, making connections with others at Ryerson, finding motivation) or about personal difficulties you may be experiencing (such as, with family relationships, loss, traumatic experiences, depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug use, or other challenges). Ruth is located in POD-344-H and can be reached at 416-979-5000 x4847, or at

At the University level the Centre for Student Development and Counselling provides services, programs and resources that are intended to assist students not only to solve immediate problems, but also to define their personal, academic and career goals, and to acquire the self-confidence and transferable skills necessary for professional success and individual growth. The range of services provided are outlined on their website. The Centre also provides crisis services, and works with other Ryerson Community Supports.

Course Intentions
Course Intention is the first part of the enrolment process. You request the courses you expect to take in the upcoming academic year so that a timetable can be produced for you before open course enrolment. For further information, consult the appropriate section of the Student Guide.


  • All courses offered by the Department are listed in the calendar. [Select the hyperlink for the current year’s “Undergraduate Calendar,” then “Courses” from the LH menu, then “Politics and Public Administration (POG, POL, PPA)”]
  • Schedule of Course Offerings
    Most required courses are only offered in specific terms and in some cases only offered in alternate years. Students should plan carefully their course selection in order to avoid having to wait a year or more to pick up a course that is only offered, for example, in the fall term, or in alternate years. You are thus advised to choose first the required courses that are being offered in that term before registering in Professionally-Related or Liberal Studies courses.


All undergraduate programs at Ryerson University have a PDF filetripartite curriculum structure consisting of Professional, Professionally-Related, and Liberal Studies courses.

The Departmental web-site provides an explanation of the program curriculum, linked to the relevant pages the calendar. A convenient Degree Checklist is also available on the Departmental website.

Curriculum Substitution

  • It may be possible to substitute a Ryerson course that is not part of the normal curriculum for a course within a student’s program of study. A PDF fileCourse Substitution / Course Directive form must be completed and approved by both the teaching and program departments.
  • It may be possible to earn academic credit for learning and experience outside of the traditional post-secondary environment. See “Challenge Credits.”
  • It may be possible to take courses at another accredited post-secondary institution for credit towards their Ryerson Degree or Certificate. See “Letters of Permission.”

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D2L Brightspace

Ryerson’s one-stop shop for online course materials, library, news, enrollment, and more! Also known as my.ryerson, it is the portal to RAMSS (Ryerson Administrative Management Self Service).

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PDF fileUniversity policy requires all Ryerson students to activate and maintain a Ryerson email account, and that any official or formal electronic communications from students be sent from their official Ryerson E-mail account. Most official correspondence from the University is now sent electronically and will not be sent to non-Ryerson accounts such as hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc. Correspondence from students must be sent via an official Ryerson e-mail account because there is no way to know if an email from a non-Ryerson account is actually from a particular student or that replying to it will be confidential. There should also be no assumption that mail sent from a non-Ryerson account will received by the intended recipient at Ryerson, as it may be filtered by various spam filters.

English-Language Assistance

Extracurricular Activities

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Faculty and Staff Directory

Faculty of Arts

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Financial Aid (Student Financial Assistance)

  • Assistance, awards, bursaries, financial planning, loans, scholarships, work-study
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions

Fire Services

An Exceptional Opportunity for Fire Service Professionals to earn a Level 1 Certificate and an Level 2 Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, both of which are component elements of the B.A. in Public Administration and Governance.  The curriculum and program requirements have been modified specifically for fire service professionals to acquire related knowledge and management skills.

Although the Memorandum of Understanding  that facilitated the delivery of program courses at the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst has been terminated by the OFMEM and the OAFC, Ryerson is committed to delivering, in accessible alternative formats, all of the courses necessary for current students to complete their program(s) of study.

Questions or concerns?  Contact the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD), or the Program Administrator, Viola Ing.

First Nations Partnership
Through a groundbreaking partnership between First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and Ryerson University, First Nations students are able to earn a Certificate, an Advanced Certificate, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Governance.  Since 1999, courses have been delivered in First Nations Communities across Ontario. Please visit the website of the First Nations Technical Institute, external link for further information on the Public Administration and Governance including certificates and degree information, course descriptions, schedules, and forms. For other questions, contact the Program Administrator, Viola Ing.

Check out the Forms Cabinet maintained by the University. Links to frequently used forms appear below:

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Getting Started
You may begin the Public Administration and Governance program in either of two ways: by taking a course through Continuing Education (CE), or by registering directly in the Public Administration and Governance program.  Course(s) may be available on campus, via Distance Education, or (for students of the partnerships), on site.  In either case, course(s) taken can be applied toward the program requirements or can be used as a trial, to test your interest in the program. 

The first course normally taken should be (C)PPA101: Canadian Public Administration I: Institutions or any one of (C)PPA120: Canadian Politics and Government; (C)PPA121: Ontario Politics and Government; (C)PPA122: Local Politics and Government; or (C)PPA124: Indigenous Politics and Governance.

Grade Appeals (see “Policies – Appeals”)

Graduation and Convocation

Group Work (see “Policies – Collaborative/Group Work”)

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Intentions (see "Course Intentions")

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Learning Success Centre  (see "Student Learning Support") 

Letters of Permission
See Letters of Permission on the Curriculum Advising web-site. For application form, see link in “Forms” section of this Handbook.


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One Card
All Ryerson students are required to obtain a “one card” which serves as official identification as well as a host of other functions.

Ontario Fire College (also see "Fire Services")
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and Ryerson was jointly terminated by the OFMEM and the OAFC in November of 2014, so Ryerson courses will no longer be held at the Ontario Fire College (OFC) in Gravenhurst.  Alternate arrangements are being explored.  Questions or concerns?  Contact the Undergraduate Program Director (UPD) or the Program Administrator, Viola Ing.

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Plagiarism (see “Academic Integrity” and “Policies – Academic Integrity”)


  • Academic Council – see “Senate”
  • Academic Integrity
    The Department expects all students enrolled in either of its programs of study to maintain the highest academic standards. To that end, the department requires all students to abide by Senate Policy on PDF fileAcademic Integrity (formerly the "Student Code of Academic Conduct") and related University policies outlined on the Academic Integrity web-site.
  • Accommodation
      See also "Consideration"
  • Appeals (Grade and Standing)
  • PDF fileUniversity Policy
  • Department Policy
    • Standing appeals and Grade appeals where the grounds of appeal is Prejudice, Health, Compassionate, Course Management, Procedural Error
      • must be filed in the Department by the established deadlines (see “Significant Dates” in this Handbook)
      • must be filed on the prescribed forms (see “Forms” section of this Handbook) and accompanied by all necessary supporting documents (including, where necessary, the “Confirmation of Instructor Consultation” form)
      • will be considered by the Department Chair (and possibly Appeals Advisory Committee) in accordance with University policy (above).
    • Requests for grade reassessment will proceed in two stages:

      1. At the COURSE level:
      • requests for re-evaluation must be initiated within ten (10) working days from the date upon which graded student work is returned to the class.
      • requests for re-evaluation are normally initiated with whomever assigned the grade [Graduate Assistant (GA) or Instructor], but this should be specified in course material (syllabus or website).
      • requests for reassessment must include a written statement that – with reference to the graded work, the assignment, and any feedback received – itemises specific reasons for dissatisfaction with the grade assigned (i.e., an appeal cannot be based upon the amount of time spent to complete the graded work nor can it be based upon a heartfelt belief that the work deserved a better grade).
      • a written response must be received by the student within five (5) working days, and the response should address any points raised in the request for reassessment. Where the initial re-evaluation is by a GA, and where the GA’s re-evaluation does not resolve student concerns, the appeal should be escalated, within five (5) working days from receipt of the GA’s decision, to the Instructor by providing a copy of the statement submitted to the GA, any response thereto, and a further written statement indicating reasons that the GA response failed to satisfy. The Instructor must respond to the student within five (5) working days from receipt of all the documentation noted above.

      2. At the DEPARTMENT level:
      • where review at the COURSE level – by the GA (where appropriate) and/or the Instructor – fails to produce an outcome satisfactory to the student, or where the review by the GA and/or Instructor is not completed within the timelines specified above, or where the Instructor declines to re-evaluate the student work and the student is dissatisfied with that decision, the appeal may be escalated to the Department Chair by providing:
        • a written request for reassessment outlining the specific reasons for dissatisfaction with the assigned grade, and responding to written feedback provided by the GA and/or Instructor;
        • copies of any statements and responses related to the request for re-evaluation at the COURSE level including, when missed deadlines are an issue, evidence of the date of submission of the re-evaluation request;
        • the marked copy of the assignment; and
        • a clean copy of the assignment for possible review by a third party.
      • the decision of the Department Chair is final in terms of substance. Appeals of the Department Chair's decision can only be based on procedural error.
    • Attendance (Department Policy)
      • Grades assigned for attendance may be a subset of an overall participation grade
      • Grades for attendance alone should not comprise more than 10% of the overall evaluation scheme for the course.
      • If a grade for attendance forms part of the evaluative framework of a course, the syllabus must outline clearly the basis upon which attendance grades will be awarded.
      • If a grade for attendance forms part of the evaluative framework of a course, the instructor must keep a written record of student attendance together with a written justification of the individual grades assigned for attendance, and be prepared to provide both to the Department Appeals Committee in the event of a grade appeal.
    • Collaborative/Group Work (Department Policy)
      • For general guidance, see the Academic Integrity web-site, particularly the tutorial episode #5 entitled Group Work
      • In courses offered by the Department of Politics and Public Administration:
        • Grades assigned for group/collaborative work shall not comprise more than 25% of the overall evaluation scheme for the course.
        • The course syllabus must outline:
          • clear criteria for group work; and
          • processes/procedures by which students who encounter difficulty with their working group may have their concerns addressed in a fair, appropriate and timely way.
        • Instructors must keep a written justification of the individual grades assigned for group (collaborative) work, and be prepared to provide that written justification to the Department Appeals Committee in the event of a grade appeal.
    • Code of Conduct
    • Consideration
      Students seeking academic consideration (e.g., extended assignment deadlines, make-up tests/exams) on health grounds may be required to provide a completed PDF fileStudent Health Certificate
    • PDF fileCourse Management
    • Course Variation (Department Policy)
      All courses offered by the Department of Politics and Public Administration are designed to achieve the desired learning outcomes established for that course as determined by the Department Curriculum Committee. The Department endorses the concept of academic freedom and creativity by allowing faculty to determine the structure and method of evaluation for the courses for which they are responsible. To that end, the same course taught by different instructors will maintain the same learning objectives, but the course programming and evaluation may differ from instructor to instructor.
    • Direct Supervision (Department Policy)
      In courses offered by the Department of Politics and Public Administration, a minimum of twenty-five per cent (25%) of the course grade will be completed under direct supervision.
    • Disability (see “Accommodation – Students with Disabilities”)
    • Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy
    • PDF fileExamination Policy
    • PDF fileGrading, Promotion, and Academic Standing (“GPA Policy”)
    • Group Work – see “Collaborative/Group Work”
    • PDF fileHealth Documentation
    • Other
    • Participation (Department Policy)
      • Grades assigned for participation should not comprise more than 20% of the overall evaluation scheme for the course (including any grade assigned for attendance).
      • If a grade for participation forms part of the evaluative framework of a course, the syllabus must outline clearly the basis upon which participation grades will be awarded.
      • Instructors must keep a written justification of the individual grades assigned for participation, and be prepared to provide that written justification to the Department Appeals Committee in the event of a grade appeal.
  • Probation (see “Standing”)

    Practicum (PPA 50A/B)

    Students who believe themselves qualified to enrol in the Practicum Option of the program must apply in a two-step process..  The first step should be undertaken  following successful completion of 3 out of the 8 courses in Level 2.  Although PPA 50A/B should be the last thing taken in the Public Administration and Governance program, eligibility must be determined early, in order to plan the orderly satisfaction of the degree requirements.

    Note that enrolment in PPA 50A/B requires, in addition to approved work experience, a cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 2.67 or higher following the completion of Levels 1 and 2, PPA333, and at least six (6) of the eight (8) “Required Group 1” courses at Level 3.

    For further information about the Public Administration and Governance program, please consult the Departmental web-site.

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    “Ryerson Administrative Management Self-Service” is the system that you use to register in courses, check your degree progress, and a host of other activities. It is accessible through the portal.

    All students are expected to participate in the Course Intentions process and to complete their own course registration online, using RAMSS, at the earliest opportunity (“appointment periods” are announced by the Registrar by e-mail). Most courses have firm enrolment caps, and classes can fill up early.

    Rights and Responsibilities (see “Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities)

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    Senate (University body responsible for academic policy)

    PDF fileNomination Form (undergraduate student representative)

    Services and Facilities

  • Academic Accommodation Support (formerly the Access Centre)
  • Bookstore (see "Campus Store")
  • Campus Store
  • Career Centre
  • Centre for Student Development and Counselling
  • CESAR , external link(Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson)
  • Counselling – Academic:  (Department)
  • Counselling – Career  (Faculty of Arts):  see also “Counselling - Personal”
  • Counselling – Personal (Faculty of Arts):  see also “Counselling - Career”
  • Counselling (University): see Centre for Student Development and Counselling
  • Department transfer credit info
  • English Language Support
  • Human Rights Services
  • Community Safety and Security
  • Library
  • Math Support
  • Learning Success Centre (see "Student Learning Support")
  • Medical Centre
  • Positive Space
  • RSU, external link (Ryerson Student Union)
  • Ryerson Bookstore (see "Campus Store")
  • Safe House
  • Security and Emergency Services (see "Integrated Risk Management")
  • Sports and Recreation (includes Recreation and Athletics Centre)
  • Student Experience Centre
  • Student Learning Support
  • Student Life - Faculty of Arts
  • Student Services See also information in the Calendar
  • University transfer credit policy/infoWriting Support
  • Writing Support
  • Significant Dates

    Standing (also see “Policies – Grading, Promotion and Academic Standing”)

    An initial grade point average (and academic standing) is not calculated until three or more course grades are available;

    Students who receive a Probationary Academic Standing may not continue their studies until they have met with the Undergraduate Director or Program Administrator and executed a written probationary contract, which may include any or all of:

    Students who fail to execute, by the last date to add courses for the semester, a written probationary contract outlining their plan of studies will have their course registrations and course intention requests cancelled for the semester in which they are on probation and will be Required To Withdraw (RTW) from their program unless the program Department determines otherwise.

    No course may be repeated more than twice so, if a required course is failed for a third time, you will be Permanently Withdrawn from the program.  Students who are Permanently Withdrawn from the program may not apply for reinstatement to that program.

    Students will be Required To Withdraw (RTW) from their program for one of the following reasons:

    - a CGPA of less than 1.00 (except for students enrolled for their first semester); or
    - BOTH a term GPA and CGPA below 1.67 while on probation; or
    - violation of a Probationary Contract (including unauthorized changes to the contract or failure to negotiate a Probationary Contract).

    Students who have a “Required to Withdraw” standing cannot – unless they participate in the Fresh Start Program – continue their program of studies, and cannot apply for reinstatement for a period of twelve (12) months. View further information.