Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) – MAPA
Program Comparison Highlights
Institutional Structure: Carleton’s Master of Arts in Public Administration is delivered through the School of Public Policy and Administration, an academic unit within the Faculty of Public Affairs. Most teaching staff hold faculty appointments within the School. Unlike many such schools in other universities, SPPA delivers only one professional Master’s degree; other cognate professional degrees such as the MA in international affairs are delivered by other academic units. With annual admissions of approximately 70, the Carleton MA is one of the largest MPP/MPA programs in Canada and in the top quartile in North America.
Curriculum Design: The Carleton MAPA degree requirement of 14 courses is in the middle quintile of the programs reviewed. Our PEACO calculations below (based on the 2014-15 academic year when the degree requirement was 15 courses) suggest that that year typical students took about 76% of their coursework in policy-oriented subjects and 23% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students took about 23% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content. This placed the Carlton MAPA in the “medium course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content” curricular type, along with such programs as the American University MPP and the Syracuse MPA. Among peers in its curricular type, the Carleton MAPA has an average proportion of required courses, a relatively high number of program-specific courses on offer and a very high proportion of the coursework of a typical students is in program-specific courses taught within the school. The 2015 competency gap analysis below suggested that a Carleton MAPA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 28 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 9 course-weeks in Leadership Skills, and shortfalls of 3 or 4 course-weeks each in Communication Skills, Democratic Institutions and Policy Process, Ethics and Accountability, and Evaluation and Performance Measurement.
Professional Program Features: The Carleton MAPA makes extensive use of current and former practitioners in its teaching. Its courses do not use case studies as intensively as some other programs but most of its courses do involve specific public policy and management applications. Students have access to professional development modules, career counselling services and co-curricular activities with a professional focus. There are no courses with a requirement for undertaking a project with an institutional client. There are 9 research centres and initiatives and many of the faculty have a moderate to active practice-orientation in their research.
University: Carleton University
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Degree: Master of Arts in Public Administration (MAPA)
Marketing Approach: “Our approach to comprehending what governments can or should do starts with real-world situations, and then brings to them the understanding that allows identification of key considerations and influences, their interconnections and their responsiveness to policy tools. The MPPA enables you to develop that understanding through core courses that connect the concrete to the conceptual, that balance theory with practice. These courses introduce you to the types of modern challenges that governments now face and the fundamental techniques of policy analysis. They provide a grounding in the research methods to measure the need for and effects of public policies and programs. They enable you to recognize multiple forms of markets and transactions, the effects of incentives and the ways in which economies do or do not serve the material well-being of their populations. The courses also prepare you to anticipate and work with the institutions of government institutions, the central skills required by public managers, and the legal and ethical frameworks in which they function. A final-year capstone course gives you the hands-on experience of working in teams to develop strategies to address a particular policy problem.” (At https://carleton.ca/sppa/ma/, accessed 4 October 2018.)
Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]
Academic Unit within University: School of Public Policy and Administration within the Faculty of Public Affairs. This faculty is also home to the Departments of Political Science and of Economics, as well as the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs and the Schools of Social Work and of Journalism and Communication.
Affiliated Research Centres: SPPA has 9 affiliated research centres and initiatives: Carleton Centre for Community Innovation; Centre for Urban Research and Education; Centre for Governance and Public Management; Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre; Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science and Environment; Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership; Regulatory Governance Initiative; and Ontario Network for Sustainable Energy Policy (see http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/research/research-centres/ accessed 6 July 2014).
Posted Tuition: $8,911 per year for domestic students entering in 2018 (at https://carleton.ca/studentaccounts/tuition-fees/fw-gr/fallwinter-2018-19-domestic-GR-tuition-fees/).
Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The Master of Public Policy and Administration is made up of ten required single-semester courses and four electives. It can be completed in five or six terms of full-time study, including two terms of full-time co-op work. The program can be completed over a shorter period without the co-op terms, or over a longer period through part-time study. (At https://carleton.ca/sppa/ma/, accessed 4 October 2018.)
Summary: The Master of Public Policy and Administration is made up of ten required single-semester courses and four electives. It can be completed in five or six terms of full-time study, including two terms of full-time co-op work. The program can be completed over a shorter period without the co-op terms, or over a longer period through part-time study. (At https://carleton.ca/sppa/ma/, accessed 4 October 2018.)
Duration: 2 years (four terms of full-time study).
Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 17
Number of Required Courses: 10
Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 4
Number of Electives Offered within Program: 44 (estimate in 2015)
Comprehensive Examination: No
Thesis Required: No
Internship Required: No
International Study Required: No
Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree
Professional Development and Career Support: Not described on website
Student-run Journal: Not described on website
Applied Projects: Not described on website
Pro Bono Consulting: Not described on website
Courses Offered: The calendar lists required and elective course at http://calendar.carleton.ca/grad/gradprograms/publicadministration/#Master_of_Public_Policy_and_Administration (accessed 4 October 2018).
Course Outlines and Syllabi Online: Carleton SPPA no longer provides online public access to its syllabi. One-paragraph summaries are provided at the calendar link above.
Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered in academic year 2014-15, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm.
2014-15 Academic Year
|Curricular Type Parameters|
|Number of Courses Required for Graduation||15.0|
|Math-Economics Subjects (EA, QM, Macro, Fin Markets)||23.4%|
|Enrolment-Adjusted Course Distribution|
|Analysis and Skill Subjects||34.6%|
|– Policy and Management Analysis||11.2%|
|– Economic Analysis||6.7%|
|– Quantitative and Analytic Methods||16.7%|
|– Leadership and Communication Skills||0.0%|
|Institutions and Context Subjects||20.1%|
|– Democratic Institutions and Policy Process||7.8%|
|– Ethics, Rights and Accountability||1.1%|
|– Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts||11.2%|
|Management Function Subjects||10.2%|
|– Public Financial Management||2.3%|
|– Evaluation and Performance Measurement||1.1%|
|– Other Management Functions||6.8%|
|Policy Sector Subjects||35.0%|
|– Macroeconomic Policy||7.8%|
|– International Development||4.5%|
|– Other Policy Sectors||19.3%|
|Core Competency Gap Analysis (in Course-Weeks)|
|Course-Weeks in Core Subjects taken by Typical Student||129|
|Surplus or Shortfall Relative to Core Competency Requirement|
|– Policy and Management Analysis (CCR = 18 course-weeks)||2|
|– Economic Analysis (CCR = 12)||0|
|– Quantitative and Analytic Methods (CCR = 12)||2|
|– Analytic Methods (CCR = 6)||10|
|– Leadership Skills (CCR = 9)||-9|
|– Communication Skills (CCR = 3 courses)||-3|
|– Democratic Institutions and Policy Process (CCR = 18)||-4|
|– Ethics, Rights and Accountability (CCR = 6 courses)||-4|
|– Socioeconomic and Political Context (CCR = 6)||8|
|– Global Context (CCR = 3)||3|
|– Public Financial Management (CCR = 6)||-2|
|– Evaluation and Performance Measurement (CCR = 6)||-4|
|– Human Resource Management (CCR = 3)||-1|
|– Information and Technology Management (CCR = 3)||-1|
|– Macroeconomic Policy (CCR = 6)||8|
|– Environment and Sustainability (CCR = 3)||3|
|Subject-Matter Shortfall for Typical Student (Sum of Shortfalls)||-28|
Source: At http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/academics/ma/ and related sites (last accessed 24 February 2015 and 4 October 2018).
Page created by: Ian Clark on December 2015. Last updated in where noted with 2018-19 calendar data on 4 October 2018.
Course Map for 2018-19 Required Courses
(see below for map of required plus elective courses for 2014-15 from Old Atlas at http://portal.publicpolicy.utoronto.ca/en/MPPMPAPrograms/CarletonSPPA/Pages/default.aspx)
Course Map for 2014-15 Required and Elective Courses
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