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 15 courses is in the middle quintile of the programs reviewed. Our PEACO calculations below suggest that typical students take about 76% of their coursework in policy-oriented subjects and 23% in management-oriented subjects. Typical students take about 23% of their coursework in subjects with high math-economics content. This places 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 competency gap analysis below suggests 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: “Canada’s oldest and largest multi-disciplinary graduate school, the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton is dedicated to producing leaders in public service. After 60 years as a leader in education for public administration, SPPA has several thousand alumni, many of whom occupy top positions in governments across Canada and around the world, as well as in the private and voluntary sectors. … Our Master of Arts in Public Administration is a professionally relevant academic degree that provides a strong foundation in both the theory and practice of public sector management and policy analysis. … Academically rigorous and professionally relevant, the School’s multidisciplinary MA program provides students with a blend of analytical and professional skills in preparation for diverse careers working in or with government, private and non-profit organizations, or for further graduate study in areas relevant to public policy and administration.” (At http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/about-2/directors-message/ and http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/academics/ma/, accessed 30 January 2014.)
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: $7,453 per year for domestic students entering in 2013 (at http://www5.carleton.ca/financialservices/student-accounts-receivable/tuition-fees/fw-gr/fallwinter-2013-14-domestic-graduate-tuition-fees/).
Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The MA program is multidisciplinary, and can be completed in four terms of full-time study. It provides students with a blend of analytical and professional skills that will prepare them for a career in the public sector, or for further graduate study. See the Graduate program for details.
During the first year of the program, students focus on the core courses that address the central political, economic, organizational and normative aspects of public policy issues. In that first year, students typically take seven core courses which provide the basic skills and knowledge that are essential for a career in the public and non-profit sectors, and which also prepare students for the elective courses that they will take in the second year of the program. During the second year, students customize the program according to their personal or professional interests by selecting elective courses from four concentrations.
- The Policy Analysis Concentration covers the theory, methods and practice of policy analysis, as well as the specific issues and challenges of certain policy fields.
- The Public Management Concentration focuses on the institutions and practices of modern states, including the theoretical and technical approaches to accountability, leadership, evaluation, fiscal control, ethics, and organizational development.
- The Innovation, Science and Environment Concentration considers the problems that confront governments, firms and society in making and implementing innovation, science and environment policies.
- The International and Development Concentration examines the economic and social problems confronting citizens, national administrative systems and policy makers in different jurisdictions throughout our increasingly integrated and competitive world.
Students have the opportunity to conduct independent research by including a directed study, research essay or thesis among their electives. What is more, they are able to gain professional experience during the degree by participating in the Co-operative Education Program. Most of the co-op positions are with the federal public service, but positions are also available with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as the private and non-profit sectors.
Summary: In the first year, students typically take seven core courses which provide the basic skills and knowledge that are essential for a career in the public and non-profit sectors, and which also prepare students for the elective courses that they will take in the second year of the program. During the second year, students customize the program according to their personal or professional interests by selecting elective courses from four concentrations. To complete a concentration, students must complete at least four of the courses listed as electives for that concentration. A course cross-listed between concentrations qualifies for either concentration but may count toward only one of them.
Duration: 2 years (four terms of full-time study).
Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 15
Number of Required Courses: 7
Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 8
Number of Electives Offered within Program: 44
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 full list of 2013-2014 SPPA courses for Fall 2013 are found at http://carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/2013-fall-course-outlines/ and those for Winter 2014 are found at http://carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/2014-winter-course-outlines/ and many have course outlines. (Note that course outlines for courses delivered in the 2012-13 academic year can be found at: http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/2012-fall-course-outlines/ and http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/2013-winter-course-outlines/.) With permission, students can also select graduate-level courses offered by other units at Carleton University. The courses offered by the School of Public Policy and Administration in the two-semester academic year of 2013-14 have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses are indicated by (R). Courses used by the Atlas as Illustrative Courses are marked with an asterisk (*).
Course Outlines and Syllabi Online: Carleton SPPA provides syllabi for most of its courses at http://www.carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/.
Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm.
|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).
Page created by: Ian Clark on 15 September 2013, last updated 14 December 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program’s structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation.
[TO BE POPULATED WITH MATERIAL BELOW COPIED FROM ORGINAL ATLAS IN DECEMBER 2015 ]
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