Victoria SPA

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University of Victoria, School of Public Administration (SPA) – MPA

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration is an academic unit within the Faculty of Human and Social Development.

Curriculum Design: The MPA program is a two-year (plus usually some months), full-time program if completed on-campus. The School has a full Online version of the MPA (the only one of its kind in Canada, and rare among all the programs reviewed to date) that is also two-years. For the On Campus program there are 8 required courses and 2 electives plus two required co-op placements and a Thesis. The program tilts towards management rather than policy analysis, with a research methods rather than analytical methods course. The Victoria MPA has a relatively high proportion of required courses and a high proportion of courses taught within the school.

Note 1: The curriculum described on this page had recently been modified from the previous curriculum, which is described at Victoria SPA (pre-2019).

Note 2: The University of Victoria is one of the few we have encountered that provides an indication of the study time expected of students. Under the FAQ for Public Administration Graduate Programs, the university states: “How much work is involved? Students should plan to spend 10 to 15 hours per week on each course you take; this is a sizeable time commitment and you’ll need good time management skills to assure success” (at http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/graduate/faq/index.php, accessed 21 November 2019). This is consistent with our Hours of Study Proposition (see Credit and Course Equivalencies) to the effect that the syllabus for a one-semester MPP/MPA course can be designed with the expectation that the typical student can achieve the median grade with a total of 120 hours of combined in-class and outside-class study. 

Professional Program Features: The School of Public Administration includes former practitioners among its teaching faculty. The website does not reference a career advisement function. The School’s research activity is described at: http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/research/index.php.

Program Summary

Website: http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/

University: University of Victoria

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Degree: Master of Arts in Public Administration (MPA)

Marketing Approach: MPA On Campus: “The MPA Thesis-Based (On Campus) Option has a challenging curriculum that will help you build competencies in strategic awareness, analytical thinking, engagement, communication, professionalism, and leadership. The program is comprised of two academic semesters interleaved with two co-operative work terms. The MPA Thesis-Based option culminates with the thesis, which could be done in collaboration with a client organization. The thesis requires researching problems and considering strategic options to address a policy or management challenge for a government agency, non-profit organization, or community client. The thesis involves reviewing literature, undertaking empirical work, best practices, and developing options and recommendations. All of the MPA courses will prepare you for the thesis.” (At http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/graduate/future-students/grad-programs/pa-campus/index.php, accessed 21 November 2019.)

MPA Online: “Are you an active professional interested in advancing your career? The MPA Course-based Online option is designed for experienced administrators who plan to study towards a graduate degree while continuing to work in goverment at the local, provincial, federal, First Nations, or international level. You will be encouraged to explore theory and practice in both policy analysis and public management and will acquire a mix of skills that create career opportunities as managers, analysts, and consultants. Among our graduates are city managers, non-profit administrators, government administrators, and leaders in the interface between business and government. We welcome students from across Canada who are committed to developing their public sector leadership skills while combining their work and family responsibilities with graduate study. (At http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/graduate/future-students/grad-programs/pa-online/index.php, accessed 21 November 2019.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: The School of Public Administration is an academic unit within the Faculty of Human and Social Development.

Related Degrees: The School of Public Administration offers two On Campus degrees: Master of Public Administration and PhD in Public Administration; and two Online degrees: Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Evaluation.

Posted Tuition: Effective 1 May 2019: $1,972 per term for domestic students, $2,487 per term for international students (https://www.uvic.ca/vpfo/accounting/assets/docs/tuition/tuition-schedule.pdf, accessed 21 November 2019).

Degree Requirements

Summary: MPA On Campus: Thesis Option students are required to complete a total of 18.0 units: 8 core courses (1.5 units each), 2 elective courses (1.5 units each), plus PADR 589 (0 units), 2 Co-op work terms, and the Master’s Thesis (6.0 units):

  • Elective Courses: two from (space permitting)
    • ADMN 523, 531, 537, 544, 547, 548, 550, 553, 577, 578, 580, 581, 582
    • Courses from other School of Public Administration offerings:
      • MADR (DR) or MACD (CD) courses (first preference is given to students in those programs)
    • 400-level undergraduate courses (ADMN) offered by the School of Public Administration, including:
      • ADMN 407, 409, 411, 423, 431A, 431B, 437, 445, 446, 452, 470 (with appropriate topic), 477 or from other academic programs: with permission of the instructor of those courses and the School Graduate Adviser.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of two Co-op terms, with an optional third Co-op term
  • Final Requirement
    • ADMN 599 Thesis

* based on a review of students’ prior academic history by the Graduate Adviser, the student may be able to substitute an alternate course if prior academic work covers the content of a given core course.

MPA Online: Course-based (Online) option students are required to complete a total 10 1.5 unit courses for a total of 15 units.

  • Elective Courses: two from (space permitting)
    • ADMN 502B523537544547548553554577578580581582
    • Courses from other School of Public Administration offerings:
      • MADR (DR) or MACD (CD) courses (first preference is given to students in those programs) 400-level undergraduate courses (ADMN) offered by the School of Public Administration, including:
    • ADMN 407409411423431A431B437445446452470 (with appropriate topic), 477 or from other academic programs: with permission of the instructor of those courses and the School Graduate Adviser.

* based on a review of students’ prior academic history by the Graduate Adviser, the student may be able to substitute an alternate course if prior academic work covers the content of a given core course.

Duration: “It is possible to complete the full-time MPA Thesis Option (On Campus) in two years, (six terms, including two co-operative work terms). However, some students may require more time to complete the thesis” (at https://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/graduate/future-students/grad-programs/pa-campus/index.php). “The part-time MPA Course-Based (Online) option program can be completed within two years, if the program schedule is followed.” (at https://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/graduate/future-students/grad-programs/pa-online/index.php).

Academic Prerequisite: To be eligible for admission, you must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum B+ average (75-79%) in the last two years (30 units) leading to the undergraduate degree. Applicants to the MPA Online program must [in addition] be currently employed with and have a minimum of three years of full-time public sector or non-profit work experience.

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: MPA On Campus: 12 plus 2 required co-op placements; MPA Online: 10.

Number of Required Courses: MPA On Campus: 8 plus Thesis and 2 co-op placements. MPA Online: 8.

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 2

Number of Electives Offered within Program: 22

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: Yes for On Campus MPA; No for Online MPA.

Internship Required: MPA On Campus: Yes, students must complete a 2 full-time co-op work terms. MPA Online: No

International Study Required: No.

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: The School of Public Administration, through its Centre for Public Sector Studies offers a variety of specialized professional development workshops for individuals or organizations looking to enhance their knowledge of public sector leadership and management.

Student-run Journal: Not referenced on School website.

Applied Projects: Yes (Thesis).

Pro Bono Consulting: Not referenced on School website.

Courses Offered: The full list of MPA graduate courses are found on pages 253 to 255 of the September 2019 Graduate Calendar at https://web.uvic.ca/calendar2019-09/pdfs/graduate-201909_Part6.pdf. With permission, students can also select upper-level (400) undergraduate courses offered in other departments at the University of Victoria. The courses offered by the School of Public Administration are listed at pages 353 and 354 or the September 2019 Undergraduate Calendar at https://web.uvic.ca/calendar2019-09/pdfs/undergraduate-201909_Part18.pdf and these have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses for the On Campus MPA are indicated by (R).

Course Map for Victoria MPA

R indicates required course

Analysis
and Skills

Policy Analysis and Process

PADR505 Policy Making and Policy Communities (R for On Campus)

ADMN556 The Public Policy Process (R for On-Line)

Implementation and Delivery

ADMN577 Strategic Planning and Implementation

ADMN407 Managing Service Delivery

ADMN411 Public Sector Project Management

ADMN470 Reforming Government

Economic Analysis

ADMN509 Microeconomics for Policy Analysis (R)

Quantitative Methods

ADMN557 Pubic Sector Research Methods (R)

ADMN581 Quantitative Methods for Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Analytic Methods
Leadership Skills

PADR504 Leadership, Management, Ethics (R)

Communication Skills

ADMN550 Strategic Communication and Engagement

Multiple Subjects

Capstones,  Internships, Theses, etc.

ADMN599 Master’s Thesis (2R)

PADR589 Co-op Seminar – Introduction to Professional Practice (R, non-credit)

ADMN523 Special Topics in Public Sector Management

ADMN548 Special Topics in Public Policy

Institutions
and Context

Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

ADMN504 Government and Governance (R)

ADMN547 Intergovernmental Relations in Canada

Ethics, Rights and Accountability
Socioeconomic and Political Context
Global Context

Management
Functions

Public Financial Management

ADMN512 Public Sector Financial Management and Accountability (R)

Evaluation and Performance Measurement

ADMN537 Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement

ADMN544 Economic Evaluation Methods and Applications

ADMN580 Qualitative Evaluation Methods and Applications

ADMN582 Topics in Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Human Resource Management

ADMN531 Performance and Strategic Human Resource Management

ADM431B Labour Relations Negotiations

Information and Technology Management
Regulatory Policy and Management
Local Government Management

ADMN423 Local Government in British Columbia

ADMN446 Local Government Land Use Planning

ADMN452 Local Government Law

Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

ADMN409 Leading and Managing in the Non-Profit Sector

Policy
Sectors

Macroeconomic Policy
International Development
Public Finance and Social Policy
Health
Education
Employment, Labour and Immigration
Cities, Urban and Regional Development

ADMN553 Understanding Cities

ADMN578 European Union Urban Region Policies

ADMN445 Urban and Regional Economics

Environment and Sustainability
Agriculture and Resources
Science, Technology and Innovation
Industry, Trade and Investment
Energy, Transport and Infrastructure
Defence, Security and Foreign Relations
Policing and Justice Administration
Arts and Culture
Financial Markets

 

Source: At http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/publicadmin/ and related sites (accessed 21 November 2019).

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 9 December 2019.

Image: Screenshot of school website on 21 November 2019.