York Glendon

GlendonYork University, Glendon School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) – MPIA 

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The Master of Policy and International Affairs is offered by the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, which houses one of the five graduate programs on the Glendon campus of York University.

Curriculum Design: As its name implies, the York University Master of Policy and International Affairs (MPIA) provides a mix of content found in other universities’ Master’s programs in public affairs programs and Master’s programs in international affairs. (See Comparisons with International Affairs Programs.) Our PEACO calculations below estimate that the typical students in this 15-course program take 8% of their coursework in subjects with high maths-economics content and that the split between coursework in policy-oriented and management-oriented subjects is 80% to 20%. This places the York Glendon MPIA in the “medium course requirement, policy-oriented, lower math-economics content” curricular type, along with such programs as the American University MPA and the Oxford MPP (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). Comparisons can also be made with respect to the proportion of coursework that the typical students take in what we call archetypal public affairs subjects and archetypal international affairs subjects. Our PEACO calculations suggest that, on average, York Glendon MPIA students take 29% of their coursework in archetypal public affairs subjects and 23% of their coursework in archetypal international affairs subjects. The latter number is much higher than most public affairs programs (for example, it is 8% for the Carleton MAPA, 12% for the Toronto MPP, 12% for the Syracuse MPA). Indeed, as illustrated in Exhibit 2 of Comparison with International Affairs Programs, it is as high as some of the explicitly international affairs degrees offered by members of the some of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). The competency gap analysis below suggests that a York Glendon MPIA student taking the required courses and a random selection of listed electives would, on average, graduate with approximately 51 course-weeks of shortfall in the core-competency subject matter identified in MPP/MPA Core Competencies, including shortfalls of 12 course-weeks in Quantitative Methods, 9 course-weeks in Leadership Skills and 6 course-weeks in each of: Public Financial Management; Evaluation and Performance Measurement; and Macroeconomic Policy. On the other hand, this student would graduate with well over the minimum competency requirements in Global Context; and particularly in Socioeconomic and Political Context.

Professional Program Features: The Glendon School includes many current and former practitioners on its teaching and visiting faculty. The Research News section of the website can be found at https://gl.yorku.ca/GlProfProfiles.nsf/ResearchHome?OpenForm&subnavigation=faculty. The School hosts the Centre for Global Challenges and Global Brief magazine.

Program Summary

Website: https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gspia/

University: York University

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Degree: Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA)

Marketing Approach: “A unique Canadian institution, the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs combines a comprehensive bilingualism with a focus upon both public and international affairs. Adopting a global perspective, the School explores the relationship between public institutions and their larger environment. Its purpose is to advance research on public and international affairs; provide a high-quality bilingual master’s program; and offer innovative professional development programming. The Glendon School is located in mid-town Toronto on the fully bilingual Glendon Campus of York University. This picturesque setting is the ideal venue for bringing together public leaders and academic specialists to discuss and debate the challenges facing contemporary public life. The flagship component of the School, our Master’s program offers a uniquely bilingual education that will prepare students for leadership roles in public life. Students become well-versed not only in public policy and administration, but in public affairs – a broader examination of Canadian public institutions and the international environments in which they function.” (At http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gspia/english/index.php, accessed 13 May 2015.)

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

Academic Unit within University: The Glendon School of Public and International Affairs houses one of the five graduate programs on the Glendon campus of York University.

Related Academic Units and Degrees: York University’s graduate programs are listed, by graduate unit, at http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/programsearch.

Posted Tuition: $3,684.72 for two terms for domestic students for 2014-15; $6,522.35 for international students (at http://sfs.yorku.ca/fees/courses/index.php?term=fw13&faculty=Graduate%2BStudies, accessed 13 May 2015).

Concentration/Curriculum Overview: MPIA Program Highlights

  • Canada’s first bilingual Master’s program in public and international affairs.
  • A small, specialized program ensuring close interaction with professors who are experts in their fields.
  • A solid preparation for leadership positions within governmental organizations at the federal, provincial, and local levels; non-governmental organizations; public affairs journalism; and business-government relations.
  • An internship component with a governmental or non-governmental organization.
  • A university exchange opportunity within Canada or abroad.
  • A continuation of Glendon’s proud tradition of preparing future bilingual leaders for public life.
  • A bilingual campus in a picturesque setting in midtown Toronto.

Degree Requirements

MPIA Course Work Option: Two years of full-time study with the equivalent of 13 one-semester courses and an internship worth 2 one-semester courses. A minimum of four courses in one’s second language (English or French).

MPIA Research Stream Option – Major Research Paper: Students who choose the MRP option will be exempted from the two elective courses in their second term of the 2nd year (last academic term) and exempted from the Capstone Seminar. The MRP is a substantial piece of original research in which students write about an original topic in public and international affairs. Their MRP is expected to situate the topic within the broader literature as well as the relevant theory, to explain the methodology and critique the sources used.

Duration: 2 years (full-time)

Academic Prerequisite: Completion of an honours undergraduate degree program or equivalent (typically a four-year program with full-time enrolment) from an accredited post-secondary institution with a minimum grade point average of B+ in the final two years of study is required.  Experience in public sector employment is desirable but not required. You are required to be proficient in at least one language (English or French) with at least a working knowledge of the other language.

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 15 (13 plus internship worth 2)

Number of Required Courses: 8 (Coursework Option, including Colloquium and Internship)

Number of Electives Typically Taken: 7

Number of Electives Offered within Program:

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: No for MPIA Course Work Option. The MPIA Research Stream Option requires a Major Paper.

Internship Required: Yes, but can be substituted with 2 electives

International Study Required: No, but Glendon offers a MPIA Dual Degree with l’Université de Strasbourg. Also, The Glendon School of Public and International Affairs maintain exchange agreements with the following four universities: Université Laval, Québec – MA in Analyse de politiques, Sciences-Po, Paris – MA in Affaires publiques, Sciences-Po, Université de Strasbourg – MA in ALORE, and El Colégio de México

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Not listed on website

Student-run Journal: Not referenced on website

Applied Projects: Not referenced on website

Pro Bono Consulting: Not referenced on website

Courses Offered: The full list of 2015-2016 MPIA courses is found at: http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gspia/courses/. The courses for 2013-14 were downloaded to the Atlas at Course List for Master’s program in Public and International Affairs (MPIA). In the Course Map below, required courses (Coursework Option) are indicated by (R).

Course Material Online: Summaries but not syllabi are found at http://www.glendon.yorku.ca/gspia/courses (accessed on 14 December 2015).

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) 8.3%
Policy-Oriented Subjects 79.9%
Management-Oriented Subjects 20.1%
Enrolment-Adjusted Course Distribution
Analysis and Skill Subjects 26.9%
  – Policy and Management Analysis 8.3%
  – Economic Analysis 8.3%
  – Quantitative  and Analytic Methods 10.2%
  – Leadership and Communication Skills 0.0%
Institutions and Context Subjects 46.4%
  – Democratic Institutions and Policy Process 12.1%
  – Ethics, Rights and Accountability 3.8%
  – Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts 30.5%
Management Function Subjects 0.0%
  – Public Financial Management 0.0%
  – Evaluation and Performance Measurement 0.0%
  – Other Management Functions 0.0%
Policy Sector Subjects 26.7%
  – Macroeconomic Policy 0.0%
  – International Development 3.8%
  – Health 1.9%
  – Other Policy Sectors 21.0%
                              Total 100%
Competency Gap Analysis (in Course-Weeks of Instruction)
Course-Weeks in Core Subjects taken by Typical Student 139
Surplus or Shortfall Relative to Core Competency Requirement
  – Policy and Management Analysis (CCR = 18 course-weeks) -3
  – Economic Analysis (CCR = 12) 3
  – Quantitative Methods (CCR = 12) -12
  – Analytic Methods (CCR = 6) 12
  – 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) 1
  – Socioeconomic and Political Context (CCR = 6) 18
  – Global Context (CCR = 3) 28
  – Public Financial Management (CCR = 6) -6
  – Evaluation and Performance Measurement (CCR = 6) -6
  – Human Resource Management (CCR = 3) -3
  – Information and Technology Management (CCR = 3) -3
  – Macroeconomic Policy (CCR = 6) -6
  – Environment and Sustainability (CCR = 3) 4
Subject-Matter Shortfall for Typical Student (Sum of Shortfalls) -51
Additional Parameters
Total Courses Listed 40
Courses Designated as Required (inc. Specialization Reqs) 7.0
Archetypal Public Affairs Subjects (P&MA, EA, QM, DI&PP) 28.8%
Archetypal International Affairs Subjects (I&GC, ID, DS&FR) 22.9%


Source: The school website at (course material accessed 21 January 2014).

Page Created By: Matthew Seddon on 22 January 2014; updated by Ian Clark 24 January 2014 and Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Last modified by Ian Clark on 14 December 2015 and links to main website on 5 July 2019.

Image: Screenshot of school website on 14 December 2015.

Course Map

and Skills

Policy and Management Analysis

PIA 6001: The Policy Process (R)

Economic Analysis

PIA 6002: Economics and Public Policy – Économie et politique publique (R)

Quantitative Methods
Analytic Methods

PIA 6003: Research Methods – Méthodes de recherche (R)

PIA 6318: Notion of Risk in Modern Societies

Leadership Skills
Communication Skills

Multiple Subjects

Capstones,  Internships, Theses, etc.

PIA 6400: Internship (R) x 2

PIA 6100: Capstone Seminar (R)

and Context

Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

PIA 6000: Public Management (R)

PIA 6004: Canadian Political and Social Structures

PIA 6317: Inside Public Policy

Ethics, Rights and Accountability

PIA 6302: Political Philosophy

PIA 6320: Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Socioeconomic and Political Context

PIA 6321: Indigenous Language Policy

PIA 6300: State and Society

PIA 6312: Identity construction, cultural trends and societal movements

PIA 6313: Feminism, Political Citizenship and Collective Action

PIA 6322: Managing Diversity

PIA 6326: The Political Economics of Income Inequality

PIA 6332: Citizenship and Migration

Global Context

PIA 6005: International Context of Policy-making


Public Financial Management
Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Human Resource Management
Information and Technology Management
Regulatory Policy and Management
Local Government Management
Nonprofit Management and Advocacy


Macroeconomic Policy
International Development

PIA 6323: Canada’s Foreign Aid in Perspective

PIA 6324: World Heritage and Development

Public Finance and Social Policy

PIA 6328: Institutions and Instruments of Public Finance in Canada

PIA 6331: The Development of Socio-Economic Policy in Canada, 1919-1966

Employment, Labour and Immigration

PIA 6332: Citizenship and Migration

PIA 6303: Global Immigration and Canadian Law and Policy

Cities, Urban and Regional Development

PIA 6329: Municipalities, Gateways and Community-based Logics – Municipalités, portes d’accès et logiques communautaires

Environment and Sustainability

PIA 6305: Politics of Sustainability

PIA 6314: The Environmental Crisis

Agriculture and Resources
Science, Technology and Innovation

PIA 6304: Science and Technology Policy – Politique en matière de science et technologie

Industry, Trade and Investment

PIA 6305: Politics of Sustainability

PIA 6314: The Environmental Crisis

Energy, Transport and Infrastructure
Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

PIA 6316: Foreign Policy Analysis

Policing and Justice Administration
Arts and Culture
Financial Markets