The Master’s in Public & International Affairs is a central activity of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs. The purpose of the program is to prepare students to assume leadership roles in public institutions, whether they be governmental or non-governmental organizations, at the provincial, federal, or international level, or to develop and apply expertise about public institutions, as with careers in journalism or business-government relations. This is achieved through a combination of course work and an internship. Students also have the option of completing a major research paper.

The curriculum includes standard courses in policy analysis, public management and research methods. Students are introduced to such matters as financial management, organizational theory, project implementation and evaluation, and the techniques of policy-making.

At the same time, the curriculum develops students’ capacities along four dimensions:

1.  Public Affairs. Students develop an understanding of how the processes of policy making and public management are shaped by structures and forces beyond the public sector. They examine how public decision making is led and constrained by economic processes and actors. Students also look at the relationship between state structures and civil society, exploring the emergence of new forms of governance that transcend state and civil society.

2.  Bilingualism. Key to the program is graduating fully bilingual leaders. There is a strong presence of both Anglophones and Francophones among the student body. Students pursue their studies in English and French. All professors and personnel are bilingual. Guest lectures, colloquia, and seminars are conducted also in both official languages. Student exchanges to partner universities further strengthen the bilingualism of students. This focus on bilingualism responds to demands from federal and provincial governments for fully bilingual leaders and public service employees.

3.  Interdisciplinarity. The program draws upon several disciplines and areas including Canadian studies, economics, history, international studies, law, philosophy, political Science, sociology and women’s studies. Only an interdisciplinary approach can capture the wealth of interrelationships at play within our understanding of public affairs.

4.  International context. The curriculum places Canadian public institutions in their international context. For instance, students explore how public decision-making is structured by international economic and social forces. They analyze how the Canadian state functions within an international system of state structures and international organizations, through which public goods and issues increasingly are conceived on a global basis. It is critical that future public leaders comprehend these international processes of change, and can develop the appropriate strategies.

Program Highlights

  • Fully bilingual 2-year program prepares students for work in public affairs at all levels of government or in the voluntary and private sectors
  • Strong multidisciplinary faculty and national and international visiting professors combine scholarship ad practical experience
  • The School brings in international experts, exposing students to international issues, particularly as they affect domestic policy
  • Core courses cut across traditional boundaries, exploring the links among social, economic and environmental policy, and between international and domestic issues
  • Mandatory student internships expose students to direct practical experience in public affairs
  • Innovative approaches including team teaching, student conferences and opportunities to work through problems, individually and in teams, from preparing briefing notes to developing a memorandum to Cabinet
  • Small classes, an intensely personal experience

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