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Graduate Studies Calendar 2019-2020 Program Descriptions Public Policy PPOL
Public Policy - PPOL
Contact Information

Location: School of Public Policy
Downtown Campus
906 8th Avenue SW
5th Floor
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H9
Program number: 403.210.3802
Fax: 403.210.6939
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Public Policy (MPP), course-based
Master of Business Administration/Master of Public Policy (MBA/MPP), combined degree, course-based
Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP), combined degree, course-based


The MPP is a 12-month professional degree program offered for full-time study with limited seats for part-time study (Director approval required).

Combined MBA/MPP

The MBA/MPP program is normally restricted to full-time study. It allows students to obtain both degrees in a significantly shorter time frame than if they are taken separately.

Combined JD/MPP

The JD/MPP program is normally restricted to full-time study. It allows students to obtain both degrees in a significantly shorter time frame than if they are taken separately.

2. Admission Requirements

Master of Public Policy

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the School requires:

a) A minimum 3.30 grade point average (on the four-point scale) in the last two years of program or over the last 60 units.

b) A current resume.

c) A personal statement outlining the applicant’s career goals and how the applied-for program would help achieve those goals.

d) For students required to prove proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 105 (Internet-based test) or a score of 7.5 on the IELTS. This requirement can also be met by completing Tier III of the International Foundations Program with a minimum grade of "A" on Academic Writing & Grammar III, "A" on Reading Comprehension & Proficiency III, and "A" on Listening Comprehension & Oral Fluency III.

Combined MBA/MPP

Students must meet the admission requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and those for the MBA and MPP programs. Please consult the MBA Admissions Officer or the MPP Graduate Program Strategist for more information.

A separate application for the MPP and for the MBA is required for the combined MPP/MBA program. See deadlines for each program.

Combined JD/MPP

Students must meet the admission requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and those for the JD and MPP programs. Please consult the JD Student Services Co-ordinator or the MPP Graduate Program Strategist for more information.

A separate application for the MPP and for the JD is required for the combined JD/MPP program. See deadlines for each program.

3. Application Deadline

Deadline for the submission of completed applications for the MPP program is available on the Future Students website:

A separate application for the MPP and for the MBA is required for the combined MBA/MPP program and a separate application for the MPP and for the JD is required for the combined MPP/JD program. See deadlines for each program.

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not normally be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma. If graduate-level courses are taken as post-BA courses and not used as credit towards another degree, the School may allow the student to claim up to 6 units at our graduate level towards the MPP requirements should the student be admitted into the MPP program.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty requirements, the School requires that all students complete the following:

Master of Public Policy

Please note: All Public Policy courses are restricted to Master of Public Policy students. Students outside of the Master of Public Policy program must obtain permission to register in courses through the School of Public Policy. Core courses are held evenings throughout the academic year. Some exceptions may apply.

a) Two preparatory/foundation courses (Public Policy 601 and 603) during August and during Fall Block Week prior to the start of the Fall Term. Satisfactory performance in these courses is required for continuation in the MPP program. Exemptions will normally be given for these two preparatory/foundation courses to those who have completed courses with a grade of "B" or better in economics, mathematics, and statistics offered by a recognized undergraduate program within the past five years.

b) An effective writing and research course (Public Policy 613) during the September Block Week.

c) The following eight core courses:

Public Policy 605: Markets and Public Policy
Public Policy 607: Politics and Collective Choice
Public Policy 609: Decision Analysis
Public Policy 615: Public Finances
Public Policy 617: Regulation and the Law
Public Policy 619: Governance, Institutions and Public Policy
Public Policy 621: Communicating Policy
Public Policy 623: Capstone Project (Note: Credit/Fail – The capstone project is not included in final grade point calculation)

d) Two elective courses:

The elective courses must be selected from graduate-level courses offered at the University of Calgary. In selecting electives students need to be aware that they must satisfy the prerequisites for those courses. The two elective courses should be related in such a way that they form a concentration in an area of public policy. The choice of elective courses must in all cases be approved by the Academic Director.

e) Public Policy 611. Independent Study. Various sections of this independent study course covering different topic areas are typically offered. These are reserved for Master of Public Policy students. School of Public Policy permission required for all other students. Please refer to the online course listings for details on topics covered each term.

Combined MBA/MPP

Students admitted to the MBA/MPP will normally focus mostly on courses for the MBA during the first year and mostly on MPP courses in year two. Typically, the remaining courses required will be completed in the first term of year three. Please consult the MBA Admissions Officer or the MPP Program Manager for more information.

Combined JD/MPP

In the first year of the combined program students would complete all of the first year compulsory courses in Law. During the Summer Term of year 1, students in the joint program would complete the two MPP Foundation courses in economics and empirical methods (these may be waived for students with adequate academic backgrounds in these areas). In the second year of the Joint Program, students would focus on completing the compulsory core Law courses and five Public Policy core courses. The latter will vary depending on the student's area of specialization but would typically include: Public Policy 605, 607, 609, 615 and 619. Up to two elective (non-core) Public Policy courses may be substituted with approval of the JD/MPP program committee, consisting minimally of the program directors of the two programs. In the Summer period (including Spring Intersession) between years 2 and 3 students would complete Public Policy 621 and 623. In year 3, students would complete the upper level JD compulsory course(s) and required International and Writing requirements, along with enough approved Law or Public Policy electives. It is expected that most students will complete in less than three and one-half calendar years by attending courses every session. Please consult the MPP Program Manager or the JD Student Services Co-ordinator for more information.


The School of Public Policy does not allow copyediting on students' work.

6. Additional Requirements

The School hosts a variety of Community Outreach events year-round that attract global policy experts and practitioners. As a feature of the MPP program, The School also puts on a Speaker Series specifically for students in the program. These talks feature prominent policy figures in an interactive environment.

The School’s event series represents a tremendous opportunity for students to network with policy experts from business and government. For this reason, students are expected to attend as many events as possible throughout the academic year.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

The School does not give graduate credit for courses taken below the 600-level, except in special cases.

8. Time Limit

Maximum completion time for the MPP is four years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

All MPP students in the program will be guided by faculty holding appointments to the School.

10. Required Examinations

No additional examinations outside of the courses are required.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

No additional research requirements outside of the courses are required.

12. Financial Assistance

Students admitted to the MPP program will automatically be considered for financial awards from the School of up to $15,000 per student. Other financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the website for the School and the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar.