Education for the future

Prepare yourself for the professional world of the future by choosing from among our graduate programs.

Community Development

Designed with working professionals in mind, the Master of Arts in Community Development (MACD) will build and develop your capacity to become a successful leader in the civil society and social economy, whether you work or volunteer in non-profit, co-operative or community economic development organizations either locally or internationally. Throughout the program, you will apply new skills and knowledge to an ongoing research project for a client in the community development sector.

The program's unique focus on the application of learning outcomes means that you will graduate with:

  • a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the historical and political underpinnings, key concepts, and spheres of practice embedded in the social economy and civil society.
  • equipped to lead transformative change efforts.
  • build and manage effective projects, organizations, enterprises and networks.
  • demonstrate initiative, leadership, and originality in identifying challenges and opportunities for their organizations and the broader social economy.
  • understand key global trends, challenges, threats and opportunities communities face and strategies to address them.
  • are able to engage a community-based approach to social change and social justice.

Program Overview

The program is delivered through a combination of online and residential courses. The program starts in May and courses are offered year round. Each of the residential workshops is held in the summer term, and the program can be completed in just over two years.

The program has been developed in collaboration with practitioners from the community with experience in leading community-based organizations. As a student in the program, you will build skills and knowledge by: developing perspective on the broad challenges and trends; understanding how organizations and communities work; and building personal leaderships skills to work with diverse teams, organizations and networks.

In taking the MACD program, you will:

  • interact with a variety of students from various organizations within the community sectors as well as public and private ones;
  • be facilitated by instructors drawn from the university and community-based organizations;
  • engage in coursework with a mix of theory, models and methodologies;
  • develop practical problem-solving skills and knowledge as they relate to leadership, management, and economic and social change;
  • learn through a blended curriculum with face-to-face and online discussions and material; and
  • address the strategic challenges in your organizations and communities by providing practical advice and solutions throughout the program.

In addition to course-based projects, you will also have the opportunity to apply new skills and knowledge to an ongoing significant research project involving current challenges facing a community-based organization. This Master's Project involves a report and presentation to the client organization.

The MACD program addresses distinct approaches to community leadership and change. Each approach seeks to create social and economic change and relies on diverse resources and partnerships that are rooted in values of empowerment, cooperation and inclusion.

The program is delivered in collaboration with practitioners and scholars from across the University of Victoria, including the Faculties of Human and Social Development, Business, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education, as well as research units such as the Office of Community-Based Research, and the Centre for Cooperative and Community Based Economy. It also values participation from the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, the BC-Alberta Research Alliance on the Social Economy, British Columbia Co-operative Association and The Centre for Non Profit Management and other community based organizations.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of nine core courses, one approved elective course, and two mandatory residential workshops. Throughout the program, students work on a Master's Project. To complete the program, you will complete 19.5 units of study including 4.5 units for the Master’s Project. The only face to face requirements are to attend a summer residency in each of the first two years of the program. The remaining courses are completed online.

Given the cohort-based and cumulative nature of the program students are encouraged to complete each term successfully before proceeding further through the program.

Core Courses: CD 501, 524, 504, 505, 506, 510, 525, 512, 526

Elective Courses: Subject to availability, choice of one elective from CD 507, 508, 509, 518, 519, 521, 522, 523, 590 as well as courses in related fields of study offered by the School of Public Administration or by other departments, with permission of the Graduate Advisor.

Final Requirement: Beginning during the second term, students will work on a Master's Project (CD596/598) addressing a management, policy or program problem for a client in the community development sector.

Term 1 (May to August) online and on campus

  • CD 501 Anchoring a Change Agenda: Foundations
  • CD 524 Leadership in Organizational and Community Development

Includes July Residential Workshop (two weeks on campus)

Term 2 (September to December) online

  • CD 504 Practices and Perspectives on Forging Change
  • CD 505 Community Based Research Foundations

Term 3 (January to April) online

  • CD 506 Enterprise Development for Community Benefit

Term 4 (May to August) online and on campus

  • CD 510 Leadership, Management and Governance within Organizations
  • CD 525 Managing Organizations, Systems and Community Transformations

Includes July Residential Workshop (one week on campus)

Term 5 (September to December) online

  • CD 512 Program/Project Design, Management and Evaluation

Term 6 (January to April) online

Choice of one elective course subject to availability

Term 7 (May to August) online

  • CD 526 Agenda from Social Change: Moving Forward

Program requirements for students admitted prior to May 2013 will remain as detailed in previous course calendars.

Dispute Resolution

This innovative Master's program is delivered through a combination of shared domain-specific Dispute resolution courses, shared Dispute Resolution + Public Administration courses, and integrated case studies.

The world is filled with diverse communities confronting unique challenges; develop your capacity for anticipating and resolving disputes and conflicts is critical for moving societies forward and achieving better public policy outcomes by gaining:

  • an understanding of concepts, theories, processes and skills for addressing conflicts and disputes in the context of public policy development and governance processes;
  • skills to contribute to the development of public policy in participatory and inclusive ways;
  • mediation skills that you can use to help resolve public or private disputes;
  • an ability to implement processes for non-violent resolution of public and private disputes; and
  • a critical understanding of contemporary public conflicts, how they manifest, and how they can be resolved

MADR courses strike a balance between developing your practical skills and perspectives, and providing you with concepts and frameworks from different disciplines. Beyond the required courses in the program, you can deepen your skills and knowledge through:

  • elective courses,
  • the co-op work opportunities you pursue, and
  • your choice of related research, which will be part of your final project (DR 598) or thesis (DR 599).

Program Overview


Fall: First Academic Term

  • Orientation and Foundation: 2-week intensive course- shared course with Public Administration
  • DR 502 (1.5) Conflict, Culture and Diversity
  • DR 503 (1.5) Public Policy, Law and Dispute Resolution
  • PADR 501 (1.5) Collaboration and Engagement - shared course with Public Administration
  • PADR 502A (1.5) Analysis for the Public & Non-Proft Sectors- shared course with Public Administration
  • PADR 589 (0) Co-op Seminar: Introduction to Professional Practice- shared course with Public Administration

Spring: First Co-op Term

  • Co-op placement with government, non-profit or consulting organization
  • students may enrol in one online elective while on co-op

Summer: Second Academic Term

  • PADR 503 (1.5) Professional Integrity in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors: 1-week intensive course shared with Public Administration
  • DR 506 (1.5) Mediation Processes and Skills
  • DR 509 (1.5) System Design and Public Interest Disputes
  • PADR 504 (1.5) Public Leadership and Management - shared course with Public Administration
  • PADR 505 (1.5) Policy Making and Policy Communities - shared course with Public Administration

Fall: Second Co-op Term

  • Co-op placement with government, non-profit or consulting organization
  • students may enrol in one online elective while on co-op

Spring and Summer: Third and Fourth Acadmic Terms

  • DR 598 Master's Project, or
  • DR 599 Master's Thesis

About our Graduates

MADR graduates go on to build careers in:

  • local, provincial and national governments and agencies;
  • negotiation processes involving Indigenous peoples and governments;
  • international development and human rights; non-profit organizations in Canada and other countries;
  • educational and health sectors; and
  • dispute resolution organizations and businesses.

Some graduates also pursue further studies in PhD programs to become academics and researchers.

Co-operative education

The MADR program allows students to combine their classroom knowledge with Co-operative work experience. Students have benefited from placements in the federal and provincial governments, Aboriginal governments, as well as in national and international non-profit organizations, universities, hospitals, and private businesses. Students normally receive a salary for their work term. The salary is the responsibility of their employer and is determined by their organization's wage structure.

To qualify for the Co-op designation graduation requirements, a minimum of two co-op terms or a maximum of three co-op terms are required. Co-op is supported by the School of Public Administration Co-op Coordinator. All students are expected to complete DR 589 Co-op Seminar: Introduction to Professional Practice (fall term) to prepare for their Co-op placement.

Tailoring your studies

You can tailor your studies to suit your interests through selection of elective courses, co-op work term placements and project or thesis topics that focus on specific areas of study.

Professional Association

While the MADR program offers a wide range of skills for graduates to take into their future workplace, if you are particularly interested in becoming a mediator in British Columbia, you will find that some courses in the MADR program can count towards partial requirements to join the Roster of Mediate BC.

Public Administration On Campus

The Master of Public Administration program allows you to take advantage of the unique strengths of the School: multi-disciplinary faculty come together to deliver the program through a combination of shared domain-specific Public Administration courses, shared Public Administration + Dispute Resolution courses, and integrated case studies. Co-op terms deepen your knowledge. To cap off the program, you continue to receive support through your cohort in completing your Master's Project. In total, it's an experience unlike anything else.


Program Overview

Fall: First Academic Term

  • Orientation and Foundation: 2-week intensive course- shared course with Dispute Resolution
  • ADMN 504 (1.5) Government and Governance
  • ADMN 509 (1.5) Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
  • PADR 501 (1.5) Collaboration and Engagement - shared course with Dispute Resolution
  • PADR 502A (1.5) Analysis for the Public & Non-Proft Sectors- shared course with Dispute Resolution
  • PADR 589 (0) Co-op Seminar: Introduction to Professional Practice- shared course with Dispute Resolution

Spring: First Co-op Term

  • Co-op placement with government, non-profit or consulting organization
  • students may enrol in one online elective while on co-op

Summer: Second Academic Term

  • PADR 503 (1.5) Professional Integrity in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors: 1-week intensive course shared with Dispute Resolution
  • ADMN 502B (1.5) Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • ADMN 512 (1.5) Resource Accountability and Management in the Public Sector
  • PADR 504 (1.5) Public Leadership and Management
  • PADR 505 (1.5) Policy Making and Policy Communities

Fall: Second Co-op Term

  • Co-op placement with government, non-profit or consulting organization
  • students may enrol in one online elective while on co-op

Spring and Summer: Third and Fourth Acadmic Terms

  • ADMN 598 Master's Project, or
  • ADMN 599 Master’s Thesis

Public Administration Online

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Online program is for active professionals preparing to advance their careers in local, provincial, First Nations and federal governments, as well as international organizations.

The program encourages students to explore theory and practice in both policy analysis and public management. Students acquire a mix of skills that create career opportunities as managers, analysts and consultants. Our graduates manage city governments, administer non-profit organizations, run large government ministries, and lead in the interface between business and government.

The online program supports part-time learners looking to combine graduate studies with work and family responsibilities. Our students come from across Canada. They are committed to developing their public sector leadership skills while mastering the new information and communication technologies used in online study.

Program Overview

The program focuses on the topics of governance, policy, management, research, economics, finance, and law. Throughout the program, students also develop professional writing and research skills.

Our program starts in September and courses are offered year-round. When completing two courses per term, students are able to complete the program in just over two years. However, the program is flexible, and accommodates your busy schedule: many students choose to complete the program at a slower pace over three to four years.

Finally, a solution

Think you can’t afford the time or funds to earn a master’s degree? You can complete the MPA Online program from home while meeting your work and personal responsibilities. You will put your new-found knowledge and expertise to practice immediately, in your own work environment. The MPA Online program starts in September and can take as little as 2 years to complete. Courses are offered year-round.

The program consists of 19.5 to 21 units of study, including 3 units of elective courses and 4.5 to 6 units for a master's project or thesis.

In terms 1 to 4, students are introduced to the key building blocks of the program through the core courses. Students complete elective courses during the remaining terms.

Term 1 (September – December)

  • ADMN 504 (1.5 units) Public Sector Governance
  • ADMN 502A (1.5 units) Research Design: Critical Appraisal of Information

Term 2 (January - May)

  • ADMN 509 (1.5 units) Public Sector Economics
  • ADMN 507 (1.5 units) Public Sector Leadership: Teams, Self and Organization

Term 3 (May – August)

  • ADMN 502 B (1.5 units) Statistical Analysis
  • ADMN 551 (1.5 units) Administrative Law Federalism

Term 4 (September - December) 

  • ADMN 512 (1.5 units) Financial Management, Accountability and Performance Measurement
  • ADMN 556 (1.5 units) The Public Policy Process

Term 5 (January – May)

Students complete elective courses and begin to work on final Master's project.

Term 6 (May – August)

Completion of Master's project. Students choose between:

  • ADMN 598 (4.5 units) Master's Project

or

  • ADMN 599 (6.0 units) Master's Thesis

Most students require more than one term to complete their 598 or 599 Master's project.

PhD in Public Administration

By studying here, you will achieve an in-depth academic understanding of issues in comparative policy and governance, organizational studies, and applied policy and program analysis.  You will graduate prepared to conduct leading-edge research and take on leadership roles in government, universities and other public institutions.

Join our program where you will:

  • work with experienced faculty members at the forefront of a wide variety of fields, including public policy analysis, governance and management;
  • participate in research projects through the School; and
  • build externally-funded research programs of your own.

Program overview

The program features the following fields of study:

  • comparative policy and governance
  • organizational studies
  • applied policy and program analysis

These contemporary topics reflect the research strengths of our faculty members.

The first year of the program is completed full-time, on-campus and includes courses in your chosen fields, research methods and elective topics. During the second and third year, students write comprehensive examinations in their core fields and defend their dissertation proposal. Students then undertake thesis work with the goal of completing their oral defence in the fifth year of the program.

First year

In residence at the University of Victoria

Four core courses in two of the three fields:

Comparative Policy and Governance

  • ADMN 604 (1.5 units) Theories of Public Management
  • ADMN 605 (1.5 units) Comparative Policy and Governance

Organizational Studies

  • ADMN 607 (1.5 units) Organizational Behaviour and Analysis
  • ADMN 645 (1.5 units) Organizational Theory and Change

Applied Policy and Program Analysis

  • ADMN 620 (1.5 units) Policy and Institutional Design and Analysis
  • ADMN 621 (1.5 units) Policy and Program Evaluation and Performance

Two methodology courses:

ADMN 602 (1.5 units) Research Methods in Public Administration, and a further graduate-level quantitative or qualitative methods course with the approval of the Graduate Advisor (1.5 units)

At least one elective course (1.5 units)

Students may take graduate-level courses offered by the School of Public Administration, the Department of Political Science, other UVic departments, or other universities with the approval of the Graduate Advisor.

ADMN 600 (0.0 units) Doctoral Seminar: students are required to register in this non-credit seminar for the duration of the PhD program

Second Year

  • ADMN 693 (3.0 units) Candidacy Examination

Students write exams in each of their core fields

Third to Fifth Years

  • ADMN 699 (30 units) Dissertation

Students undertake thesis work with the goal of getting to an oral defence in Year Five of the program.

Evaluation Certificate and Diploma

If you are entering a career as an evaluator, or are a mid-career professional working in the evaluation field, the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Evaluation are designed for you.

The Graduate Certificate and Diploma Programs are complementary - you can be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Evaluation Program starting in September and will have the option of continuing on to complete the Graduate Diploma in Evaluation. To finish the capstone course in the Diploma, you'll work with a client to develop and execute an evaluation under the supervision of one or more faculty members.

The Certificate and Diploma:

  • build knowledge and skills in essential methodologies, theoretical approaches and applications in evaluation and performance measurement
  • apply a working knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methodologies
  • are designed to build the evaluator competencies identified by the Canadian Evaluation Society as part of professionalizing evaluation practice in Canada.
  • build an understanding of the role that economic analysis plays in evaluation, including cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis
  • offer an opportunity to acquire more advanced knowledge and skills that relate econometric applications to evaluation
  • provide students who complete the Diploma, with a hands-on understanding of the application of evaluation methodologies in an actual evaluation project by working with a client to complete a practical, useable evaluation

The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) has implemented a credentialing process that will make it possible for persons interested in acquiring a professional evaluator designation to combine education, training and experience to become a Credentialed Evaluator. Information about becoming a Credentialed Evaluator is available at: http://www.evaluationcanada.ca/site.cgi?s=5&ss=7&_lang=EN.

In the last several years, CES has also been engaged with Treasury Board Secretariat in the Federal Government of Canada to develop ways of meeting the current and anticipated shortages of evaluators in the Federal Government. An agreement to create a Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education (CUEE) was reached in 2008. The School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria is a founding member of CUEE and is the Secretariat for the organization. The Graduate Certificate and Diploma Programs are a part of CUEE's commitment to creating more opportunities for students and practitioners to acquire the skills and knowledge to become professional evaluators.

Course requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Evaluation is made up of four courses (6.0 units) and the Graduate Diploma consists of four courses (6.0 units) and a research project (4.5 units). Students who have completed the four courses for the Certificate Program may receive a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation, or have their courses credited towards the Diploma.

The students complete the online courses and may be in classes with MPA or PhD students. The online courses include readings, written assignments, and discussion groups on topics specific to the evaluation sector or focused on evaluation-related activities in the workplace of the students.

Students register in one course per term with the aim of completing the program in less than two years.

The courses are normally taken in the following sequence:

  • ADMN 537 Program Evaluation and performance Measurement
  • ADMN 580 Qualitative Evaluation Methods and Applications
    • ADMN 581 Quantitative Methods for Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation OR
    • ADMN 582 Topics in Program Evaluation, Performance Measurement, Performance Management and Knowledge Management
  • ADMN 544 Economic Evaluation Methods and Applications
  • ADMN 596 Evaluation Project (required for the Diploma)