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Public Administration

We’re committed to making society better. This program will teach you how to build a better world through research, teaching and engagement. You’ll become a professional with the knowledge to positively impact both government and non-profit organizations around the world. Our department is built on values of integrity, sustainability, inclusivity and courageous scholarship.

Degree programs offered

Our MACD will develop your capacity as a leader in civil society and social economy. You’ll gain skills and knowledge that will be applicable to careers around the world. You'll learn how to apply these skills to social change and social justice. You’ll finish your degree with a research project in the field of community development.

Our online distributed program is perfect for working professionals. Your original research project must be supervised by a faculty member. You’ll defend it in an oral examination.

Our on-campus MPA program will challenge you with a curriculum that focuses on strategic awareness, analytical thinking, communication and leadership. You’ll complete coursework and two co-op work terms. These experiences and your research will prepare you to create an original thesis. You can create your thesis in collaboration with a client organization.

Our online MPA program is for active professionals interested in career advancement. You can complete this degree while you work. You'll explore the theory and practices of policy analysis and public management. You’ll gain a mix of skills that will give you career opportunities as a manager, analyst and consultant.

We’ve partnered with the Faculty of Law to offer our JD+MPA program. You’ll study law and public administration while you work on your thesis. You’ll also get hands-on experience through our public administration work terms. You'll graduate a public administration specialist who’s certified to practice law in all provinces except Quebec.

Learn more about double degree programs.

You’ll need to meet our admission requirements and the Faculty of Law’s admission requirements.

Our PhD program prepares you for research and leadership roles in government, universities and other institutions. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of issues in comparative policy and governance. You’ll assist faculty members while you pursue your own externally-funded research. Our key fields of study are organizational studies and comparative policy and governance.

These two programs are perfect for new or mid-career professional evaluators. The certificate and diploma programs are complementary. You can either graduate with the certificate or choose to continue into our diploma program. In both programs, you’ll build knowledge and skills to become an expert in evaluation and performance measurement. In the diploma, you’ll work with a client to develop and execute an evaluation.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MACD (project), MPA (thesis) 7 terms Yes No
MPA (online) 2 years No Yes
JD+MPA 4 years Yes No
PhD 3-5 years Yes No
GCE + GDE 1-2 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate, Certificate, Distance
Program delivery:
On-campus, Distance/Off-campus, Other: combination of online and on campus courses
Dynamic learning:
Other: Co-op required for MPA On Campus (Thesis/Co-op)

Areas of focus

  • Health administration
  • Citizenship and citizen participation
  • Governance and participatory governance
  • Collective bargaining, labour movements and union politics
  • Human resource management issues
  • Leadership
  • Organizational behaviour and theory
  • Public sector reform
  • Human information processing and problem solving
  • Comparative politics
  • Urban studies
  • Border studies

Find a supervisor

PhD students must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • You must list a potential supervisor on your application.
  • This faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission.
  • Include an email from your supervisor with your application.

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you’ve found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

MACD and MPA (thesis/co-op) students do not need a supervisor for admission, but after reviewing the faculty contacts we recommend you list three potential supervisors in your letter of intent. We'll assign you a supervisor based on availability and area of research early in your program.

MPA online (course-based) students do not need to find a supervisor.

Astrid Brousselle

Director and Professor Evaluation approaches and methods, theory-based evaluation, ecological transition, public health, health system analysis, collaborative/participative/community based approaches, qualitative methods

David Castle

Professor Science, technology and innovation policy , Open science and research data

Dr. Sarah Marie Wiebe (she/her)

Assistant Professor Environmental justice, Public engagement, Critical policy studies, Climate emergencies, States of emergency, Interpretive research and arts-based methods, Community development, Indigenous community engagement and governance

Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (he/his)

Professor & Jean Monnet Chair

Heather Castleden

Professor, Impact Chair in Transformative Governance for Planetary Health

Helga Hallgrímsdóttir

Dean of Faculty of Human and Social Development, and Professor

J. Barton (Bart) Cunningham

Professor Human resource issues, Leadership, Organizational behaviour and change, Insight problem solving, Stress and mental health, Action learning and research

Jill Anne Chouinard

Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor

Katya Rhodes

Assistant Professor

Kimberly Speers

Assistant Teaching Professor

Lynne Siemens

Associate Professor

Richard Marcy

Associate Professor

Rob Gillezeau

Assistant Professor Economic history, Labour Economics, Public Policy

Robert Lapper, QC

Lam Chair in Law and Public Policy

Susanne Thiessen

Assistant Professor

Tamara Krawchenko

Assistant Professor and Academic Undergraduate Advisor

Tara Ney

Associate Professor

Walter Lepore

Assistant Professor

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

Community Development:

  • October 31 for Canadian and international students

Public Administration MPA:

  • January 31 for Canadian students
  • December 15 for international students

Public Administration PhD:

  • December 15 for international students
  • February 15 for applicants who wish to be considered for University Graduate Awards
  • March 15 for Canadian students

Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Evaluation:

  • March 31 for Canadian and international students

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the applicable graduate secretary:

Administrative assistant or 250-721-6448.

Certificate and diploma programs or 250-721-8074.

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