Current students - program information

Please click on the program name below for details regarding the program.

Community Development

Program Overview

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

Degree requirements

The program consists of 16.5 units of study, including 4.5 units for the Master's Project (CD 596/598). In addition to online course work, Students are required to attend a two-week summer residency workshop in the first term and a one-week summer residency workshop in the fourth and seventh terms. The remaining courses are completed through online study only.

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 501505512526, 530, 531
  • Elective Courses: Subject to availability, choice of one elective from CD 506, 509, 518, 522, 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 third (spring) term, students will begin work on a Master's Project (CD 596/598) addressing a management, policy or program problem for a client in the community development sector.

Degree awarded: Master of Arts

Academic year one

Term 1 (May to August) online and on campus

Term 2 (September to December) online

Term 3 (January to April) online

Academic year two to program completion

Term 4 (May to August) online and on campus

Term 5 (September to December) online

Term 6 (January to April) online

Term 7 (May to August) online and on campus

Program requirements for students who entered prior to May 2019

Program requirements for students admitted up to and including to May 2019 will remain as detailed in the calendar that was in effect at the time of their admission, which can be accessed here under "Previous Online Editions".

Dispute Resolution

Program Overview

This information is provided for reference only. This program is no longer admitting students.

Fall: First Academic Term

  • Orientation: 1-week intensive course shared 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
  • PADR 502 (1.5) Analysis for the Public & Non-Proft Sectors
  • PADR 589 (0) Co-op Seminar: Introduction to Professional Practice

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
  • PADR 504 (1.5) Public Leadership and Management
  • PADR 505 (1.5) Policy Making and Policy Communities
  • DR 506 (1.5) Mediation Processes and Skills
  • DR 509 (1.5) System Design and Public Interest Disputes

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 Academic 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

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 earn the Co-op designation at graduation, a minimum of two (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.

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.

MPA Thesis-Based Option (On Campus)

What you will experience in the MPA Thesis-Based Option

The MPA Thesis-Based Option has a challenging curriculum that will help you build competencies in strategic awareness, analytical thinking, engagement, communication, professionalism, and leadership. The program is comprised of two academic semesters interleaved with two co-operative work terms. The MPA Thesis-Based program culminates with the thesis, which could be done in collaboration with a client organization. The thesis researches problems and considers strategic options for a government agency, non-profit organization, or community client on a real policy or management challenge. The thesis involves reviewing literature, undertaking empirical work, best practices, and developing options and recommendations. All of the MPA courses will prepare you for the thesis.

Program Overview

Program Synopsis

Program Overview of the MPA Thesis-based (On Campus) Option

The MPA Thesis-based Option consists of 18 units of study, including 6 required (1.5 unit) courses, 2 elective (1.5 unit) courses, Co-op Seminar (0 units) and the thesis (6 units). It begins with an orientation session where you will meet and work together before starting classes in the second week of the term. The orientation will introduce you to problem-based, applied learning as you work through challenging case studies with your team. Faculty will engage you in concepts directly related to the courses you will take in the program. Your cohort will develop skills for sizing up and addressing complex challenges. The orientation will provide you with an excellent grounding in the program and prepare you for the stimulating work to come.

In the first fall semester, in addition to taking three core courses, one elective and the Co-op preparation seminar, you will work with your peers on a team-based integrative case that spans the semester and addresses a real-time significant policy challenge. The case will include the interests of all major stakeholders in industry, First Nations, communities, and different levels of governments. Your team will interact with other teams representing these stakeholders as well as with actual representatives from key stakeholders in British Columbia. At the end of the semester, you will present your recommendations to these and other interested parties. These courses are dedicated to fostering skills in collaboration, engagement, analysis, research design, and policy interventions. PADR 589, the Co-op Seminar, provides you with in-depth preparation and support to prepare you to identify suitable co-op opportunities, develop professional applications, prepare for interviews, and develop strategies for making the most of your co-op placements inside BC and across Canada during the spring semester.

As you return in the summer enriched by your co-op experience, you will enrol in three core courses, your second elective and start planning for your thesis research. You will have opportunities to reflect on your co-op experiences, learning about the evolving nature public governance work from multiple vantage points. This will allow you to reflect on your learning from the first term, complemented by your co-op workplace experience. Another problem-based integrative project will anchor the summer term and will be focused on leadership and policy-making at an advanced level. You will also be preparing for a second co-op placement for the second fall semester.

With the learning from two cycles of applied courses, integrated cases and co-op placements, you will be well-prepared to undertake your thesis. Here you may opt to work with a client. You will apply critical skills in sizing up and parsing out problems, undertaking reviews of literature and best practices, carrying out empirical work, and developing finding and strategic recommendations. You will learn out to prepare a substantial professional report and communicate the findings in different ways.

Fall: First Academic Term

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

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
  • ADMN 599 (6.0) Master's Thesis

Spring and Summer: Third and Fourth Academic Terms



JD + MPA Double Degree Program

Students who apply and are accepted into both the Faculty of Law JD program and the School of Public Administration MPA program may earn both degrees concurrently with modified requirements for each. Undertaken separately, the two degrees normally require five years of study, whereas a double degree program may be completed in four years.

The first year of the program is devoted entirely to the first-year law curriculum. The second year of the program requires the completion of the public administration foundation courses in combination with law courses if the student wishes. The remaining two years entail the completion of all other law and public administration course requirements.

Information concerning the MPA application procedures can be obtained from the School of Public Administration website or from:

Ms Judy Selina
School of Public Administration
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700
Victoria, British Columbia
Canada V8W 2Y2

Phone: 250-721-6448

Admissions decisions

  • Limited to 5 students per year.
  • Must be accepted by both the School of Public Administration and the Faculty of Law.
  • The two faculties will consult with each other to determine which successful applicants will be admitted to the double degree program.
  • Candidates will be informed as soon as possible after they have been accepted to one or the other faculty as to whether they have been admitted to the double degree program.

Students may be required to complete specific law or MPA courses as part of the double degree program.


Double degree program students would be required to pay the tuition for the full MPA program over a course of installments. They will also pay the applicable Faculty of Law tuition when taking law courses.

MPA Course-based (Online)

Are you an active professional interested in advancing your career? The MPA Course-based Online option is designed for experienced administrators who wish to study towards a graduate degree while continuing their careers in goverments at the local, provincial, federal, First Nations, or international level.

You will be encouraged to explore theory and practice in both policy analysis and public management and will acquire a mix of skills that create career opportunities as managers, analysts, and consultants. Among our graduates are city managers, non-profit administrators, government administrators, and leaders in the interface between business and government.

We welcome students from across Canada who are committed to developing their public sector leadership skills while combining their work and family responsibilities with graduate study.

This order of courses is for students beginning in September 2019.

Program Overview

Program Synopsis

The MPA Course-based Online option focuses on the topics of governance, policy, management, research, economics, finance, human resources and communications. Throughout the program, you will develop professional writing and research skills. You can complete the MPA Course-based Online option from home while meeting your professional and personal responsibilities. You will put your new-found knowledge and expertise to practice immediately in your own work environment.

Our program starts in September and courses are offered year-round. By completing two courses per term, the MPA can be completed in under two years. The program consists of 15 units: 10 1.5 unit courses, including 8 required and 2 elective courses.

Term 1 (September – December)

Term 2 (January - April)

This order of courses is for students beginning in September 2015 or later.

Term 3 (May – August)

Term 4 (September – December)

Term 5 (January – April)

Consult the MPA Online application requirements.

PhD in Public Administration

The PhD in Public Administration program prepares students to undertake research in the broad, interdisciplinary field of public administration. The program will develop scholars who contribute to the literature in the form of articles, dissertations, and books, and to applied theory and practice. The School supports the creation of theoretically informed empirical research that guides practice.

Students will be expected to master basic research methods at the start of the program (foundational statistics, qualitative methods, and evaluation, for example), and may be required to undertake methods courses prior to the start of their doctoral studies.

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

Through this program, 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.

New! Students of a concurrent graduate degree program who wish to enrol in the Graduate Certificate program will be charged a one-time fee upon admission to the program.

  • $783.22 (domestic students)
  • $990.34 (international students)

The fees are updated annually following the May meeting of the Board of Governors.

The first year of the program is a full-time course of studies consisting of a minimum of 9.0 units of coursework, a non-credit doctoral seminar and language training (if required for the student's dissertation research). Students must be in residence to complete the following coursework, their PhD candidacy examinations, and the oral defence of their dissertation research proposal:

  • two core courses in public administration:

ADMN 605 (1.5) Comparative Policy and Governance

ADMN 608 (1.5) Innovation, Implementation and Evaluation in Public Administration

  • two methodology courses

ADMN 602 (1.5) Research Design and Methods in Public Administration

and a further graduate-level quantitative or qualitative methods or methodologies course with the approval of the Graduate Adviser (1.5)

  • two elective courses (3.0)

The elective courses could be either a substantive specialization or a combination of methods and substantive specialization. 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 Adviser.

Students will be required to register in this non-credit seminar course for the duration of their PhD program. The Doctoral Seminar will provide essential knowledge, skills, and research proposal development guidance.

The total number of courses each student is required to take will depend on the background of the student and will be decided by the student and the Graduate Adviser and approved by the Admissions and Program Standards Committee. The minimum units required for the PhD Degree is 9.0 units of coursework, the candidacy examination of 3.0 units, and the dissertation of 30.0 units.

PhD students are expected to have mastery of additional language(s) if germane to their chosen fields of study. They will be expected to acquire needed language skills in addition to their PhD coursework. No PhD credit will be given for language training.

Program Operation and Length

The entry date for the PhD program is September. The program operates year-round. Courses, faculty members and facilities are available during Fall, Spring and Summer sessions. PhD candidates are expected to complete the program, including their dissertation, in five years

ADMN 693 (3.0) Candidacy Examination

Within two terms of completing course work (normally in November of the second year of study), the student will complete one written candidacy examination on the foundational studies and methods/ methodologies of public administration. This model assumes a generalist orientation to the exam.

Within three terms of completing coursework, the student will develop and submit a dissertation proposal which will be defended in an oral defence.

In all cases, both the written candidacy examination and defence of the dissertation proposal must be completed within 36 months of first registration in the PhD program.

A student who passes the candidacy examination and successfully defends the dissertation proposal is admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree.

ADMN 699 (30.0) Dissertation

Only when the student's supervisory committee is satisfied that the dissertation proposal meets the standards of the program, may the student register in the dissertation (ADMN 699).

Oral Examination

Students will defend the completed dissertation in an oral examination in accordance with the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Consult our faculty profiles page for information about our members' research specialization areas: and please indicate your interest to Professor Bart

Admissions information is available at:

View the PhD in Public Administration application requirements.

Evaluation Certificate and Diploma

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

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:

Course requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Evaluation is made up of four courses (6.0 units total) and the Graduate Diploma consists of the same four courses (6.0 units) plus 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.

Students complete the online courses and may be in classes with MPA or other graduate 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:


For students who entered the program in Fall 2019 or earlier:

For students entering the program in Fall 2020:

Diploma - complete the courses as above, followed by: