MPA Course-based (Online)

MPA student consults with employers
MPA student consults with employers. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Are you an active professional interested in advancing your career? The MPA Course-based Online option is designed for experienced administrators who plan to study towards a graduate degree while continuing to work in goverment 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.

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.
The current one-time fee is:
• $798.88 (domestic students)
• $1027.48 (international students)
The fees are updated annually following the May meeting of the Board of Governors. 

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.

This 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 degree consists of 15 units: 10-1.5 unit courses, including 8 required and 2 elective courses.

Courses in the Course-based (Online) option are offered year-round on a cyclical basis. Students must follow the program as listed in the calendar. Students taking only one course per term should consult School staff and/ or the website for the recommended sequencing. Normally, students in the Course-based option may not take more than two courses per term. Any exceptions must be approved by the Graduate Adviser.

Degree Requirements

Course-based (Online) option students are required to complete a total of 10 1.5 unit courses for a total of 15 units.
  • Elective Courses: two from (space permitting)
    • ADMN 502B523, 537, 544, 547, 548, 553, 554577, 578, 580, 581, 582
    • Courses from other School of Public Administration offerings:
      • MADR (DR) or MACD (CD) courses (first preference is given to students in those programs) 400-level undergraduate courses (ADMN) offered by the School of Public Administration, including:
    • ADMN 407, 409, 411, 423, 431A, 431B, 437, 445, 446, 452, 470 (with appropriate topic), 477 or from other academic programs: with permission of the instructor of those courses and the School Graduate Adviser.

* based on a review of students' prior academic history by the Graduate Adviser, the student may be able to substitute an alternate course if prior academic work covers the content of a given core course.

Program Length

The part-time MPA Course-Based (Online) option program can be completed within two years, if the program schedule is followed.

Academic year one (September-April)

Course-based Option Term 1 (Sep-Dec)

  • ADMN 504 (1.5) Government and Governance
  • ADMN 507 (1.5) Leadership and Ethics in the Public Sector

Note: Term 1 courses may include a pre-course assignment.

Course-based Option Term 2 (Jan-Apr)

  • ADMN 502A (1.5)  Surveying, Appraising and Commissioning Information
  • Approved elective (1.5)

Academic year two (May-April)

Course-based Option Term 3 (May-Aug)

  • ADMN 509 (1.5) Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
  • ADMN 550 (1.5) Strategic Communication and Engagement

Course-based Option Term 4 (Sep-Dec)

  • ADMN 512 (1.5) Public Financial Management and Accountability
  • Approved elective (1.5)

Course-based Option Term 5 (Jan-Apr)

  • ADMN 531 (1.5) Performance and Strategic Human Resource Management
  • ADMN 556 (1.5) Managing Public Policy

Concurrent MPA and Graduate Certificate in Evaluation

A student registered in the MPA program may choose to complete concurrently the Graduate Certificate in Evaluation; such a student must complete an application for admission to the Graduate Certificate program prior to beginning MPA elective courses. Two elective courses can be credited toward the credential requirements of both the MPA and the Certificate program, provided that they are appropriate for the Certificate program. Courses for the Certificate should be taken in an appropriate sequence and are credited as electives for the degree program and core credit for the Certificate program. Tuition fees for the 4-course Graduate Certificate Program are in addition to MPA tuition.



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  • Next Entry: September 2020
  • Next Application Due: December 15 for International Applicants and January 31 for Domestic Applicants

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