Public servants implement political strategic decisions made by elected officials, by turning them into actions that impact and influence the lives of residents. Through ministries, departments, divisions and branches, these professionals influence how governments operate by developing, delivering, evaluating and enhancing public programs or services. They conduct research, evaluate opportunities, and provide evidence-based and non-partisan advice to decision-makers and leaders to inform policy-making. These same types of decisions and supports are needed in publicly-funded institutions, non-profit organizations, co-operatives and social economy organizations.
While in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, you will gain the knowledge and skills that will allow you to begin or advance your career in public service or public administration more broadly. Here, you will begin to understand the competencies that modern public servants must possess and will have the opportunity to apply them to real problems.
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Want to learn more about the MPA program? Chat with our admissions staff and ask any questions you have.
Looking for answers to some of your key questions? We have you covered.
|Program Type||Course-based program|
|Program Length||2 years (average)|
Domestic students: November 1, February 1, May 1
International students: November 1, February 1
(International students must apply by November 1 or February 1 to allow for sufficient time to secure all documents required to study in Canada. Please note that the May 1 deadline is only for domestic applicants as it does not allow sufficient time for international students to allow for visa, and therefore, international applications are not accepted.)
|Tuition||Effective September 1, 2023, the tuition rate for the full program (36 credit units) for domestic students is approximately $19,176 and $29,915 for international students. Tuition is charged on a per-credit-unit basis, and students pay as they take courses. Students are also required to pay on-campus graduate student fees.|
|JSGS Scholarship Funding||JSGS offers a minimum of 10 entrance scholarships (ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000), as well as a number of named scholarships. However, these scholarships are not sufficient to fund a student throughout their program, so students must be in a position to fully finance their studies.|
|English Language Requirements||Proof of language proficiency is required.|
|Location||Regina (University of Regina campus) or Saskatoon (University of Saskatchewan campus)|
|Potential Career Paths||Senior Policy Advisor, Program Manager, Regional Program Officer, Business Development Officer, Policy Analyst, Strategic Analyst, Manager, Executive Director, Chief of Staff, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Deputy Ministers|
Core Learning Outcomes
In consultation with our public sector and community partners, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has created a signature JSGS pedagogy to support your development in core competencies and skills needed for success in public administration. Integrated into each class, this competency framework includes:
An MPA graduate from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School is able to:
Policy & Context Knowledge
- Describe concepts key to public policy, including political systems, jurisdictional systems, & civil service
- Apply a variety of policy analysis tools strategically
- Critically examine a policy problem and source varied, relevant information on the problem
Economics & Finance
- Describe basic economic concepts and how they impact governments and their stakeholders
- Apply economic theories and evidence supplied by economic advisors to develop informed policy advice
- Explain government budgeting processes and factors that impact them
- Identify the challenges and complexities inherent in public sector spending
Statistics & Data
- Identify and navigate useful sources of data for public sector decision making
- Commission and interpret data to create a sound evidence base for policy decision making
- Interrogate data, identifying potential weaknesses
- Apply basic statistical tools and methods to advance a policy process
An MPA graduate from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School is able to:
- Communicate effectively through a variety of formats (including oral, written, & visual)
- Provide successful briefings with clear arguments and options
- Tailor communications appropriately to the audience
Indigenous & Intercultural Responsiveness
- Explain the history and lasting effects of colonialism and structural discrimination
- Work effectively in diverse groups, valuing diversity and inclusion
- Describe current Indigenous governance structures and issues, and confidently inquire to gain
understanding when required
- Apply intersectionality and principles of EDI when planning and applying policy
- Identify relevant stakeholders and protocols for engagement with specific stakeholder groups
- Recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples and how they impact engagement processes
- Engage effectively with intergovernmental counterparts and relevant experts
An MPA graduate from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School is able to:
Program & Public Management
- Compare various program and project management tools and methods
- Gather necessary context information to promote successful implementation
- Balance resources, budget, and workflow demands to support program or project success
- Acknowledge the importance of varied viewpoints in policy evaluation
- Describe the importance of including how outcomes will be evaluated at an early stage of policy development
- Identify a range of evaluation models and approaches
- Apply the logic model to policy problems
- Describe factors, including behavioural insights, that impact organizational decision-making
- Apply strategies for fostering an improvement in work culture
- Uphold integrity and other ethical considerations in a work context
MPA students are required to complete 36 credit units, consisting of ten core courses (30 credit units) and two elective courses (6 credit units).
This class analyzes governing institutions and the process of modern government within Canada as a means of enhancing a student's understanding of policy formulation and implementation. This course is intended to provide a basis for critically assessing political and administrative decision-making and policy outcomes.
This class provides a survey of Canadian public finance. Students will examine rationales for government intervention in a market economy, the assessment of public policy, how government decisions are made, and the impact of government expenditures and taxation on the economy and the well-being of Canadians. The course will also examine fiscal policy in a federated system and how fiscal matters affect federal/provincial relations in decision-making.
The purpose of this course is to provide an economic framework for the analysis of public policy. The course uses microeconomic concepts to examine when and how the government should intervene in the economy. Using the starting point of policy as intervention, the course examines the circumstances under which government involvement is most likely to be desirable. The course then moves to consider the key instruments that government uses in its intervention. In the examination of these two broad issues, the course pays particular attention to how people and firms behave and how they are likely to respond to policy instruments. The course also develops the key concepts associated with cost-benefit analysis and shows how these concepts are used in the analysis of public policy.
Focuses on the analysis of the processes whereby public policies arise and are enacted in Canada. The course compares theories and models of policy making and decision-making to illustrate the special requirements of the Canadian environment and examines the roles of various participants in the policy process: legislators, political parties, interest groups, administrators and administrative structures, citizens, and the judiciary.
Administrative decision-making and policy development often require the analysis of quantitative data. This course will introduce students to descriptive and inferential statistics often used in policy environments so that they will be effective data users and interpreters. Students will be taught how to use and present descriptive statistics.
There is growing attention being given to executive leadership, applied ethics and efforts to create and sustain trust within and through the profession of public administration. This course descriptively and critically examines these three key concepts in relation to the professional public servant and the environments of public sector decision and policy making.
The purpose of this course is to provide a survey of public sector budgeting and financial management in Canada. Students will the role that financial considerations play in formulating policy and in program management, examine the financial planning cycles of government and the elements of sound financial planning and management in public sector entities, and gain an understanding of financial decision-making processes and elements of financial and program accountability within the context of public decision-making processes.
This course focuses on developing practical knowledge and skills public sector managers require to effectively “get things done” through others. Management skills developed include self-assessment/reflection, goal-setting, teamwork/collaboration, verbal/written communication, influence/persuasion, conflict resolution, stress management, and creative thinking.
This pass/fail course provides students with an introduction to the three MPA competency fields, and the overarching areas of knowledge required of policy professionals. It will also provide introductory classes on Canadian institutions, public sector processes, basic policy making skills, public servants’ roles and responsibilities.
Note: Students with credit for JSGS 883 will not receive credit for this course.
This course requires the development, submission, presentation and validation of a capstone report and presentation at the end of the student’s MPA program.
Note: Students with credit for JSGS 884 will not receive credit for this course.
The two remaining elective courses (6 credit units) must be selected from the courses offered by the school and can be taken at either campus. Elective courses taken outside of JSGS course offerings require pre-approval of the JSGS Graduate Chair.
JSGS MPA students enrolled at the University of Regina campus must also enrol in:
- GRST 800AA Academic Integrity Tutorial (0-credit course, taken in the first term of study)
JSGS MPA students enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan campus must also enrol in:
- JSGS 990 Public Policy Seminar Series (0-credit course)
- GSR 960 Introduction to Ethics and Integrity (0-credit course, taken in the first term of study)
Transfer CreditEach campus is different, as follows:
- The University of Saskatchewan campus does not accept transfer credit.
- At the University of Regina, transfer credit is awarded when a student has successfully completed coursework at this or another accredited institution of higher education at the Master’s level. This coursework must be first reviewed by JSGS, then recommended to Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research via JSGS. Credits can then be transferred to the student’s program at the University of Regina. Transfer credit(s) must be submitted for review and obtained in the first semester of beginning the new program. Transfer credit only applies to courses that have not been used to satisfy another academic credential (e.g. master’s degree, certificate, diploma). For more information, visit here.
The intent of the MPA course schedule is to provide students with assistance in planning for upcoming semesters.
Normally, some core and elective courses are scheduled during the daytime and some in the evening (or on weekends and/or in blocks) to accommodate both full-time and part-time learners.
**Classes may change as circumstances require.
|MPA Core Courses||Fall Semester||Winter Semester||Spring Semester|
|JSGS 801 - Governance and Administration||X|
|JSGS 802 - Public Finance||X|
|JSGS 805 - Economics for Public Policy Analysis||X|
|JSGS 806 - Public Policy Analysis||X||X|
|JSGS 807 - Statistics for Public Managers||X|
|JSGS 808 - Ethical Leadership & Democracy||X|
|JSGS 838 - Public Sector Financial Management||X|
|JSGS 882 - Strategic Management in the Public Sector||X|
|JSGS 891 - Public Policy Professionalism||X|
|JSGS 892 - MPA Capstone Class||X||X||X|
Spring/Summer Registration During Program
The JSGS MPA program at the University of Saskatchewan schedules an academic break during the Summer term, which runs July 1 through August 31 inclusive. There are no core course offerings available during this time.
- Students who started the MPA program on or before January 2021, have a scheduled academic break from May 1 through August 31 inclusive as per the requirement when they began their program.
- Students who started the MPA program on September 2021, and beyond, will have a scheduled academic break from July 1 through August 31 inclusive.
As an MPA student, you have an opportunity to enhance your graduate experience by applying for an Executive Internship in the federal or provincial public service, in municipal or local government, and in non-governmental organizations. Our Student Experience Officer works with employer representatives to pair you with senior-level executives within the organization and works with mentors to establish a mutually beneficial and high-quality experience for all.
Through an internship, you will learn about government processes through direct involvement in policy change, budget preparation, program development and delivery, and strategic planning and reporting. You will also benefit from:
- valuable career preparation and experience,
- development of an extensive professional network, as well as
- accelerated professional growth and advancement.
Hear from some of our past interns about their experience in the program!
With campuses at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy works diligently to ensure our tuition is comparable across institutions and competitive with other policy schools in Canada.
Effective September 1, 2023, the tuition rate for the full program (36 credit units) for domestic students is approximately $19,176 and $29,915 for international students. Tuition is charged on a per-credit-unit basis, and students pay as they take courses. Students are also required to pay on-campus graduate student fees.
If you are offered admission into the MPA program, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 CAD is required to save your seat. You have 30 days from the date of the offer of admission being made to accept. If you enroll in the program consistent with the terms of the offer, the $1,000 deposit will be applied to your student account. If you do not enroll, the deposit is retained by JSGS.
NOTE: Tuition and fees are subject to change. Should there be a discrepancy between the information posted on the institution's website and information posted on the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy website, the institution's website should be viewed as accurate.
JSGS offers a minimum of 10 entrance scholarships (ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000), as well as a number of named scholarships. However, these scholarships are not sufficient to fund a student throughout their program, so students must be in a position to fully finance their studies.
In addition to potential funding from JSGS, other scholarships and awards are available for students at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan.
As Saskatchewan's policy school, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School is unique in its partnership with both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. As a student, you'll benefit from learning from faculty and executives-in-residence across our two campuses and will have the opportunity to visit both campuses (either in person or virtually) throughout your program.
So how do you decide where to apply? Explore both campuses and communities, and determine which is the best fit for you.
Located on Treaty 4 lands, the University of Regina is situated on the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
As the provincial capital, Regina is home to Saskatchewan's Legislative Building which sits near the beautiful Wascana Lake. The Legislative Building is also the main backdrop to the University of Regina's College Avenue Building and home of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. A short distance from the main campus, the historic and recently renovated College Avenue Campus is located close to downtown Regina.
Referred to by many as the "Queen City", Regina is home to 230,000+ residents and is the main hub for many provincial public servants as well as municipal employees.
Located in Saskatoon on Treaty 6 lands, the University of Saskatchewan is situated on the territories of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
A quick 2.5-hour drive from Regina, Saskatoon is located in the central part of Saskatchewan near the South Saskatchewan River Valley. The city boasts many attractive walking trails, a vibrant social scene, and a welcoming place for all. Situated on the northwest side of campus in the Diefenbaker Building, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School overlooks the South Saskatchewan River and the core downtown area.
Referred to by many as the "Paris of the Prairies", Saskatoon is home to 273,000+ residents and is home to many federal public servants, industry and scientific leaders, as well as municipal employees.
Admissions and Deadlines
Interested in applying to the Master of Public Administration program? Please make note of the following application deadlines for September enrollment:
- November 1
- February 1
- May 1
International students must apply by the November 1st or February 1st deadline to allow for sufficient time to secure all documents required to study in Canada.
Please note that the May 1 deadline is only for domestic applicants as it does not allow sufficient time for international students to allow for visa, and therefore, international applications are not accepted.
To meet the deadlines above, all components of your application must be received by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on the deadline date. Applications that are incomplete will be considered at the next deadline, if completed, but will not be deferred to future academic terms.
We encourage all applicants to submit a complete application as early as possible as enrollment is limited. The admission process is competitive and later submissions may be at a disadvantage.
Students from a wide variety of disciplines—including everything from the fine arts to the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and professional college disciplines—are eligible to apply to the MPA program. While not required, some knowledge of economics, statistics and social science is generally an advantage.
Please ensure that you meet the entrance requirements of either the University of Regina Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research or the University of Saskatchewan College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (depending on your choice of campus).
|University of Regina||Applicants must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree in any area with a GPA of at least 75 percent. For more information, click here.|
|University of Saskatchewan||Applicants must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university. An average of 75 percent or better must be maintained during the final two years (60 credit units) of the undergraduate program or in the graduate program if students are entering the MPA after a graduate degree.|
Admission to the MPA program is very competitive, with each JSGS campus typically admitting 25-30 students per year. As such not all qualified applicants will be offered admission, and typically successful candidates have an average in excess of 75 percent (or upper second class).
Application Process and Required Documents
The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has aligned its application requirements (where possible) across its two university campuses; however, please note that the application portal varies by campus.
Please apply through one campus only.
When applying to the JSGS University of Regina campus, please note that you must submit an application through the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
You may choose to upload unofficial transcripts, supporting documents, reference letters, letter of intent, and resume via your online application portal.
You will have the opportunity to enter the names and email addresses of your referees in the online application portal. Once you pay the application fee and submit the application, the system will automatically contact your referees with a link for their submission. Remember to advise your referees to check their spam folder for the auto-email from uregina.ca domain.
To troubleshoot document uploads, referee issues, other technical aspects of the online application, contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at email@example.com.
|Student waiver form||
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is a collaboration between the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan. To share information between the two universities, please complete and upload the student waiver form.
Upload unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary education, that is, from each accredited institution you’ve attended where you’ve received at least one grade for one course for academic credit. If you are registered in such a course presently, upload a transcript even without the course completed.
Do NOT upload University of Regina transcripts. FGSR staff will access these internally.
JSGS will evaluate applications based on unofficial documents. JSGS only requires official documents after an acceptance letter is issued.Option 2: Is it easy to obtain official transcripts? Is it inexpensive? Is the application deadline at least a month away? If you answer yes to all questions, consider skipping the unofficial transcript upload and send your official documents directly to FGSR.
|Proof of English proficiency (if required)||
International applicants may need to submit proof of English proficiency in the form of a recognized test. Search for your post-secondary institution on the WHED database. If this database clearly indicates solely English as language of instruction, this will suffice as proof of English proficiency.
|Resume||An updated resume with scholarly contributions, background information, education history, and relevant employment history.|
|Personal Statement / Letter of Intent||
The University of Regina’s online application form includes a personal statement section where applicants are asked to answer the following four questions:
As you answer these questions, please keep in mind the Admissions Committee is assessing your ability to write in a clear, coherent and professional manner. You should make every effort to ensure your personal statement is free of spelling and grammatical errors, properly referenced (if applicable), and concise. Please limit your response to each of the questions to no more than 200 words.
The MPA is a professional program designed to prepare you for a career in public administration and policy work in diverse areas such as non-government organizations, industry associations, and public service. To help the Admissions Committee understand whether the MPA program is right for you and whether you will be a good fit for our School, please be specific in your responses to the above questions and clearly identify why you are choosing to pursue an MPA through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
|Letter of recommendation||
The University of Regina requires three letters of recommendation. Please choose academic and/or professional people who can comment on your ability to succeed in the program. Applicants can supply name and contact information in the online application portal.
When applying to the JSGS University of Saskatchewan campus, please note that you must submit an application through the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The online application takes about 30 minutes to complete. You may start an application, save it and return to it any time before the application deadline.
Once you have completed an online application, you will need to upload a series of documents. Please note that in most cases, you will need to allow one business day after paying your application fee before you are permitted to upload documents.
If your application fee has not been processed after 48 hours after being submitted, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-306-966-5788 for assistance. Please ensure you are checking the status of the application fee before emailing or calling. To check the status, please log into your application profile.
|Transcripts||Preliminary Statement of Marks
If you receive an offer of admission, you will then be required to have your official post-secondary transcripts sent (by mail in a sealed envelope directly from the institution) to the address below. Please do not send official documents until we request them.
College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
|Letter of Recommendation||
When applying to the University of Saskatchewan campus, you will need to submit three letters of reference. Two of these referees must be academic, and one must be professional.
As an applicant, you are responsible for sending the reference letter links and updating the referee’s contact information. Through your application profile, you can update your referees, change your referee contact information, and send/re-send the link for the letter of reference.
|Proof of English language proficiency (if required)||
For students who are required to provide proof of English proficiency:
If you receive an Offer of Admission you may be required to have your official language test scores sent to the address below. Please do not send official documents until we request them.
College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
|Resume||A current resume that includes background and relevant employment history.|
|Personal Statement / Letter of Intent||
The MPA is a professional program designed to prepare you for a career in public administration and policy work in diverse areas such as non-government organizations, industry associations, and, of course, the public service. To help the committee understand whether the MPA program is right for you and whether you will be a good fit for our school, please address the following in your letter of intent:
For questions about the application process or requirements for the Master of Public Administration program, please contact:
Graduate Administrator | email@example.com
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
If you are offered admission into the Master of Public Administration program, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 CAD is required to save your seat. The non-refundable deposit must be paid within 30 days of the offer of admission being made. If you enroll in the program consistent with the terms of the offer, the $1,000 deposit will be applied to your student account. If you do not enroll, the deposit is retained by JSGS.
NOTICE: If you are an Indigenous student from Canada, you are eligible for a waiver for the non-refundable deposit. For more information, please contact the advisor for the program and campus to which you are applying.
What are JSGS MPA Alumni up to?
In a recent study conducted by the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, we found that our 2000-2021 alumni from our Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificates programs are employed as follows:
Read how our MPA Alumni are making an impact!
MPA Student Stories