Carleton University's School of Public Policy and Administration

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Carleton University School of Public Policy and Administration
Type Public University
Established 1953
Director Calum Carmichael
Academic staff
Students --
Location Flag of Canada.svg Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Campus Urban

Located in Ottawa, Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) is Canada’s oldest multidisciplinary graduate school in the field. Established in 1953, SPPA produces leaders for the public and nonprofit sectors and high quality, innovative research in policy and public management. The School has 23 tenured or tenure-track faculty, two cross-appointed faculty, three Distinguished Research Professors, and 21 Adjunct professors (most of whom are highly experienced public sector professionals).

SPPA is the number one ranked policy school in Canada, as rated by Corporate Knights, for curriculum content and research related to sustainable development.[1] It is accredited by CAPPA (Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration).[2] The SPPA location in the nation’s capital means that students have easy access to Parliament and federal government departments, archives and libraries, international embassies and the many national and international non-governmental organizations based in Ottawa. Degree Programs

SPPA offers:

Master of Arts in Public Administration – this two year professionally relevant academic degree provides a strong foundation in both the theory and practice of public management and policy analysis. After taking a multidisciplinary core, students specialize in one (or two) concentrations: Public Management; Policy Analysis; Innovation, Science and Environment; and International and Development. The Masters admits 65 top quality students per year from across Canada and internationally. The very popular co-operative education option allows students to gain one or two terms of valuable (and paid) experience in government or other organizations.

PhD in Public Policy – established in 1992, this interdisciplinary program is the first of its kind in Canada and admits 6-9 students per year.[3] Many of the graduates have made very successful academic careers in Canada and elsewhere.

Master of Sustainable Energy – Offered jointly with the Faculty of Engineering and Design, the program offers advanced training in all aspects of sustainable and renewable energy. It ensures that policy students understand some basics of energy technology and that they can work in teams with engineers.

Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership – Launched in 2012, this program prepares graduates to be innovators and leaders in charities, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, social enterprises, philanthropic foundations, development offices, and in the governments, financial institutions and businesses that interact with them. It is delivered through concentrated two-week Summer Institutes and sophisticated online learning, so can be done at a distance through full- or part-time study. The first classes begin in June 2013.

Graduate Diplomas in: Policy and Program Evaluation; Public Management; Health Policy; Sustainable Development; and Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. These six course diplomas are targeted toward working professionals or those with advanced degrees already; they may be credited toward the Masters, although there is a separate admissions process.

SPPA Research Centres

The Research Centres associated with the School offer specialized research, professional development and host seminars and visitors.

Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci)

Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre (CSERC)

Carleton Research Unit in Innovation, Science and Environment (CRUISE)

Centre for Governance and Public Management (CGPM)

Centre for Urban Research and Education (CURE)

Centre for Policy and Program Assessment (CPPA)

Regulatory Governance Initiative

Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership

The School is also a partner with the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank in the acclaimed International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET). This executive training program brings about 200 professionals from 80 countries to Carleton for up to a month every summer to acquire practical skills for conducting and managing evaluation in a development context.

Annual Publications

For more than 30 years, the School has produced How Ottawa Spends (published by McGill-Queen’s University Press), an annual review of government policies and spending, which is considered a must read for Canadian policy analysts and practitioners.

Innovation, Science and Environment is produced bi-annually by faculty associated with CRUISE.

SPPA students produce two journals.

ISEMA: Perspectives on Perspectives on Innovation, Science & Environment is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes a selection of the top papers produced by students in the MA program that deal with innovation, science and environment topics. Launched in 2005, it has published six volumes, with the seventh due out in fall 2013.

Northern Public Affairs is a public policy magazine for Northern Canada; its mandate it to create space for informed policy debate on the topics most relevant to Northerners. Founded in fall 2011, it publishes three issues a year, featuring articles written by, and for, an audience of academics, commentators, current and former politicians, business leaders, public servants, and engaged northerners. [hyperlink:]

History of SPPA:

In 1942 community leaders in Ottawa, recognizing the need for specialized education to meet the demands of a growing public service, created Carleton College (which was to become Carleton University in 1952) with public administration and journalism as its first programs. The first graduate degree in public administration was awarded in 1946. With support from the Atkinson Foundation, the School of Public Administration was established in 1953. [1] The PhD in Public Policy was created in 1992 – also a first in Canada – and in 2001 the school was renamed the School of Public Policy and Administration.

Faculty of Public Affairs

SPPA is situated in a unique Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA) which brings together 12 units, including other professional schools (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs; School of Journalism and Communication;Social Work), academic disciplines (Economics; Law and Legal Studies; Political Science), interdisciplinary Institutes (Criminology and Criminal Justice; European, Russian and Eurasian Studies; Political Economy; African Studies), the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management, and an elite, limited enrolment undergraduate program, the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Knight Schools ranking of Canadian Public Policy programs unveiled". Corporate Knights. June 23, 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration. "CAPPA Accreditation Board, Sixth Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  3. ^ SPPA WEbsite. "SPPA PhD Webpage". Retrieved 9 November 2012. 

External links[edit]