The School of Political Studies located in the Faculty of Social Science offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Public Administration.

The main objective of the master programs is to provide students with leading-edge theoretical and conceptual knowledge to enable them to understand and analyze public administration, as well as equipping them with the know-how and skills necessary for success in a constantly changing organizational environment. Emphasis is placed on the development of research skills.

The MA program aims to familiarize students with critical methods of knowledge production and to develop their capacity for conducting basic and applied research. Furthermore, they will develop the ability to extract from research the learning necessary for undertaking their responsibilities as public managers and policy analysts.

The PhD program aims to prepare students for academic and research careers. The various components of the doctoral program (courses, comprehensive examination, thesis proposal, thesis and defence) are all designed to develop the student’s capacity for high level independent research in social sciences.

The programs offer two fields or concentrations in public administration: public management and public policy. These fields are not mutually exclusive, but constitute the two main components of public administration studies.

The MA program is offered both full- and part-time, whereas the PhD program is offered full-time only. The programs are offered in French and English and the use of both languages is encouraged. Students can choose the master’s with thesis or the master’s with research paper.

Public Administration is a participating unit in the collaborative programs in Women’s Studies and in Environmental Sustainability (at the master's level).

The programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies. 

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

Admission to the graduate program in Public Administration is governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

To be considered for admission, applicants must hold a master’s degree in Public Administration or in a related discipline with a minimum average of 75% (B+).

Language Requirements

An active knowledge of French and English is essential. All students must successfully complete the course PAP 8510 given in French only and must be able to read texts in French and in English.

Students whose first language is other than French or English must provide proof in their application of their level of competence in these languages. The Public Administration Program reserves the right to conduct an interview and to require a test in either language. If a student’s research interests require comprehension of a language other than French or English, the Public Administration Program may require proof of such competency.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, students have a right to produce their work, their thesis, and to answer examination questions in French or in English.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD

Students enrolled in the MA program in public administration who have performed exceptionally well academically, who have demonstrated solid research skills and who are deemed sufficiently mature, may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Successful completion of at least four PAP graduate courses (12 units) with a minimum average of 85% (A) and with an A+ in at least one of the courses.
  • Approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in public administration. The committee makes its decision on the basis of written reports on the student's maturity and research skills, from the student's thesis supervisor and from the professors in the courses taken in the master's program.

The request for transfer must be made during the third term of full-time enrollment (or equivalent), and the transfer must take place before the end of the fourth term. The Graduate Studies Committee will take into account the student's grades, thesis plan (or draft plan) and the reports from professors who taught the courses taken at the master's level. Following the transfer, all of the requirements of the doctoral program must be met. Students who transfer but do not complete the PhD program can however obtain the MA degree provided they meet all of its requirements.

The program is structured around two fields: public management and public policy. Students must choose one as their major field and the other as their minor field. The choice of major field will be linked to their research interests.

The following requirements must be met:

Compulsory Courses: 1
PAP 8111Research Seminar in Public Administration II3 Units
PAP 8510Séminaire de recherche en administration publique I3 Units
PAP 9310Public Management3 Units
PAP 9311Public Policy3 Units
3 course units from one of the following seminars:3 Units
Seminar in Major Field: Public Management
Seminar in Major Field: Public Policy
Comprehensive Examinations: 2
PAP 9988Comprehensive Examination - Minor Field0 Unit
PAP 9989Comprehensive Examination - Major Field0 Unit
Thesis Proposal:
PAP 9997Thesis proposal0 Unit
Thesis:
PAP 9999PhD Thesis 30 Unit

Note(s) 

1

Students who have not completed a master’s level course in research methods must enroll in PAP 6103 (3 units) in addition to the other courses listed.

2

Comprehensive examinations are aimed at demonstrating basic knowledge in both fields. They usually take place towards the end of the third term of enrollment in the program. To continue in the program, students must pass both comprehensive examinations.

3

Presentation and defense of a thesis (PAP 9999) based on original research carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the program.

Duration of Program

The requirements of the program are usually fulfilled within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment in the program, or seven years in the case of the students transferring from the master’s to the doctorate.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), the thesis proposal, or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Thesis Advisory Committee

During the first term of the program, a thesis advisory committee (TAC) is formed for the candidate. The Committee’s membership will be determined by the specific interests of the candidate. It will be composed of the supervisor and 2-3 additional professors. At least one member of the thesis committee, in addition to the supervisor, must be from the Faculty of Social Sciences. The TAC is responsible for guiding the student throughout the program, including course selection, the comprehensive examination, thesis proposal, and thesis defense.

The thesis examining board may include members who are not part of the TAC.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences represents a place of excellence in knowledge creation, research and training. Driven by both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, research at the Faculty is rich, innovative and varied, contributing to the depth of understanding and breadth of discussions on a variety of issues nationally and internationally.  This research, whether it be fundamental, theoretical, applied or action-oriented, is generated by our renowned expertise, ultimately culminating in applications designed to influence individual communities and the betterment of society.

We have identified five research themes which collectively represent a large proportion of the research undertaken at the Faculty of Social Sciences:

  • International Studies
  • Francophonie
  • Public Policy
  • Health, Well-Being
  • Justice, Society

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM), Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), Centre for Public Management and Policy, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Service (CRECS), Centre on Governance (COG), Human Rights Research and Education Centre (affiliation), Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and Institute for Science, Society and Policy.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

PAP 6101 Globalization and Continental Integration (3 units)

Examination of the impacts of socio-economic, technological and cultural globalization on our systems of governance both internationally and domestically. Analysis of the role of the nation-state in a context of simultaneous decentralization and internationalization, with a particular focus on global institutions and North American integration.

Course Component: Lecture

PAP 6102 Democratic Governance (3 units)

This seminar provides an examination of how democratic governments structure their decision-making processes for effectiveness, representation and accountability. A particular focus of this seminar is a critical evaluation of the New Public Management reforms, and an in-depth review of different models of government intervention and policy-making from a comparative perspective.

Course Component: Lecture

PAP 6103 Research Methods (3 units)

Study of different methodological approaches used in public administration, conceptual tools and research methods (discourse analysis, content analysis, quantitative methods ¬statistics and probability

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 6110 Theories of Public Management (3 units)

(Core course for students in the field of public management). Presentation of major components of public management (managerial roles and functions, planning, organizational cultures, leadership and motivation, human resources managements, change management, etc.). Study of the main theoretical approaches in public management, with the aim of relating them critically to one another and undertaking a critical analysis of the methodological and theoretical contributions of the various approaches.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 6111 Theories of Public Policy (3 units)

(Core course for students in the field of public policy). Presentation of the different stages of the policy process, notably emergence, development, implementation and evaluation, as well as the influence of institutions, ideas and interests on public policy. The objective is to present the main theoretical approaches (neo-institutionalism, post-positivism, political economy, etc.) with the aim of relating them critically to one another and critically analyzing their methodological and theoretical contributions.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 6120 Ethics in the Public Sector (3 units)

Study of the theoretical and empirical issues related to ethics in the public sector, analysis of the literature on the philosophical and political foundations of ethical reflection and the literature on ethics and public administration. Themes addressed include citizenship and democracy, responsibility and accountability, public interest, contemporary issues in ethics in the public sector and social justice in public decision-making.

Course Component: Lecture

PAP 6121 Public Administration: Coordination and Consistency (3 units)

Examination of the influence of structural and social processes on the theory and practice of public administration. The course will examine the mechanisms and issues of coordination in its multiple forms: multi-level coordination, coordination across the public, private and community sectors, horizontal and vertical coordination. The course will also address the challenges and issues of consistency in the process of public policy development and implementation and will examine a number of cases and international comparisons.

Course Component: Lecture

PAP 6122 Culture and Power in Public Organisations (3 units)

Informal dimensions of public organizations, including organizational cultures and power relations that mesh with organizational issues. Sociopolitical analysis of organizations to improve understanding of factors of inertia, resistance and blockage that influence, to different degrees, possibilities for innovation and change in public administration.

Course Component: Lecture

PAP 6130 Selected Themes in Public Administration (3 units)

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 6501 Mondialisation et intégration continentale (3 crédits)

Examen de l'impact sur la gouvernance à l'échelle internationale et nationale de la mondialisation des secteurs socio-économique, technologique et culturel. Analyse du rôle joué par l'état-nation dans un contexte de décentralisation et d'internationalisation simultanées, en mettant particulièrement l'accent sur les institutions mondiales et l'intégration nord-américaine.

Volet : Cours magistral

PAP 6502 Gouvernance démocratique (3 crédits)

Examen des mesures prises par les gouvernements démocratiques pour s'assurer que les processus de prise de décision répondent aux critères d'efficacité, de représentativité, et d'imputabilité. Accent sur l'examen critique des réformes récentes des modes de gestion à la fonction publique et étude approfondie des différents modes d'intervention gouvernementale et d'élaboration de politiques d'un point de vue comparatif.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6503 Méthodes de recherche (3 crédits)

Étude de différentes approches méthodologiques utilisées en administration publique, outils conceptuels et méthodes de recherche (analyse de discours, analyse de contenu, méthodes quantitatives ¬statistiques et probabilités

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6510 Théories en gestion publique (3 crédits)

(Cours noyau pour les étudiants dans le champ de la gestion publique). Présentation des grandes composantes de la gestion publique (rôles et fonctions manageriels, planification, cultures organisationnelles, leadership et motivation, gestion des ressources humaines, gestion du changement, etc.). Étude des principales approches théoriques de la gestion publique, dans le but de les relier et d'entreprendre l'analyse critique des apports méthodologiques et théoriques des diverses approches.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6511 Théories en politiques publiques (3 crédits)

(Cours noyau pour les étudiants dans le champ des politiques publiques). Présentation des différentes phases de l'analyse des politiques publiques, notamment celles de l'émergence, de l'élaboration, de la mise en œuvre et de l'évaluation, ainsi que de l'influence des institutions, des idées et des intérêts sur les politiques publiques. L'objectif sera de présenter les principales approches théoriques de politiques publiques (néo-institutionnalisme, post-positivisme, économie politique, etc.), de les relier de façon critique et d'entreprendre une analyse des apports méthodologiques et théoriques des diverses approches.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6520 Éthique publique (3 crédits)

Étude des enjeux théoriques et empiriques reliés à l'éthique publique, analyse de la littérature sur les fondements philosophiques et politiques de la réflexion éthique et de la littérature sur l'éthique et l'administration publique. Les thèmes abordés incluent la citoyenneté et la démocratie, la responsabilité et la reddition de comptes, l'intérêt public, les enjeux éthiques publics contemporains et la justice sociale dans le contexte de la prise de décision publique.

Volet : Cours magistral

PAP 6521 Administration publique : Coordination et cohérence (3 crédits)

Examen de l'influence des processus structurels et sociaux sur la théorie et la pratique de l'administration publique. Le cours traitera des mécanismes et enjeux de coordination dans ses multiples formes : coordination à niveaux multiples, coordination entre secteurs publics, privés et communautaires, coordination horizontale et verticale. Le cours abordera également les défis et enjeux de cohérence du processus de production et la mise en œuvre des politiques publiques et examinera certains cas et comparaisons internationales.

Volet : Cours magistral

PAP 6522 Cultures et pouvoir dans les organisations publiques (3 crédits)

Dimension informelle de l'organisation publique, à savoir les cultures organisationnelles et les relations de pouvoir qui se conjuguent invariablement aux enjeux organisationnels. Lecture sociopolitique de l'organisation pour mieux saisir les facteurs d'inertie, de résistance et de blocage qui pèsent, à des degrés divers, sur les possibilités d'innovation et de changement dans l'administration publique.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6530 Thèmes choisis en administration publique (3 crédits)

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 6901 Projet / Project (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude approfondie d'un domaine de la gestion publique ou de la gouvernance. Étude de cas ou projet en collaboration avec une ou plusieurs agences du secteur public. Rapport écrit. Noté S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant) par le professeur responsable. / In-depth study of a particular area of public management on governance. Case study or project to be conducted in collaboration with one or more public sector organizations. Written report. Graded S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

PAP 6980 Lecture dirigée / Directed Readings (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

PAP 6998 Projet de thèse / Thesis Proposal

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

PAP 7998 Mémoire / Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

PAP 7999 Thèse de maîtrise / Master Thesis (12 crédits / 12 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

PAP 8111 Research Seminar in Public Administration II (3 units)

Preparation for writing the thesis (including the thesis proposal) in public administration. Continuation of the themes presented in the previous seminar (PAP 8510 Séminaire de recherche en administration publique I). Different stages of research in public management and public policy, notably the development of the research question, literature review, theoretical framework, methodological approach and the development of empirical data. Different strategies of knowledge diffusion (conferences, articles, book chapters, etc.) and preparation for the thesis proposal defence.

Course Component: Seminar

Prerequisite: PAP 8510

PAP 8510 Séminaire de recherche en administration publique I (3 crédits)

Préparation à la rédaction de la thèse (incluant le projet de thèse) en administration publique. Présentation des dimensions ontologiques (qu'est-ce qui compose le domaine du savoir ?) et épistémologique (comment savons-nous ce que nous savons ?) caractérisant la recherche en gestion publique et en politiques publiques. Initiation aux différentes étapes de la production de connaissances (formulation de la problématique de recherche, revue de littérature, cadre théorique, etc.).

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 8511 Séminaire de recherche en administration publique II (3 crédits)

Préparation à la rédaction de la thèse (incluant le projet de thèse) en administration publique. Poursuite de l'analyse des thèmes abordés au séminaire précédent (PAP P8510 Séminaire de recherche en administration publique I). Initiation aux différentes étapes de la production des connaissances, notamment la formulation de la problématique de recherche, la revue de littérature, le cadre théorique, la démarche méthodologique et la production des données empiriques. Initiation aux différentes stratégies de diffusion des connaissances (conférences, rédaction d'articles, de chapitres de livre, etc.), avec un souci particulier pour la préparation à la soutenance du projet de thèse.

Volet : Séminaire

Préalable: PAP 8510

PAP 9310 Public Management (3 units)

In-depth study of the field of public management. Presentation of the formal dimensions (direction, organization, budgeting, strategy, planning, control, etc.) and informal dimensions (leadership, motivation, mobilization, organizational culture, coordination, power relations, etc.) in public management. Critical analysis of the principal theoretical approaches and tendencies of public management and their theoretical and methodological contributions.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 9311 Public Policy (3 units)

In-depth study of the field of public policy. Different stages in the policy process (emergence, development, implementation and evaluation). The objective is to present the main theoretical approaches and tendencies (neo-institutionalism, post-positivism, political economy, etc.), to relate them critically to one another and to critically analyze their methodological and theoretical contributions.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 9320 Seminar in Major Field: Public Management (3 units)

This course deepens the knowledge acquired in the course PAP 9310 Public Management for doctoral candidates with public management as the Major Field.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 9330 Seminar in Major Field: Public Policy (3 units)

This course deepens the knowledge acquired in the course PAP 9311 Public Policy for doctoral candidates with public policy as the Major Field.

Course Component: Seminar

PAP 9710 Gestion publique (3 crédits)

Étude approfondie du domaine de la gestion publique. Présentation des composantes formelles (direction, organisation, budgétisation, stratégie, planification, contrôle, etc.) et informelles (leadership, motivation, mobilisation, culture organisationnelle, coordination, relations de pouvoir, etc.) en gestion publique. Analyse critique des principales approches et courants théoriques de la gestion publique et de leurs apports théoriques et méthodologiques.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 9711 Politiques publiques (3 crédits)

Étude approfondie du domaine des politiques publiques. Différentes phases de l'analyse des politiques publiques (émergence, élaboration, mise en œuvre et évaluation). L'objectif sera de présenter les principales approches et courants théoriques dans le domaine des politiques publiques (néo-institutionnalisme, post-positivisme, économie politique, etc.), de les relier de façon critique et d'entreprendre une analyse de leurs apports théoriques et méthodologiques.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 9720 Séminaire dans le champ majeur : Gestion publique (3 crédits)

Ce cours approfondira les connaissances acquises lors du cours PAP 9710 Gestion publique pour les doctorants avec gestion publique comme champ majeur.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 9730 Séminaire dans le champ majeur : Golitiques publique (3 crédits)

Ce cours approfondira les connaissances acquises lors du cours PAP 9711 Politiques publiques pour les doctorants dont le champ majeur est politiques publiques.

Volet : Séminaire

PAP 9980 Lecture dirigée / Directed Readings (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

PAP 9988 Examen de synthèse - champ mineur / Comprehensive Examination - Minor Field

L'examen de synthèse a pour but de vérifier les connaissances dans le champ mineur. Il a lieu généralement vers la fin de la troisième session d'inscription au programme. / The comprehensive examination is aimed at evaluating the student's knowledge of their minor field.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

PAP 9989 Examen de synthèse - champ majeur / Comprehensive Examination - Major Field

L'examen de synthèse a pour but de vérifier les connaissances dans le champ majeur. Il a lieu généralement vers la fin de la troisième session d'inscription au programme. / The comprehensive examination is aimed at evaluating the student's knowledge of their major field.

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

PAP 9997 Projet de thèse de doctorat / Thesis proposal

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

PAP 9999 Thèse de doctorat / PhD Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research