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 bachelor’s degree with specialization or a major in public administration or in a related discipline with a minimum average of 75% (B+).

MA Program

Students can choose the MA with thesis or the MA with research paper.

Language Requirements

An active knowledge of French and English is essential. All students must successfully complete the course PAP 6502 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.

Master's with Thesis

Enrollment is limited to a maximum of three courses/seminars per term, not including the thesis proposal.

Compulsory Courses:
PAP 6103Research Methods3 Units
PAP 6502Gouvernance démocratique 13 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Theories of Public Management
Theories of Public Policy
3 elective course units in public administration (PAP) or in other programs at the graduate level3 Units
Thesis Proposal:
PAP 6998Thesis Proposal0 Unit
Thesis:
PAP 7999Master Thesis 212 Units

 Note(s)

1

PAP 6502, offered only in French, is compulsory for all students. Language support is available to those who might need it.

2

Presentation and defense of a thesis (PAP 7999) based on an original research carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty member of the Department.

Thesis Proposal

Enrollment in the thesis proposal (PAP 6998) should take place as early as possible, ideally in the first term but by the third term at the latest. Students should begin the process of selecting a thesis topic and potential supervisor immediately upon commencing the program. The topic and supervisor are selected in consultation with an adviser and must be registered no later than the end of the second term in the program. Once the topic and supervisor have been chosen, the thesis proposal is prepared with the help of the supervisor.

The defence of the topic, which is the only requirement of PAP 6998, must be completed before the end of the third term of enrollment (preferably earlier). Once the topic has been defended, students are allowed to enroll for the thesis (PAP 7999).

The thesis proposal is assessed by a committee, composed of the thesis supervisor and another professor chosen by the professor in charge of graduate studies in public administration in consultation with the student and the thesis supervisor.

Thesis

The thesis (PAP 7999) is prepared under the direction of the supervisor and evaluated following submission by a committee of professors proposed by the professor in charge of graduate studies in public administration. It is normally approximately twenty-five thousand words (between 80 and 120 pages).

The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capacity for scholarly analysis of a specific subject. It does not have to be an exhaustive study of the kind expected of a doctoral dissertation, but it must display a capacity for rigorous analysis of a specific subject. It is judged as much for its methodological quality as for its contribution to knowledge.

Master's with Research Paper

Enrollment is limited to a maximum of three courses/seminars per term, not including the thesis proposal.

Compulsory Courses:
PAP 6103Research Methods3 Units
PAP 6502Gouvernance démocratique 13 Units
3 course units from:3 Units
Theories of Public Management
Theories of Public Policy
9 elective course units in public administration (PAP) or in other programs at the graduate level9 Units
Research Paper:
PAP 7998Research Paper 26 Units

Note(s)

1

PAP 6502, offered only in French, is compulsory for all students. Language support is available to those who might need it.

2

Presentation of a research paper based on an original research carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty member of the Department. Enrollment for the research paper is permitted in the second term. The research paper is approximately 12,000 words (50 pages) in length. It is evaluated by the supervisor and by another professor appointed by the professor in charge of graduate studies. Research papers are graded alpha and the grade (the average of both evaluations) appears on the transcript.

Co-op Option

In collaboration with the University of Ottawa’s co-op office, a co-op option is offered to a limited number of students in the master’s with research paper. This option gives selected students the opportunity to acquire practical work experience by completing two one-term (four months) work placements, normally in the public service.

There are two possibilities within the co-op option. One is to complete the first co-op work placement in the spring term of the first year and the second placement in the winter term of the second year. The other possibility is to complete two consecutive work placements over the spring term of the first year and the fall term of the second year. The eight-month placement enables students to engage in a longer project within the host organization and thus acquire a more valuable work experience. In both cases, students who enroll in the co-op option will obtain twelve units (six units per work placement) for their work experience and co-op reports. Each work term is graded P/F (Pass or Fail), based on the employer’s report and on a written report completed by the student. The student reports will be evaluated by a professor in the program (who also serves as the program’s representative on the University’s Co-op Committee).

The units awarded for co-op work terms may not be used to obtain equivalences for other courses. In other words, the co-op units are additional to the minimum requirements of the MA degree.

To remain enrolled in the co-op option, students must:

  • maintain full-time status;
  • maintain a 7.0 grade point average;
  • obtain a passing grade for each work term.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD

Students enrolled in the master’s program with thesis may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis. For additional information, please consult the “Admission Requirements” section of the PhD program.

Duration of Program

Full-time students are expected to fulfill all requirements of the master’s with thesis and the master’s with research paper with co-op option within two years. Full-time students are expected to fulfill all requirements of the master’s with research paper (without co-op) within 16 months. The maximum time permitted is four years from the date of initial enrollment in the program, whether full- or part-time.

Minimum Standards

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

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