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The focus of the School is the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) program. This is a two-year, full-time, cohort-based program involving approximately 30 to 35 students in each cohort.
The first two semesters of the program consists of core courses in political science, economics, quantitative and qualitative methods, and public policy analysis. All students then complete a Co-op workterm in the summer semester. This is a nationally accredited Co-op program, affiliated with SFU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Co-op Education program.
The final two semesters of the program are comprised of a major policy research project – the capstone, and elective courses in a wide variety of policy fields that students take from the School or other graduate departments at SFU or universities such as UBC through the Western Deans Agreement. Our elective courses are open to graduate students in other disciplines and, if space is available, so are first-year MPP core courses. Our electives offered each year may include health policy, regulation, environmental policy, multiple account cost-benefit analysis, social policy, law and conflict resolution, Indigenous policy, advanced quantitative and qualitative analysis, and other topics depending on teaching resources.
The capstone project is a major piece of independent research overseen by a supervisor, and discussed in weekly seminar groups. The capstone must be on a relevant public policy problem, where the student must apply the research methodologies taught in the program to develop viable policy recommendations. The capstone synthesizes the cross-disciplinary teaching in the program and yields high quality substantive reports, some of which have been published and earned major national awards.