Admission FAQ: Program, Eligibility and Application

Do you have a part-time program?
We do not have an official part-time program. The program is run as a full-time cohort program where student interaction and co-operative work both within and across classes, is encouraged. After consultation with the Program Director, a few part-time students may be admitted per year. In this case, we usually require students to undertake 2 courses per semester. Students undertaking this option would complete their MPP degree in 3 years.

How long does it take to get an MPP degree?
The normal time to finish the MPP program is 5 semesters. 4 regular study semesters and one summer co-op semester. With full-time study, students normally complete their degrees in just under 2 years.

How many courses does an MPP degree require?
Fourteen courses are required for the MPP plus a co-op workterm practicum. These include ten core courses in economics, political analysis, quantitative methods, and policy analysis plus four electives to be taken in the MPP program or in related graduate courses in other departments. Under the Western Dean's Agreement, you may be able to take graduate courses at other Western Canadian Universities.

What are the areas of specialty of faculty?
Our program features faculty members specializing in many diverse areas of public policy such as: social policy, environmental policy, Indigenous policy, health policy, issues such as sustainability, regulations, globalization, gender and cost-benefit analysis.

What types of undergraduate degrees are accepted?
Masters of Public Policy students are a very diverse group of people with academic backgrounds in political science, economics, history, literature, geography, sociology, public policy, science, and more. Some of our students have had considerable work experience (some in public policy positions), others not so much. What all of our students share is a keen interest in a range of public policy issues. View Student Profiles

Can my employer write a reference?
Yes. Although we prefer at least one academic resource, references from well-known companies or any source that sheds light on your personality are encouraged.

When should I apply and how long does it take to get an answer?
SFU requires an online application for graduate studies. The application period for the School of Public Policy is November 1st to February 1st each year. It is advisable to apply much earlier than the deadlines. Offers will commence as top-ranked applicants are identified and will continue until all spots in the cohort have been filled.

How competitive is the admissions process? How many applications does the program receive per year?
The School of Public Policy receives 150-200 applications each year and admits approximately 25-30 students.

Can the application fee be waived?
No. The program is unable to assess individual payment waivers.

Do you require the GRE, TOEFL and/or IELTS test(s)? Due to the resumption and expansion of testing availability for the GRE including taking the test in one's home, please note that all applicants who do not have a  recognized degree from a university in Canada, the US, UK, EU, or Australia are required to submit their GRE scores as part of their application. Applicants who have received their degrees from non-English speaking Universities are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores.
Here are details regarding SFU's English Language Requirements

For more information please see: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): International Language Testing System (IELTS): Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

I have not taken the TOEFL/GRE/IELTS yet. How should I fill out the appropriate fields in the application form?
Please enter 000 (zeroes) where we ask for a score and your Application Form should successfully submit.

What Institution Code should I enter on the TOEFL/GRE/IETLS for the School of Public Policy?
The Institution Code for MPP is 0999. This code will direct the reports to the Graduate Studies office who then forwards them to our department.