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The MPP curriculum is designed to prepare students for solving the most pressing problems in Canada and beyond. To do so, we combine ideas and analytical frameworks from economics, political science, and law, and build practical skills in policy analysis, communication, leadership, and writing. We compliment classroom learning by practical experience working with policymakers through the paid co-op workterm requirement. Students also have an opportunity to undertake independent research on policy problems they are passionate about with one-on-one support from faculty members. Designed to develop the strategic and global perspective required of tomorrow’s senior policy analysts and managers, the program uses a cohort model which encourages student and faculty interaction and co-operation.
We provide tailored support to each student to help them navigate the co-op job placement process and build an individualized curriculum that supports their academic and career goals. In total, students are required to complete 70 credit points for the MPP degree. Students typically graduate in May of their second year of study.
An up-to-date list of MPP courses can be found within SFU’s academic calendar. SFU runs on a trimester system, with Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. While the timing and availability of courses vary year on year, a typical schedule looks like this:
In their first year of study, MPP students take eight core courses to build a foundation in policy analysis and issues, research techniques, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. In the summer between year one and year two, students undertake a paid co-op workterm at policy agency (often a municipal, provincial, or federal government), to hone and apply their new knowledge and skills, build professional networks, and begin to meet their career aspirations.
Core Courses | Fall/Spring Term
Students will complete the following core courses:
CO-OP Practicum | Summer Term
Semester of degree-relevant, paid work experience.
Students may opt to complete an elective course in the summer, alongside their Co-op, to reduce their workload during the second year. International students should seek advice and consult their immigration documents before enrolling in courses in the summer.
Note: This requirement is generally waived for students who already have considerable professional experience within public policy.
In their second year, students take either four (with Capstone option) or five (with Project option) elective courses that match their interests and goals. Students typically graduate in May of their second year of study.
Independent Research Projects
Students must enrol in one of the following independent research projects under the supervision of an SPP faculty member:
*Students who enrol in PLCY 809 must complete an additional 15 credits of elective courses, i.e. three MPP elective courses.
*Students who enrol in PLCY 835 must complete an additional 20 credits of elective courses, i.e. four MPP elective courses.
- Both the Capstone and Policy projects are to be completed over the course of the second year of the program.
- Students should register for the course in the semester when they will defend and/or submit their projects. For most students, this will be the Spring semester of the 2nd year in the MPP.
- Additional information about the Capstone and Policy projects can be found on the MPP Community Canvas page.
The School of Public Policy offers a wide range of elective courses each year. Specific elective course offerings vary from year to year. Students are encouraged to speak with the Director for advice regarding elective course planning if they need it.