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School of Public Policy | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2024

Public Policy

Master of Public Policy

The master of public policy (MPP) program offers the skills, insights and analytical frameworks that public sector and non-profit policy analysts and managers require. It focuses on the political and economic contexts of public policy analysis and offers specialized study. 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 interaction and co-operation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Students with non-Canadian undergraduate or graduate degrees are required to complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Direct admission is only permitted into the Project Option.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work, an internship, and either a major research project or an applied project option for a minimum of 70 units.

Students must complete all of

PLCY 800 - Introduction to Policy Issues and Analysis I (5)

An introduction to the basic principles and techniques of public policy analysis and examination of current policy issues.

PLCY 801 - Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis I (5)

An examination of the basic operation of a market economy and introduction to key economic concepts and techniques.

PLCY 802 - Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis II (5)

Application of economic concepts and techniques to a variety of public policy issues.

PLCY 803 - Political Foundations of Policy Analysis I (5)

Examines the political foundations of Canadian public policy. It will examine the institutional and societal landscape that sets the stage for the decisions Canadian governments make. Topics discussed include the machinery of government, federalism, and the Canadian economic and social context.

PLCY 805 - Research Techniques and Quantitative Methods I (5)

Surveys graphical, mathematical and statistical tools with applications to policy analysis. Covers graphical techniques; algebraic relationships, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, confidence intervals; definition and interpretation of regression results.

PLCY 806 - Research Techniques and Quantitative Methods II (5)

Develops key analytical and practical skills that include use of programs such as Excel and SPSS. Identifies and frames public policy problems and structure effective research questions and study designs. Introduces to methodologies for interviews, focus groups, case studies, surveys, and how to incorporate these data sources into policy research.

PLCY 807 - Introduction to Policy Analysis and Issues II (5)

Introduces the basic principles and techniques of policy analysis and examination of current public policy issues. A continuation of MPP 800. Prerequisite: PLCY 800 or MPP 800, or permission of the instructor.

PLCY 821 - Indigenous Policy (5)

Overview of aboriginal and First Nations policy issues and policy choices in BC and Canada. Examines demographic trends, social and economic data, and development issues. Rights and title, accommodation and infringement, treaty and self government issues and policies are a focus as well as socio-economic issues and problems, including those of urban people.

and a Co-op

PLCY 850 - Co-op (0)

Students who do not have prior work experience in public policy are placed in a public or private organization connected to public policy. The work they undertake must be of sufficient depth and breadth to allow the student the opportunity to demonstrate his or her acquired knowledge and skills. Students will be required to produce a work report that will be an appraisal of the student's work experience. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Suzanne Stanley
G200 Suzanne Stanley
I100 Suzanne Stanley

and the requirements from either the major research project or applied project option.

Major Research Project Option

Students complete

PLCY 809 - Major Research Project (10)

Covers advanced policy analysis techniques that are applied by students to individual projects on current public policy issues. This course will constitute the Capstone project component of the program. Prerequisite: Open only to students enrolled in the MPP program.

and three elective PLCY graduate courses*

Applied Project Option

Students complete

PLCY 835 - Extended Policy Analysis (5)

The purpose is to enable students to undertake an extended policy analysis of a topic. While original research is not expected, the analysis will state a problem, review and analyze relevant literature and data, describe potential policy options and evaluate them with appropriate criteria. The policy research paper does not need to be submitted to the library. Prerequisite: PLCY 802, PLCY 804, PLCY 806, PLCY 807 and approval of the department.

and four elective PLCY graduate courses*

* The program director, in consultation with the student, selects appropriate graduate courses offered by PLCY, affiliated programs and departments.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in six terms (2 years). The maximum course load for this program is four courses per term.

Other Information

Applied Project Option

Permission of the program director is required for enrollment in the applied project option.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.