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Public Policy and Global Affairs

Degree offered: M.P.P.G.A.



M. Cameron, T. Cheek, P. Evans, G. Hoberg, M. Kandlikar, P. Le Billon, A. MacFarlane, M. Quayle, M.V. Ramana, N. Ramankutty, R. Sumaila.

Associate Professors

E. Baines, D. Boyd, J. Dierkes, K. Hopewell, S. Lightfoot, K. Ostwald, K.-A. Park, T. Shakya, S. Shneiderman, H. Tworek.

Assistant Professors

T. Cookson, N. Kunz, M. Margulis, V. Sriram.

Program Overview

The Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (M.P.P.G.A.) is a professional degree program in global public policy that provides students the inter-disciplinary skills and substantive knowledge necessary to deal with complex problems of the 21st century across local, national, and global contexts. The program typically takes 20 months to complete. Students who apply and are accepted for the accelerated option of the program can complete in 16 months. The accelerated option may not be offered for every admissions cycle as it is contingent on demand. Students who apply to the accelerated option can indicate on their application whether they wish to be considered for the regular 20-month program should the accelerated option not go ahead or they do not meet the additional professional experience requirements. If the accelerated option does not go ahead, a student who has applied to the accelerated option and has indicated that they do not wish to be considered for the 20-month program will be refunded their application fee.

Students are not permitted to switch between the accelerated and regular tuition schedules after the initial payment of the tuition fees in the first term of the program.

The M.P.P.G.A. program offers the acquisition of multi-disciplinary policy analysis skills through a sequence of core courses, plus concentrated study in one of three streams: Development and Social Change; Resources, Energy, and Sustainability; and Global Governance and Security. The program takes advantage of UBC’s strengths in these areas and its substantial faculty and program resources concerning contemporary Asia. Students will have opportunities for field-based learning and a client-based policy project. The program is delivered by the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA).

Admission Requirements

All applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Normally, applicants for a master's degree program must hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from UBC with one of the following:

  • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year level courses.
  • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year level courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC).
  • Alternatively, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in the M.P.P.G.A. program, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the M.P.P.G.A. Director and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

All applicants offered admission to the M.P.P.G.A. program must demonstrate knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics prior to the commencement of studies. See the program website for additional information and applicable deadlines.

Applicants with a degree from a university outside Canada in which English is not the language of instruction must present evidence of competency prior to an offer of admission. Test scores within 24 months of application must meet the following standards:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper version), 100 (internet version) - with no component score lower than 22, or
  • IELTS: minimum overall band score of 7.0 with no other component lower than 7.0, or
  • MELAB: minimum overall score 81.

Applicants will be evaluated on the following components of their applications:

  • academic transcripts
  • application statements
  • three required letters of reference
  • an acceptable English test score, where applicable

Relevant professional experience (generally at least two years) and proficiency in a second or third language relevant to the student’s planned program of study will be considered.

Applicants wishing to complete the accelerated version of the program must demonstrate additional years of professional experience as outlined on the MPPGA website.

Applicants may be invited for an interview at the discretion of the selection committee. Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee admission in the event that the number of applicants exceeds the number of available spaces.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit cannot be applied towards the 24 core curriculum credits. Up to 6 credits may be applied towards the 15 elective credits. In order to be eligible for transfer, the credits:

  • must be completed with a minimum B+ standing (76% UBC-equivalency)
  • must be graduate courses (500–600 level UBC equivalent)
  • must not have been counted toward the completion of another degree or program
  • must have been completed no more than five years prior to the time the student commences the M.P.P.G.A. program
  • cannot be used as a basis for admission to the M.P.P.G.A. program.

Students participating in MPPGA approved exchanges can apply up to 12 credits from exchange towards their MPPGA elective requirements provided they meet the Transfer Credit Requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and with approval of the MPPGA Graduate Director.

Decisions concerning transfer credit are made by the M.P.P.G.A. Graduate Director and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

The M.P.P.G.A. program requires completion of 48.5 credits including a minimum of 27.5 500-level core required course credits from within the program, 15 elective credits across three streams, and a 6-credit global policy project. With permission, three elective credits may be taken outside the program. Language courses do not count for credit towards the M.P.P.G.A. degree. With permission, only three credits of senior-level undergraduate courses may be taken for credit towards the M.P.P.G.A. degree.

Stream 1: Development and Social Change

This stream focuses on the economics and institutions of development. It focuses on how policy making can enable countries and communities to grow and to manage social change in an inclusive manner.

Stream 2: Resources, Energy, and Sustainability

This stream addresses global and regional sustainability with a focus on policy making related to energy and natural resources. It bridges scientific understanding with the needs of policy making on energy and resource use, urbanization and the global environment.

Stream 3: Global Governance and Security

This stream uses the lens of governance to address human security. It examines how human rights and international relations play a key role in policy making at the national and global scale.

Contact Information

MPPGA Program
C.K. Choi Building
1855 Main Mall, UBC
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2
Tel: 604.822.3801

The University of British Columbia

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Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

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