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Public Policy and Global Affairs



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



M. Cameron, T. Cheek, H. Gusterson, G. Hoberg, K. Hopewell, M. Kandlikar, P. Le Billon, S. Lightfoot, A. Macfarlane, M. Quayle, M.V. Ramana, N. Ramankutty, R. Sumaila.

Associate Professors

E. Baines, D. Boyd, C. Callison, J. Dierkes, M. Margulis, K. Ostwald, K.-A. Park, T. Shakya, S. Shneiderman, H. Tworek.

Assistant Professors

T. Cookson, T. Khanna, N. Kunz, J. Lu, 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. 

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.

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 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 27 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 (74% 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 M.P.P.G.A. approved exchanges can apply up to 12 credits from exchange towards their M.P.P.G.A. elective requirements provided they meet the Transfer Credit Requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and with approval of the M.P.P.G.A. 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 credits including a minimum of 27 500-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.

Design Your Own Stream

Students with a specific area of interest that does not directly align with any one of the above streams can combine courses from multiple streams to create their own learning pathway. This unique learning plan requires approval of the Graduate Program Director.

Contact Information

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


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