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Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA)

FAQs for Students in Previous Degrees Offered by SPPA

The School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) is committed to ensuring that the implementation of our Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) is as smooth as possible and beneficial to all concerned. To this end, we hope these FAQs assist current York students who may have questions or concerns about the impact of the new BPA.

CERTIFCATE PROGRAM CLOSURE (Effective September 2013)

PROGRAM CLOSURES (Effective September 2010):

As a School of Public Policy and Administration student, where can I receive academic advising?

For advising concerning your overall degree program and progress, kindly visit one of the following offices:

Continuing Students (24 credits or more completed at York):
Students can receive one-on-one academic advising from the Office for Continuing Students, Centre for Student Success (103 Central Square, (416) 736-5222, laps@yorku.ca).

New Students (less than 24 credits completed at York):
Students can receive one-on-one academic advising from the Office for New Students, Centre for Student Success (103 Central Square, (416) 736-5022, lapsinfo@yorku.ca).

For advising concerning your major specifically and its requirements, kindly contact the SPPA main office or email the Undergraduate Program Director at: sppaupd@yorku.ca. Please include your name, student ID number and questions/issues to be addressed.

I am interested in pursuing the Professional Certificate in Public Sector Management. How do I proceed?

The Professional Certificate in Public Sector Management is no longer offered by the SPPA. As of September 2013, two new Professional Certificates are offered to students.

I am interested in pursuing the Professional Certificate in Public Policy Analysis or the Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law. How do I proceed?

Applicants seeking to pursue either of the certificates as a stand-alone program must apply through the Office of Admissions, York University at: http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/applying/onlineapp

Admission to the stand-alone Certificate program requires students to have normally completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline with minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00 on the York scale or equivalent. Students already enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at York need to apply for entry into this Certificate through the School of Public Policy and Administration Office. Students should have completed at least 24 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00.

Note that the certificates are not open to students in the Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) - Honours, specialized Honours, and Honours minor.

For more information about the certificates, please see:


I have completed all requirements pertaining to my Professional Certificate. Who do I need to inform that I would like to graduate and by what deadlines?

Graduation requirements for both Professional Certificates require a minimum cumulative grade point average of 5.00 in the certificate courses. Students must also submit an Application to Graduate with a Certificate form. Applications should be obtained from and filed with the School of Public Policy and Administration. Certificates will not be conferred until candidates have successfully completed an undergraduate degree program if they are simultaneously enrolled in a degree and a certificate program. This means that you must apply to graduate at the SAME TIME should you be enrolled in both a degree and certificate program concurrently.

Why have you decided to implement the BPA program? How will the BPA program benefit me?

First, it makes sense to have a single degree with a core component of 36 credits which will be shared in common by all students in the program, ensuring graduates have a shared understanding and knowledge of public administration, with the option to pursue a specific area within public policy and administration via a Specialized Honours in one of three streams (Law, Justice and Public Policy; Management; and Policy Analysis). The common core will also allow students to more easily shift between the Specialized Honours degree streams and the Honours degree, should their interests change.

Second, the BPA responds to the historic preferences students have for a single degree structure, attractive to both working professionals and students leaving high school.

The implementation of the new BPA is also an appropriate response to the increasingly prominent movement to identify public administration as a profession for which a specific education is required. The title of the degree itself is an accurate description of the material being studied and is a clear indication to employers that as a graduate of the BPA program, you are prepared to work in the field of public administration. The creation of the BPA is thus forward-looking, more accurately representing the curriculum and learning objectives for the degree and corresponding with practices in this field at other major Ontario universities.

It is our mission to provide "Education for Good Governance". The BPA, along with our current Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) graduate program and certificate in Public Sector Management, resonate well with our goal to prepare current and future policy makers, policy analysts, managers and other professionals in the public, private and para-public sectors for effective, efficient and accountable democratic governance in a complex and multicultural world.

Why choose the Program?

Our program provides intensive preparation for a rewarding career in the public sector and responds directly to the shortage of public administration recruits in Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Students will gain a strong grounding in politics and public administration while acquiring the management skills needed to tackle day-to-day issues involved in running a public sector or private organization.

What career options are available to me as a potential BPA graduate?

Public Servant, Government Relations Manager, Management Consultant, Researcher, Manager of a Non-Profit Organization.

With the creation of the new BPA, will my current BA program (i.e. PPM, PPA, PAJS) be switched automatically?

No. Students who wish to enroll in the new BPA effective Fall 2010 must complete a Change My Program Request form. For more information regarding changing your program, please visit: www.registrar.yorku.ca/services/changes/

Students who wish to remain enrolled in their current program will be subject to "Grandparented Rules".

What are "Grandparented Rules"?

The University adheres to the principle of grandparenting, which will allow you to complete your current program(s) and degree(s) under the rules in place at the time you entered the program. If you wish to switch to the BPA, you will follow the newly established rules.

How long do I have to complete my BA degree under the "Grandparented Rules"?

Students who continue in their original BA program (PPM, PPA, PAJS) have until the end of the Summer 2017 session to complete their current program under the grandparented rules.

Where and when can I receive program detail information for the new BPA program?

There is program detail information on the LA&PS website under the heading: Programs

Students may consult the on-line 2010 Undergraduate calendar: http://calendars.registrar.yorku.ca/calendars/

Students can obtain program detail information from the Office for New Students, the Office for Continuing Students, and/or the School of Public Policy and Administration main office. Contact information for these departments is here.

What are the program entry requirements?

Students prior to entry to the program are expected to have one 4U math course or equivalent. York mathematics equivalent courses are as follows:

  1. Any York mathematics course, with the exception of AK/MATH 1700 6.00 - The Nature and Growth of Ideas in Mathematics OR SC/MATH 1581 3.00 - Business Mathematics
  2. Division of Continuing Education's Mathematics for Admission Waiver.

Students entering the BPA program must meet the following minimum grade point averages:

  • Students with less than 90 passed credits (including transfer credit) must have a cumulative grade point average of 5.00.
  • Students with 90 passed credits (including transfer credit) in the session in which the 90th passed credit was taken, must have a cumulative and major grade point average of 5.00. Students with 90 passed credits or greater but less than 120 credits must meet and maintain the grade point averages as specified above.
  • Students who have completed 120 passed credits (including transfer credit) must have met the conditions above and require a cumulative grade point average of 5.00 and a major grade point average of 5.50.

Students entering the Honours Minor program must have a minimum grade point average of 5.00 in their home program at York University.

What options are available in the BPA program?
  • Major (Specialized Honours) in Public Administration: cconsists of 72 credits including: 36 credits core curriculum, six additional credits in economics and 30 additional credits chosen from one of three streams: Law, Justice and Public Policy; Management or Policy Analysis.

    Note: In addition to completing the core requirements, students must specialize in one of three streams. Students must declare a stream by the completion of 60 credits.

  • Major (Honours) in Public Administration: consists of 60 credits including the 36 credit core curriculum, six credits in economics and the balance taken from 3000 or 4000 level PPAS courses as specified.
  • Major/Minor (Honours) in Public Administration:The major/minor in Public Administration may be pursued jointly with any approved major/minor option offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies or another York Undergraduate Faculty. The BPA major consists of 60 credits including the 36 credit core curriculum, six credits in economics and the balance taken from 3000 or 4000 level PPAS courses as specified. The approved minor consists of at least 30 credits in conformity with the requirements of the minor program. At least 12 credits in the major must be at the 4000 level and at least six credits in the minor must be at the 4000 level.
  • Minor (Honours) in Public Administration: The minor in Public Administration may be pursued jointly with any approved major/minor option offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies or another York Undergaduate Faculty.

    The minor in Public Administration consists of 30 credits of the core curriculum as specified, plus 6.0 credits at the 4000 level in the School of Public Policy and Administration.

I want to switch my major to one of your CURRENT BA programs (PPM, PPA, PAJS) PRIOR TO THEIR CLOSURE. What is the deadline to do so?

BA students who wish to change their major to PPM, PPA or PAJS may submit a change of program request prior to June 1, 2010 for the Summer 2010 session. The change of program request form is available on-line at: www.registrar.yorku.ca/services/changes/

Note: The current BA PPM, PPA and PAJS programs are no longer open to students who are transferring from another Faculty or changing their degree.

Will my bursary/scholarship be affected by the program closures?

Students who have received bursaries/scholarships and have questions should contact the Office of Student Financial Services. SFS contact information can be found on the last page.

I am confused - I do not know whether to switch to the new BPA or remain in my current degree program. Where can I receive academic advising (i.e. if I have questions regarding transfer credits, etc.)

Continuing Students (24 credits or more completed at York):

Students can receive one-on-one academic adivising from the Office for Continuing Students, Centre for Student Success (Atkinson Building, Suite 150, (416) 736-5222, laps@yorku.ca).

New Students (less than 24 credits completed at York):

Students can receive one-on-one academic advising from the Office for New Students, Centre for Student Success (103 Central Square, (416) 736-5022, laps@yorku.ca).

I would like to network with other School of Public Policy and Administration students. Is there a student organization that I could be a part of?

Yes! Interested students should contact a representative from the Public Policy and Administration Student Association (PPASA, 145 McLaughlin College, ppasa@yorku.ca). Connect with fellow SPPA students, meet and greet various high-profile guest speakers, attend trips, etc.

Please visit: www.yorku.ca/ppasa/

Further Contact Information:

School of Public Policy and Administration
119 McLaughlin College
Tel: (416) 736-5384
Fax: (416) 736-5382
E-mail: lapssppa@yorku.ca

Office of the Registrar and Student Financial Services
Bennett Centre for Student Services, 2nd Floor
Tel: (416) 872-YORK (9675)
Web site: www.registrar.yorku.ca/
Web site: http://sfs.yorku.ca/