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Admission Requirements

Preparing your application to graduate studies at York University and/or other interested universities requires research and planning. Some students start preparing their plans for graduate studies as early as two years before they submit their application. Consider the following information below to help guide you through a successful application process.

Masters of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL)

To be considered for admission, candidates must have either:

  • Completed an Honours Bachelors degree (or its equivalent) from a recognized University with a minimum grade point average of B+ in the final two years and a minimum of five years work experience in a relevant public sector management, administrative, or supervisory position, or
  • Completed an Honours Bachelors degree (or its equivalent) from a recognized University with a minimum grade point average of A in the final two years. Under this category, students may have completed less than five years work experience in a relevant public sector management, administrative, or supervisory position.
  • Note: Applicants for our new full-time stream must also have acquired some work experience in the public sector already, otherwise they will not be considered for admission.
  • Note also: Applicants who do not meet the B+ GPA bar are strongly encouraged to explain and contextualize their performance in their statement of interest.

Graduate Diploma in Justice System Administration

  1. Completion of the core course, PPAL 6140 3.00 Court Organization and Management (also cross-listed as GS/LAW 6719 3.00)
  2. An internship (to be completed by all students without substantial work/work related experience in the justice system)
  3. A Major Research Paper (MRP) or Topics in Public Policy course paper, related to justice system administration.


All students except those master’s students registered with the Schulich School of Business or the Faculty of Environmental Studies, PPAL 6140/LAW 6719 is an additional requirement, over and above the regular degree requirements, and may not be counted toward the course requirements for the masters or Doctoral degrees.

For graduate diploma students registered in Schulich or ES programs: Graduate diploma students must write a research paper beyond the normal degree requirements on a topic related to justice system administration approved by the Coordinator.

For any questions about the diploma, please contact Prof. Soren Frederiksen, the diploma coordinator, at


It is strongly recommended that you provide us with at least one academic reference. If you graduated quite some time ago and cannot obtain such a letter, we will accept professional references instead. You need to provide us with three references.

You should submit your Referee Information Form via the MYfile link. Once completed, a link is e-mailed to each of your referees, who will click on the link and submit your reference via that link. In extenuating circumstances, your referees can e-mail the reference letters directly to the graduate program assistant (

No, we only accept official copies of your transcript that are submitted in person or by mail to the Admissions Office. Official transcripts can also come directly from (and in all cases must bear the unbroken seal of) the issuing institution. York University transcripts can be accessed directly by the Admissions Office. You do not need to obtain them separately.

York University
Office of Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box GA2300
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON

York University
Office of Graduate Admissions
W322 Bennett Centre for Student Services
99 Ian MacDonald Blvd
Toronto, ON

Yes. The Admissions Office requires a complete record for each student.

Your statement of interest should not be longer than 2 pages. There is no formal maximum for the writing sample but 10 to 15 pages is more than sufficient.

Yes, applicants without five years of public sector experience can still apply but preference will be given to candidates with at least two years of work experience. Note: Applicants for our new full-time stream must have acquired some work experience in the public sector already, otherwise they will not be considered for admission.

Yes, applicants with a three-year bachelor's degree can apply to the program but must demonstrate highly relevant work experience and at least some fourth-year level courses. However, the MPPAL Admissions Committee will only recommend such applicants for admission in exceptional cases.

Yes, your GPA is calculated for the last two years only.

We do our best to make offers to our top applicants one month after the admission deadline. Applicants who are admissible but for whom there may not be room in the program are put on a waiting list and are informed of that decision. We then review this list as space becomes available.

No, you will not be able to defer your offer of admission, but we can keep all of your documents on file in case you decide to re-apply the following year. You will not have to re-submit new documentation, but will only need to complete a new online application form. If you have taken any additional courses during that year, you must submit the relevant transcripts with your new application. If there have been significant changes in your work life or your academic record, we recommend that you submit new letters of reference, and update your resume and/or statement of interest.

If you require further undergraduate education in public policy and administration, either to strengthen your credentials for application or to be better prepared for the MPPAL program, we can recommend our (the School of Public Policy and Administration's) two professional certificates or equivalent courses at other universities. If you already have an undergraduate degree, you may apply to attend York as a "special student," and then you may take a York University course if there is room in it after accommodating the regular students. Contact the York University Office of Admissions for further information.

Please contact the MPPAL graduate program assistant. If you need more time to consider, we might be able to extend the deadline if there is still space in the program.

The MPPAL program, like many other professional programs, has a mandatory attendance policy. Students who cannot attend a particular session and who cannot meet the "make-up" requirements, may choose to drop the course (and attend when it is next offered), or receive an incomplete until they attend the missed session during the next offering of the course.

Yes! The MPPAL program now offers both, a part-time (two year) and a full-time (one year) option. Note: Applicants for our new full-time stream must have acquired some work experience in the public sector already, otherwise they will not be considered for admission.

Yes, our more junior students are eligible for the OPS Master-level policy co-op program and other internship opportunities. However, the majority of MPPAL students are more senior and are already working full-time in the public sector.

Graduate program fees are determined by the program's classification. They fall into two categories: regular or professional graduate fees. The MPPAL program is classified as a professional program. Fees are further charged on a "per-program" basis, which means that the fees remain the same regardless of whether a student takes all or only some courses in the program. Note that students opting to do the MPPAL full-time pay the same fees as part-time students but fees are due in one year (as opposed to two years for the part-time program). For the current tuition fees and further details, please consult the Student Financial Services page and the detailed FAQs for a detailed explanation of the fee structure.

Since the MPPAL is a professional graduate program aimed at working professionals, financial aid is limited (as is OSAP for part-time students). We offer small MPPAL-internal bursaries from $1,000 to $2,500 annually to students who demonstrate financial need. These bursaries are competitive. The application deadline is annually in the late fall.

Yes, full-time MPPAL students with a prior, exceptional academic record are eligible for SSHRC/OGS, since the MPPAL contains a significant research component (a major research paper or equivalent).

We have found that our students benefit the most from the program if they have at least some knowledge of Canada and intend to work or advance their careers in the broader Canadian public sector. International applicants should discuss these aspects in their statement of interest. Past exchange students have benefitted the most from the program if they had a keen interest in comparing Canada with the public policy and administration of other countries.

No, not at present. Many of our seminars contain in-class learning components that would only be difficult to execute with remote participants.

No, not at present. Our weekend (Saturday or Sunday) classes are all held on the Keele campus. Note also that while we do our best to enrol you based on your location preference (or our weeknight classes), we cannot guarantee spots at either location.

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Public Policy, Administration and Law at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.