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MPA/MPP Applications, Fall 2017 (Canada)

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5 hours ago, RJaved said:

In the same position, was leaning towards Queens. Thoughts?

I'm recently graduated so I don't mind that U of T is 2 years over 10 months at Queens. U of T is obviously more pricey than Queens which is the factor I'm deliberating on. U of T's resources seem to be top notch in terms of networking and I like the almost guaranteed paid internship placements and  high employability statistics U of T posted.

On the other hand 35k is a hefty price tag, I have enough in my savings to cover it, but it's still a lot.

I'm still leaning towards U of T, but Queens is also top notch.

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Does anyone know how UofT funding package's work? They offered me an entrance scholarship which is not nearly enough to cover the tuition and what not. Good luck to everyone still waiting! 

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They have something called UTAPS. It is essentially a massive bursary that will fill in your assessed need :) I think from what I can gather, that all the 1st round offers get the same 3k "entrance scholarship." Definitely not enough, but UTAPS is the big equalizer and its essentially guaranteed to fill the void from what I have been told, and its non-repayable! So essentially, if you can afford the program outright you have to pay, and if you cant you get UTAPS. 

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I attended the info session for the UofT MPP- at the session they stated the program is no longer eligible for UTAPS funding! If you've been admitted and are depending on this, pls follow up.

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Accepted at UBC MPPGA -no funding :( and Carleton MPPA with funding. 

Still waiting on applications to Uvic MPA and SFU MPP- anyone have any word on these programs and/or offer timelines? 

When I check my application on SFU all I see is my application date- no info whatsoever on whether my app is pending or if a decision has been made.. would love some clarification or anyone else's experience with this! 

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Does anyone have a sense for how the policy programs rank? I'm curious what the general consensus is. I've gotten into Hertie and Carleton's so far but I'm waiting on Ottawa, Uvic, and Toronto still. 

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13 hours ago, nocturnus said:

Still waiting on applications to Uvic MPA and SFU MPP- anyone have any word on these programs and/or offer timelines? 

 

I emailed UVic last week to ask about an estimated timeline for decisions and didn't even receive an acknowledgement of or reply to my email. 

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On 3/17/2017 at 10:04 AM, informationless said:

I emailed UVic last week to ask about an estimated timeline for decisions and didn't even receive an acknowledgement of or reply to my email. 

that's strange why they haven't replied to your email. I'm actually getting really nervous about UVic and hearing back from them. Do you know if they've sent out any acceptance letters yet?

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On 3/16/2017 at 11:08 AM, tashap18 said:

I attended the info session for the UofT MPP- at the session they stated the program is no longer eligible for UTAPS funding! If you've been admitted and are depending on this, pls follow up.

Do you by any chance know if that would be rolled out for the Sept. 2017? I've gotten conflicting info, will probably give them a call tomorrow and find out. Thanks!

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has anyone heard about the MPA program at Dalhousie?  I was looking at it and it said the application deadline is in June for a September admission which seems really late to me. Does anyone know if it's a reputable school?

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9 hours ago, JLS15 said:

has anyone heard about the MPA program at Dalhousie?  I was looking at it and it said the application deadline is in June for a September admission which seems really late to me. Does anyone know if it's a reputable school?

I applied to the MPA Program at Dalhousie (and got in yay), It was one of the schools a reference of mine (who graduated the UofT public policy Program) recommended I apply to.  Honestly, finding out detailed information about courses etc is pretty difficult cause their website is brutal but I've talked to people over the phone (admin people) and they seem really nice, the program is small (45 people) and people I know in Public Policy programs right now say it's a good school.  They also have a 100% placement rate for summer internships which they value at $12-15,000.  It's also more management based (I am not 100 sure but that's the vibe from the courses they offer).  It's a good school for sure though.

Edited by phmasters

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For people who got into Uoft MPP, when is your deadline to accept?  (Curious cause my application is still "under review" and I don't know if that means I'm wait-listed, just bumped, or whatever...) My deadlines for schools I got into (Dalhousie and Carleton) are very soon and I want some sort of timeline cause the web sure ain't helping.  

Also, has anyone applied to the Waterloo MPS program, and if so, when are acceptances coming out/are they out already (I have no clue)

Thanks :)

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On 20/03/2017 at 4:57 PM, sisaidba said:

Do you by any chance know if that would be rolled out for the Sept. 2017? I've gotten conflicting info, will probably give them a call tomorrow and find out. Thanks!

Yes, this was for sept 2017. but yea, definitely call to be sure.

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4 hours ago, tashap18 said:

Yes, this was for sept 2017. but yea, definitely call to be sure.

Thanks!!

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On 3/20/2017 at 4:33 PM, JLS15 said:

that's strange why they haven't replied to your email. I'm actually getting really nervous about UVic and hearing back from them. Do you know if they've sent out any acceptance letters yet?

I haven't heard of anyone being accepted yet. It looks like in some past years they waited until April to send out acceptances, which seems like a really long time to wait. I know the application deadline was originally Jan 15 but was extended to Jan 31, so I'm guessing they weren't inundated with stellar applicants. I have another masters degree and I don't recall decisions ever taking this long. I really hope I get in; I have a great job in govt and I'm not going to leave it, move or incur the costs of pursuing studies full-time. Dalhousie is the only other distance-ed option in Canada, but they require a residency each semester. 

Edited by informationless

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11 minutes ago, informationless said:

I haven't heard of anyone being accepted yet. It looks like in some past years they waited until April to send out acceptances, which seems like a really long time to wait. I know the application deadline was originally Jan 15 but was extended to Jan 31, so I'm guessing they weren't inundated with stellar applicants. I have another masters degree and I don't recall decisions ever taking this long. I really hope I get in; I have a great job in govt and I'm not going to leave it, move or incur the costs of pursuing studies full-time. Dalhousie is the only other distance-ed option in Canada, but they require a residency each semester. 

I've been so nervous this whole week because I've been hoping they would send out acceptances this week but I guess we still have hope since no one has heard back yet. I was looking at old MPA forums and I think someone mentioned they received news on April 5th that they were accepted, which seems like a really long time considering most universities, based on reading this thread, have already begun to email people. The waiting is so hard. 

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On 2017-03-22 at 1:34 AM, phmasters said:

For people who got into Uoft MPP, when is your deadline to accept?  (Curious cause my application is still "under review" and I don't know if that means I'm wait-listed, just bumped, or whatever...) My deadlines for schools I got into (Dalhousie and Carleton) are very soon and I want some sort of timeline cause the web sure ain't helping.  

Also, has anyone applied to the Waterloo MPS program, and if so, when are acceptances coming out/are they out already (I have no clue)

Thanks :)

My deadline to accept or reject is April 14th. I think that does mean that you are waitlisted from what I understand and that they will do a rolling admittance after people accept/decline and when spaces free up. I believe that they will keep sending out offers until everything is full, but it will probably end up being later than your deadlines to accept Dal and Carleton due to the 4 weeks the MPP program gives people to decide? 

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On 2017-03-24 at 10:29 PM, RALLZ said:

Has anyone gotten cut from Carleton MPPA? Mine still says "recommended for assessment". Starting to get worried...

I know it seems like forever but it's still too early to start cutting.  Hang in there! 

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On 3/23/2017 at 0:55 PM, JLS15 said:

I've been so nervous this whole week because I've been hoping they would send out acceptances this week but I guess we still have hope since no one has heard back yet. I was looking at old MPA forums and I think someone mentioned they received news on April 5th that they were accepted, which seems like a really long time considering most universities, based on reading this thread, have already begun to email people. The waiting is so hard. 

I just emailed the UVic MPA grad advisor and she responded that the admissions committee is meeting and will have decisions very shortly. I'm going to take that to mean by the end of next week--so the April 5th timeline of a previous year looks to be about right.

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On 3/21/2017 at 2:34 PM, JLS15 said:

has anyone heard about the MPA program at Dalhousie?  I was looking at it and it said the application deadline is in June for a September admission which seems really late to me. Does anyone know if it's a reputable school?

Long time lurker, first time poster -- I remember coming across a thread like this back when I was applying to MPA programs and unfortunately there was sparse information on the Dal MPA from actual students/alumni. So, I'm here to give a recent perspective (graduated in June 2016) on the program for anyone who is weighing their options or considering applying (since you can apply until June). I'm going to get into some detail here, as I hope this post will help applicants make an informed decision about their MPA education for years to come, in the absence of other students/alumni speaking up. I made this post extremely detailed because I don't want anyone to spend the ~$18k for a program that you don't know enough about and end up regretting. This post provides some general advice for MPA applications as well.

Overall experience: Would I recommend Dal's MPA? Maybe. It depends on what your goal is and what your other options are. If you want to work in the federal public service, go to Carleton or Ottawa. By virtue of their location, these are feeder schools for the feds. You will have plentiful co-op opportunities across departments, you can work throughout the school year through FSWEP, and this makes it infinitely easier to get into the federal government when you graduated through "student bridging" (i.e. a hiring manager can appoint you to a position without running a months-long selection process with tests, interviews, etc.).

If you want to work for a provincial government, do an MPA program in that province. Although there is no bridging mechanism for the Ontario government, UofT and Queen's seem to successfully push their grads in that direction. If you want to work for a municipal government, generally you should go to the closest-located MPA program, except in Ontario, where you should consider Western's MPA that focuses on local government. If you want to do a PhD or pursue public policy research, Dal is not for you. Dal's MPA is course-based only, there are very limited research opportunities, and hardly any leading scholars left (shout out to Jeffrey Roy).

If you only applied/got accepted to Dal, it's still worth going instead of waiting a year. By the time you graduate you will have taken all the courses that government employers want you to have (and many more). You will have government work experience (Dal's internship has had a 100% placement rate since it started 15+ years ago). Dal's program is more professional than academic, which governments appreciate. They recently added a professional development certificate program, which students hate but employers like. The bottom line is that you will not be that knowledgeable in any area of public policy (most courses are focused on public administration/management), but you will know how government works, and you will be very employable.

Employment prospects: Pretty good. The Dal MPA is still a valued and well-regarded degree among government organizations (side note: don't get an MPA if you want to start your career in the non-profit or private sectors). Although your chances of being bridged into the federal government are lower than Ottawa-based programs, this program will equip you with the laundry list of qualifications that most government jobs require: econ, stats, policy analysis, research methods, government work experience, etc. When you're applying for a government job, it really doesn't matter where you went to school (unless you're a Rhodes/Marshall scholar or something). It's on you to demonstrate you have the qualifications -- your degree will not speak for you.

Some anecdotal data: although I haven't kept in touch with everyone in my graduating class (~25), many of them got government jobs (ON, NS, Feds) within 6 months of graduation (including me) -- keeping in mind that application processes can take several months. 

Value for money: Okay. All in, the Dal MPA will cost you about $18,000. There are no entrance scholarships greater than $1000. There are a few little cash scholarships throughout the program ($800, $500, $1000), but nothing substantial. There are more expensive programs, but they usually offer more financial support. Fortunately, it's easy to get TA positions every semester ($1500-3000/semester). You are also near-guaranteed a summer internship that pays ~$10-12k for the summer. So, you can earn about a year's tuition through TAing and the internship, but you do have to work for it. 

Teaching quality: Poor. Honestly, this is my main complaint about Dal. Most of the curent group of core MPA instructors are terrible teachers -- disorganized, disinterested, or sometimes even disrespectful. It's very apparent that the School of Public Admin is in a state of flux; the golden age of the Dal MPA (which has been around since 1968) has passed, which is really too bad. The school used to be much better, with the likes of Aucoin, Pross, Brown, Lindquist, Bakvis (all have since died, retired, or moved), whose work you will read in any MPA/MPP program. The permanent faculty has continued to shrink, replacing PhDs with adjunct instructors who recently retired from government, shifting the balance too much in my view. If you're looking to be inspired by your professors, look elsewhere.

Courses: Okay. The program is very course-heavy: 17 courses over 4 semesters, plus the summer internship. The first year of the program is all mandatory courses: these are the courses that governments want you to have under your belt. They are a mix of quantitative and qualitative courses, and unfortunately the quantitative courses are terrible, but you suffer through them to get the credits. In second year, you have mostly elective courses, which is somewhat misleading because the course offerings are quite limited, so you will have to take certain courses just to fill your schedule. There are virtually zero "<insert topic> policy" courses; Dal focuses heavily on public administration/management. Fortunately, you can take up to 3 courses in other departments, which you will do to find better instructors.

Halifax: Love/hate. I loved Halifax. Many people (mostly from Toronto) did not. For a smaller city, it has many of the amenities of a large city (being not only the provincial capital, but the de facto regional capital). In my opinion, it was a great place to spend 2 years. I enjoyed making weekend trips to see the rest of Atlantic Canada, and I appreciated the laid back atmosphere of the city. The weather is not great -- lots of precipitation year-round, damp, windy (lots of snow days!). But the temperate (but short) summer weather was great.

TL;DR: Dal should not be your first choice, unless it is your only choice. Frankly, there are better MPA programs for every career goal (feds, province, municipal, PhD/research), unless you want to live and work in Atlantic Canada. But you will have all the qualifications public sector employers want you to have, you will have government experience, and you will be employable. 

Edited by guwajes

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2 hours ago, guwajes said:

Long time lurker, first time poster -- I remember coming across a thread like this back when I was applying to MPA programs and unfortunately there was sparse information on the Dal MPA from actual students/alumni. So, I'm here to give a recent perspective (graduated in June 2016) on the program for anyone who is weighing their options or considering applying (since you can apply until June). I'm going to get into some detail here, as I hope this post will help applicants make an informed decision about their MPA education for years to come, in the absence of other students/alumni speaking up. I made this post extremely detailed because I don't want anyone to spend the ~$18k for a program that you don't know enough about and end up regretting. This post provides some general advice for MPA applications as well.

Overall experience: Would I recommend Dal's MPA? Maybe. It depends on what your goal is and what your other options are. If you want to work in the federal public service, go to Carleton or Ottawa. By virtue of their location, these are feeder schools for the feds. You will have plentiful co-op opportunities across departments, you can work throughout the school year through FSWEP, and this makes it infinitely easier to get into the federal government when you graduated through "student bridging" (i.e. a hiring manager can appoint you to a position without running a months-long selection process with tests, interviews, etc.).

If you want to work for a provincial government, do an MPA program in that province. Although there is no bridging mechanism for the Ontario government, UofT and Queen's seem to successfully push their grads in that direction. If you want to work for a municipal government, generally you should go to the closest-located MPA program, except in Ontario, where you should consider Western's MPA that focuses on local government. If you want to do a PhD or pursue public policy research, Dal is not for you. Dal's MPA is course-based only, there are very limited research opportunities, and hardly any leading scholars left (shout out to Jeffrey Roy).

If you only applied/got accepted to Dal, it's still worth going instead of waiting a year. By the time you graduate you will have taken all the courses that government employers want you to have (and many more). You will have government work experience (Dal's internship has had a 100% placement rate since it started 15+ years ago). Dal's program is more professional than academic, which governments appreciate. They recently added a professional development certificate program, which students hate but employers like. The bottom line is that you will not be that knowledgeable in any area of public policy (most courses are focused on public administration/management), but you will know how government works, and you will be very employable.

Employment prospects: Pretty good. The Dal MPA is still a valued and well-regarded degree among government organizations (side note: don't get an MPA if you want to start your career in the non-profit or private sectors). Although your chances of being bridged into the federal government are lower than Ottawa-based programs, this program will equip you with the laundry list of qualifications that most government jobs require: econ, stats, policy analysis, research methods, government work experience, etc. When you're applying for a government job, it really doesn't matter where you went to school (unless you're a Rhodes/Marshall scholar or something). It's on you to demonstrate you have the qualifications -- your degree will not speak for you.

Some anecdotal data: although I haven't kept in touch with everyone in my graduating class (~25), many of them got government jobs (ON, NS, Feds) within 6 months of graduation (including me) -- keeping in mind that application processes can take several months. 

Value for money: Okay. All in, the Dal MPA will cost you about $18,000. There are no entrance scholarships greater than $1000. There are a few little cash scholarships throughout the program ($800, $500, $1000), but nothing substantial. There are more expensive programs, but they usually offer more financial support. Fortunately, it's easy to get TA positions every semester ($1500-3000/semester). You are also near-guaranteed a summer internship that pays ~$10-12k for the summer. So, you can earn about a year's tuition through TAing and the internship, but you do have to work for it. 

Teaching quality: Poor. Honestly, this is my main complaint about Dal. Most of the curent group of core MPA instructors are terrible teachers -- disorganized, disinterested, or sometimes even disrespectful. It's very apparent that the School of Public Admin is in a state of flux; the golden age of the Dal MPA (which has been around since 1968) has passed, which is really too bad. The school used to be much better, with the likes of Aucoin, Pross, Brown, Lindquist, Bakvis (all have since died, retired, or moved), whose work you will read in any MPA/MPP program. The permanent faculty has continued to shrink, replacing PhDs with adjunct instructors who recently retired from government, shifting the balance too much in my view. If you're looking to be inspired by your professors, look elsewhere.

Courses: Okay. The program is very course-heavy: 17 courses over 4 semesters, plus the summer internship. The first year of the program is all mandatory courses: these are the courses that governments want you to have under your belt. They are a mix of quantitative and qualitative courses, and unfortunately the quantitative courses are terrible, but you suffer through them to get the credits. In second year, you have mostly elective courses, which is somewhat misleading because the course offerings are quite limited, so you will have to take certain courses just to fill your schedule. There are virtually zero "<insert topic> policy" courses; Dal focuses heavily on public administration/management. Fortunately, you can take up to 3 courses in other departments, which you will do to find better instructors.

Halifax: Love/hate. I loved Halifax. Many people (mostly from Toronto) did not. For a smaller city, it has many of the amenities of a large city (being not only the provincial capital, but the de facto regional capital). In my opinion, it was a great place to spend 2 years. I enjoyed making weekend trips to see the rest of Atlantic Canada, and I appreciated the laid back atmosphere of the city. The weather is not great -- lots of precipitation year-round, damp, windy (lots of snow days!). But the temperate (but short) summer weather was great.

TL;DR: Dal should not be your first choice, unless it is your only choice. Frankly, there are better MPA programs for every career goal (feds, province, municipal, PhD/research), unless you want to live and work in Atlantic Canada. But you will have all the qualifications public sector employers want you to have, you will have government experience, and you will be employable. 

this is so helpful!! thank-you!

I only applied to schools in BC this year (kind of regret that now) because it's more affordable for me that way so I was looking at Dal as an option but thank-you for the in-depth info! I couldn't really find that much information about the program anywhere online

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52 minutes ago, JLS15 said:

this is so helpful!! thank-you!

I only applied to schools in BC this year (kind of regret that now) because it's more affordable for me that way so I was looking at Dal as an option but thank-you for the in-depth info! I couldn't really find that much information about the program anywhere online

Happy to help! The Dal website is frankly misleading -- some of the elective courses listed have not been offered for years, and about half of the faculty members listed do not teach or even have offices in the School. I think Dal and UVic are similar in that they are regionally located schools with a national focus, i.e. they focus on federal government and have strong connections throughout the federal public service.

I should have stated that for the most part, in Canada an MPA/MPP is basically the same no matter where you go. No particular program will put you at a disadvantage, except I would argue that a program without a co-op/internship is not worth it. All programs have the same slate of mandatory courses, which often mirror the qualifications for most policy analyst jobs. Best of luck with your applications!

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After deliberation I decided to accept my offer for U of T SPPG. I paid my deposit too. I guess information on registration and stuff comes later in order for the status of "invited" to change? This is my first time applying to grad school so the process is foreign to me.

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