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Certificate in
Public Administration and Governance

Note: This program may be completed entirely at a distance. Visit the distance education website for further information.

The Certificate in Public Administration and Governance is designed for working public sector employees, students aspiring to careers in the public service, and those interested in gaining knowledge about public administration and public policy in Canada.

The Certificate in Public Administration and Governance fulfils Level 1 of the Public Administration and Governance BA (Honours) program and will provide students with the following:

  • an introduction to public administration including the organization, structure, decision processes, and operations of the public sector
  • an awareness of the political forces that shape public administration and policy
  • an introduction to the levels of government

Program Information: Viola Ing, Department of Politics and Public Administration: ving@politics.ryerson.ca.

Sample Distance Course ModuleSample Module

See more courses and programs relating to Business, Management, Economics, and Urban Planning, Law and Government, or Humanities and Social Sciences.

Admission Criteria

It is recommended that applicants have the following:

OSSD with six Grade 12 U or M credits (including English) with a minimum of 60 percent, or mature student status.

Grade 13 subjects/OSSHGD may be combined/substituted with OACs/OSSD. Students who present credits from the OSSHGD (Grade 13 stream) or in combination with credits from the OSSD (OAC stream) should ensure that the credits satisfy the requirements.

Program Open House

Students who have questions about the admission criteria and/or would like to know more about this certificate are invited to attend a Program Open House. Please see Open House for dates, times, and location.

Certificate Requirements

The successful completion of eight single-term courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 1.67 or higher, is required. Students working toward a certificate must formally register in the Public Administration and Governance BA (Honours) program (see introductory note above).

Certificate Registration

Students may be registered in only one certificate program at any one time. To allow maximum flexibility in crediting external courses and/or courses previously taken at Ryerson, students should register in the certificate at the beginning of their first course (see also Courses and Programs FAQ). For complete details on the advantages of early registration, registration deadlines, and Transfer Credit restrictions, all students should read Registration in a Certificate Program.

Awards and Financial Aid

If you require financial assistance, you may apply for merit-based awards and/or need-based financial aid. As well, students officially registered in a Chang School certificate program may be eligible for funding through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). For a complete list of certificate programs approved by OSAP, visit the Student Financial Assistance website.

Requirements for Graduation

To graduate, you must successfully complete, within your official timespan, the published certificate curricula from the year you registered in the certificate program. In some circumstances, certificate requirements may change, resulting in courses no longer being available. In such cases, Course Substitutions/Directives may be requested. Also, you must apply on RAMSS to graduate, prior to the appropriate application deadlines (see Important Dates). For complete details, all students should read Graduation.

Required Courses

CPPA 101   Politics and Public Administration:  Cdn Public Administration I: Institutions
CPPA 102   Politics and Public Administration:  Cdn Public Administration II: Processes
CPPA 125   Politics and Public Administration:  Rights, Equity and the State


Required Group 1 (select two)

CPPA 120   Politics and Public Administration:  Canadian Politics and Government
CPPA 121   Politics and Public Administration:  Ontario Politics and Government
CPPA 122   Politics and Public Administration:  Local Politics and Government
CPPA 124   Politics and Public Administration:  Indigenous Politics and Governance


Liberal Studies Elective Table A (select one 1-term lower-level course)

Liberal Studies courses are indicated by “LL” for Lower Level and “UL” for Upper Level. Consult the undergraduate calendar for the complete list of Liberal Studies courses, and use the Course Search to search for your course by subject, term, time, or instruction mode.

Professionally-Related Elective Table I (select two 1-term courses from Table I)

Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar, Professionally-Related Electives Table I for a complete list of appropriate courses.

Students intending to proceed to further levels of the program should familiarize themselves with prerequisites pertaining to professionally-related elective courses at all levels of the program as well as options for obtaining a minor.

Note: Students who wish to obtain their Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for admission to the Public Administration and Governance BA (Honours) program. Do not use the standard continuing education certificate application. Upon completing this certificate and the Advanced Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, students may continue their studies to earn a BA (Honours) in Public Administration and Governance.

Distance Education

The following courses are available in a distance education format this academic year. Many Liberal Studies and Professionally Related electives are also offered via distance education; please check individual course descriptions.

CPPA 101   Politics and Public Administration:  Cdn Public Administration I: Institutions
CPPA 102   Politics and Public Administration:  Cdn Public Administration II: Processes
CPPA 120   Politics and Public Administration:  Canadian Politics and Government
CPPA 122   Politics and Public Administration:  Local Politics and Government
CPPA 125   Politics and Public Administration:  Rights, Equity and the State