Director's Message

Welcome to the Master of Public Service program website. The MPS program has grown considerably over the past five years. There are now more than two hundred alumni who have been matched to co-op positions at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, and continue on to successful careers as public servants, policy advocates, and entrepreneurs.

Anindya SenWe have assembled a rich variety of courses, which will train our students in key skills that are required of the public servant of tomorrow: advanced analytical abilities, rich communication skills, effective policy decision making, knowledge of the public service, an understanding of empirical analysis in evidence based policy, the subtleties of good leadership, and familiarity with some of the key decisions taken by different levels of governments. 

These courses are taught by faculty from five different academic departments, who have published books and articles in top ranked journals on topics ranging from the effects of the Supreme Court of Canada’s impact on public policy, the delivery of emergency disaster relief by municipalities, comparative environmental policy regimes surrounding oil developments, fiscal federalism in Canada, poverty and the minimum wage, the determinants of crime across provinces, the politics of the global economy, and the rhetoric of race relations.

The coursework is extremely challenging. There are many assignments, group projects, presentations, tests, and exams, coupled with separate skills development modules and professional development seminars. Successful completion of these degree milestones requires diligent preparation, skillful time management and a commitment to excellence. However, the education you will receive extends beyond coursework. The key to success in this program is working and learning together, and in the process, forging strong and respectful relationships. In doing so, our students will gain an appreciation of some of the fundamental principles of public service: (1) respect for people from all backgrounds and tolerance for diversity; (2) integrity; (3) honest stewardship of public resources; (4) striving for excellence; and (5) respect our democratic traditions.     

Our students are a very diverse group with backgrounds from Political Science, Health Studies, Economics, Commerce, Psychology, Criminology and Legal Studies, Sociology, English, History, Philosophy, and Public Administration. This diversity contributes richness in perspective and variety in thought. Sometimes there is no better education than the viewpoint expressed by a classmate who has a different undergraduate degree. The ability to successfully work with colleagues from different backgrounds also happens to be a necessary prerequisite for success in the public service, and for that matter, in almost any occupation. Our students are part of a strong community which continues well beyond graduation and offers opportunities for networking and self-development.  

I wish our students all the best with their studies and we welcome connections with employers across Canada. 

Anindya Sen
Director, Master of Public Service & Professor of Economics
University of Waterloo