We are currently accepting applications for the Master of Public Service (MPS program). Applications must be submitted by February 1 to be considered for admission in September. All application documents must be uploaded by February 13, and all references must be complete by February 21. 

We aim to make application decisions within 6-8 weeks of the application deadline. 

Admission requirements

The MPS program considers applicants from most disciplines with the following minimum requirements:

  • Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • An overall average of at least 75% (B) in the final two years of study
    • Your average will be calculated based on your most recent 20 courses or most recent two years of full-time coursework. 
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)

French proficiency and evidence of strong math skills are not required for admission.

How to apply

Applications are submitted through the online graduate application system.

Applications must include:

  • All previous university transcripts
  • Three references; minimum two academic
  • Statement of interest (maximum 500 words)
  • Resumé (maximum 2 pages)

Most applicants should apply to the co-operative education option; only applicants who have at least 1 year of full-time public service experience are eligible to be considered for the non-cooperative education option.

Application materials


When applying to Waterloo you are required to declare all post-secondary education from all past and present universities, colleges and post-secondary institutions attended, whether complete or incomplete. 

Unofficial transcripts are accepted in the online application. If you receive an offer of admission, official documents will be requested. 

Statement of interest

The statement of interest is a 500-word explanation on why you're interested in the MPS program. Use these questions to help write your statement.

  • Why are you interested in a career in public service?
  • What area of public service (level of government, policy field, etc.) are you interested in working in?
  • What do you hope to learn and achieve with the MPS program?
  • How has your academic and professional experience prepared you to be successful in this program?
  • Why are you a strong candidate for studying public service?


References are an important part of your application to Waterloo, so it's important to choose referees who know your skills and experience, and who can communicate your ability to succeed as a graduate student.

You are not required to gather reference letters from your referees before you apply. When you submit your online application, you will provide your referee's contact information and they will be sent a link to a confidential reference form which will be automatically added to your application once completed.

Note for international applicants: While we've had some international students in the program in the past, it is generally difficult for a student who is neither a Canadian Citizen nor a Permanent Resident to obtain a government co-operative education position. Interested international applicants are encourage to contact the MPS Program Officer prior to applying. 

Program help

For questions about the Master of Public Service program, please reach out to the MPS Program Officer.

  • Program content and structure
  • Application eligibility
  • MPS requirements

Online application help

For questions about the online application process, please reach out to the application support team.

  • Online application troubleshooting
  • Uploading your documents
  • Changing a referee