Jul 06, 2022  
2021 - 2022 Adler Catalog 
2021 - 2022 Adler Catalog

Master of Public Policy and Administration, (MPPA)

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Program Overview

The Master of Public Policy and Administration program develops leaders who are sensitive to issues of social justice and capable of addressing today’s complex policy problems. The program shapes future policymakers, public administrators, and community-based professionals seeking to impact systemic social change. Students in the program participate in small, dynamic classes with a cohort of learners and receive individualized attention to support their learning. Graduates are prepared for diverse career pathways including with municipal, provincial, and federal governments and agencies, as well as with not-for-profit organizations, advocacy groups, and research institutes. The Master of Public Policy and Administration program offers a concentration in Social Change Leadership.

Concentration in Social Change Leadership

The Social Change Leadership concentration prepares graduates to head government and community efforts that advance a more just society. The concentration educates students in understanding frameworks for social policy analysis, applying research methods, engaging in critical analysis, and developing knowledge of contemporary social issues in Canada. Students build skills to address intolerance, discrimination, and inequality through community and government efforts.

Graduates of this program will be able to:

• Execute the core facets of the policymaking process

• Analyze how social and economic structures contribute to contemporary social issues and experiences of marginalization and inequity

• Develop appropriate leadership skills for public and/or not-for-profit organizations

• Identify the impact of key developments and contextual factors on Canadian governance and leadership in public and not-for-profit organizations

• Apply a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the development, analysis, and evaluation of public policy

• Apply the associated standards of ethical behavior for professionals in the public and/or not-for-profit sectors

• Construct strategies to engage diverse stakeholders in collaborative program, policy, and governance processes

• Communicate respectfully and professionally with a diverse and changing citizenry

Students graduating from the Social Change Leadership concentration will also be able to:

• Examine current and historical tactics for the advancement of social justice within a public policy framework

• Design community development initiatives to improve the lived experiences of marginalized populations

Admission Requirements

At Adler University, we take great pride in our diverse student body. Students represent a wide range of professional interests, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and academic and work histories. We admit individuals with a strong record of academic achievement and a commitment to social responsibility.

Applicants to the program must have the following:

·        A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution

·        Evidence of interest and experience in social change efforts

·        A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate or graduate coursework  

·        Completion, with a grade of C or better, of two, three-credit courses (six credits total) in program-relevant areas such as political science, sociology, women’s or gender studies, economics, policy, community development, research methods, and statistics; equivalencies are considered

Applicants without sufficient program-relevant coursework are required to successfully complete the 12-week, non-credit  Graduate Preparatory Program as a prerequisite for admission into the Master of Public Policy and Administration Program.

International students, whose first language is not English, are required to receive a score of 88 or better on the iBT (Internet based) TOEFL or 6.5 (overall) on IELTS. Students with IELTS 6.5 overall & 6.0 in reading and writing, or 6.0 overall with no band below 6.0, are required to successfully complete the 12-week, non-credit Graduate Preparatory Program as a prerequisite for admission into the Master of Public Policy and Administration Program.

Students must complete all coursework required for the program at the Adler University Vancouver Campus. The only exceptions to this policy are any courses accepted for transfer credit in accordance with the University’s official Transfer Credit policy as well as the policy internship.

Program Requirements and Policies

Academic Status


To remain in academic good standing in the MPPA Program, a student must:

1. Maintain consistent enrollment

2. Take a course load that ensures steady movement toward degree completion within the maximum time limits outlined in the catalog

3. Meet all academic, comportment, and professional standards, as well as applicable program requirements

4. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.25 scale


Students will be referred by the Office of the Registrar to their Academic Advisor for Academic Probation if any of the following conditions occur:

1.      Earn two grades or more in the range of C to B-

2.      Earn a single D, F, or NC grade without a prior history of low grades (B- or below)

3.      Fall below a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.25 scale

The transcript of a student who has been referred to the Faculty/Academic Advisor based on the above criteria will carry the notation of “Academic Probation” for a minimum of two consecutive terms.


Students will be referred to the Program Director for consideration of Academic Dismissal based on the following:

1.      Earn two or more grades of D, F, or NC

2.      Earn a third grade of B- or C

3.      Fail to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.25 scale for two semesters

4.      Fail to comply with any prior academic remediation plan

The transcript of a student who has been dismissed will carry the notation “Academic Dismissal.” Students who have been dismissed for academic reasons are ineligible to reapply to the University.

Satisfactory Progress

To maintain Satisfactory Progress, students must remain consistently registered until completion of all degree requirements and take a course load that ensures steady movement toward degree completion within the maximum time limits for the program.

Students who fail to register each term may be administratively withdrawn from the University, and “Administrative Withdrawal” will be indicated on the transcript.

Practicum - Vancouver Campus

Social Justice Practicum (SJP)

In their first year of the MPPA program, students will spend approximately eight to ten hours per week over the course of six months at an approved Social Justice Practicum (SJP) site, and must concurrently enroll in required coursework. A minimum of 200 clock hours of SJP is required. For more information, students should contact the Manager of Community Action & Engagement, Vancouver Campus. 

Policy Internship

Students in the MPPA program are required to complete a 300-hour on-site internship that provides an opportunity to build professional competence, including hands-on application of their studies, network development, and direct experience of an organizational culture. Working in an organizational setting enables students to develop the ability to bring their academic training to bear on practical problems in diverse situations and develop a critical appreciation of the roles and functions of public policy practitioners in organizations and the community. Students also gain insight into the application of theory and best practices in work environments, and the relationships that exist between theory and practice. Student practica are supported by an academic supervisor who actively engages them in reflective learning and serves as a key contact for the internship host.

Graduation Requirements

1. Satisfactory completion of all required credit hours, including all required courses

2. Satisfactory completion of 200 hours of the Social Justice Practicum

3. Satisfactory completion of 300 hours of the Policy Internship

4. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and no more than two courses or six credits with a final grade of C

5. Successful completion of the Capstone paper

6. Submission of completed Graduation Application and full payment of all outstanding tuition and fees

7. Faculty approval for graduation and recommendation for the conferral of the Master of Public Policy and Administration degree

Degree Requirements

Successful completion of the following courses is required for this degree:

Curriculum Sequence - Full-Time Model

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