Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate for good governance. Integrating extensive educational and research resources we prepare current and future policy makers, policy analysts, managers and other professionals in the public, private and para-public sectors for effective, efficient, and accountable democratic governance in a complex and multicultural world.

Our undergraduate and graduate programs both provide opportunities for full- or part-time students to broaden their knowledge, develop specialized expertise, and accelerate their careers through:

  • A unique combination of liberal arts and professional disciplines;
  • A balanced emphasis on policy and administration;
  • An interdisciplinary approach to theory and practice, and empirical and normative analysis;
  • A strong emphasis on social justice, ethics and human rights, consistent with long-established traditions at York University.

Education for Good Governance

Our mission statement and slogan is based on the following strategic features:


Considering the nature of the field of public policy and administration, our programs draw expertise from the following fields:

  • political science, law, ethics, finance, economics, global political economy, accounting, general management, human resource management, statistics, sociology, criminology, race relations, women studies, multiculturalism and development administration on a national and comparative/global basis

Balanced focus

Public Policy and Administration is both an academic discipline and a profession. To provide a systemic/holistic perspective, our programs are based on a balanced combination of the following:

  • Liberal Arts and Professional disciplines
  • Policy and management
  • Theory and Practice
  • Empirical and normative analysis
  • Skills training and critical thinking

Underlying values

Contemporary governments are faced with new challenges emanating from a more sophisticated and diversified civil society, and citizens active in the public sphere demanding:

  • Good governance
  • Democratic administration
  • Efficiency and effectiveness
  • Accountability
  • Social justice
  • Human rights
  • Sensitivity to the issues of gender, race, class, and cultural and ethnic diversity
  • Public ethics

Target groups

  • Early to mid-career civil servants
  • Front-line workers
  • Students seeking careers in the public sector, private and non-governmental organizations
  • Students anticipating graduate studies
  • International students


The school works closely with its alumni to provide professional development and career opportunities for its students and graduates.

Target Organizations

With the changing boundaries of the public service, there are a large number of non-profit and private-sector organizations involved in public administration and governance; The Internet provides new opportunities for international education. The target organizations include:

  • Municipal, Provincial, and Federal levels of government
  • Other public services, police, court systems, firefighting organizations
  • Private sector organizations involved in public service
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Community organizations
  • Professional organizations
  • Policy and research institutes
  • Developing countries' governments and agencies

Value for students

  • Acquire knowledge and a better understanding of the workings of government and its relations with civil society
  • Building the foundational knowledge, skills and perspectives needed for a successful introduction into the public sector
  • Provide career acceleration through exploration of the latest developments in the field of public policy and administration


The School will be involved in different interrelated activities including:

  • Teaching: Dynamic, innovative, and current,  with opportunities for internship, work placements and guest speakers
  • Research: The School's faculty members are involved in a wide variety of national and international research projects
  • Consultancy: Faculty members have led consultancy projects for different levels of government at the national and international levels
  • Service to the larger community: Making a difference by contributing to the public policy debate and supporting good governance, nationally and internationally

Educational level and student type

  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Full-time and Part-time
  • Professional Certificates
  • Fellowships
  • Non-degree continuing education
  • Internships

Methods of program delivery

  • Campus-based programs for full-time and part-time students
  • Web-based, E-learning and distance education