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Course content

Humber’s Public Administration graduate certificate program is the first of its kind in Canada and provides all of the knowledge, skills and experience graduates need to become successful public service employees. Designed and taught by public administration professionals, this program is your key to succeeding quickly in a public sector job. You will receive advanced training in communications, policy analysis, project management, information technology, public finance, governance, leadership and human resources management. Experienced faculty, most of whom currently work in the public sector, will guide you through the core of the curriculum, with guest speakers addressing specific topical issues. As well, Humber is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration. The practical, skills-based curriculum provides the foundation for long-term career success by exposing you to the primary public administration activities and by providing networking opportunities with civil servants from across the public sector.

Course detail

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

• Describe the machinery of government in Canada, including the roles and responsibilities of executives, legislatures and the judiciary, as well as the relationships between all levels of government.
• Define ethics and values which are key to public administration and explain how they apply at all levels of public administration.
• Explore and compare public administration practices found in industrialized countries, especially member states of the European Union and the United States.
• Discuss current issues affecting Canadian public administration and examine how those issues are managed from a public management perspective.
• Discuss key elements of strategic planning processes and examine how these apply to public administration.
• Understand and relate to governments from two perspectives: as business entities with strategic plans, budgets, and core businesses; and as organizations composed of complex human behaviour.
• Explain key economic and finance concepts such as externalities, public and private goods, deficit financing, debt repayment, and fiscal federalism.
• Demonstrate how governments plan, manage and report on the collection and expenditure of public funds.
• Discuss information technology and software applications used in public administration as well as current information technology issues faced by public sector IT managers.
• Prepare and manage human resources in public administration, including the preparation of HR plans, recruitment and selection processes, supervisory skills, negotiating skills and conflict resolution skills.
• Describe the role that communications plays in the public sector and work with stakeholders and partners to meet the information needs of the public, the media, political staff and the bureaucracy.
• Examine how governments develop, implement and evaluate programs in general and learn how to use specific research and analysis tools to contribute to that process in particular.
• Identify the methodological and conceptual issues associated with evaluating and maintaining quality services in the public sector.
• Identify the skills and knowledge required by project managers and project management teams in the public sector.
• Understand and fulfill leadership responsibilities in the public sector by assessing individual leadership traits and behaviours and apply this understanding to the broader theories and concepts of leadership.
• Understand, contribute to, and manage partnerships in the public sector, broadly defined.


Semester 1
• HRM 5510: Human Resources and the Learning Organization
• PPA 5000: Machinery of Government
• PPA 5002: Current Issues in Public Administration
• PPA 5003: Orientation to Government and the Public Sector
• PPA 5004: Information Technology in Public Administration
• PPA 5505: Project Management

Semester 2
• FIN 5501: Public Sector Finance
• PPA 5007: Municipal Government in Canada
• PPA 5500: International Trends in Public Administration
• PPA 5503: Communications in Public Administration
• PPA 5504: Public Policy Research and Analysis
• PPA 5506: Managing Partnerships and Relationships

Semester 3
• PPA 5005: Overview of Strategic Planning
• PPA 5006: Service Quality in Public Administration
• PPA 5008: Leadership Development
• WORK 5009: Research Project in Public Administration
• WORK 5011: Career Orientation and Speaker Series

Work Placement

You will gain on-the-job work experience with an eight-week (minimum) work placement within the public sector. With faculty support, you will find placements with an appropriate organization. The foundation for the work placement is established over the winter semester.

Your Career

The federal government is the largest single employer in Canada. The provincial governments are a close second, and municipal governments employ hundreds of thousands across the country. The 3.2 million people in the public sector account for almost 20 per cent of all employment. And public sector employees tend to earn higher than average salaries with excellent benefits and working conditions. Shifting demographic factors are rapidly increasing governments’ and public sector agencies’ need for talented people with a broad range of public administration skills and knowledge – and the desire to make a difference – to continue the important work of the public service. Find exceptional career opportunities in positions such as policy analyst, communications officer and program officer.

Federal government employers include Service Canada, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Provincial government employers include the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

How to apply

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For information on funding, please use the following link:





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