Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will discover answers to many of your questions about the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program at UBC. If you don’t find the information you need after carefully reviewing the options below, please contact the MPPGA Program Office.

General questions

Applications are open between early October and late January each year for the following academic year.

The MPPGA program welcomes a new class each September.

No. All MPPGA participants begin the program together as a class at the same time each year, in September.

We designed the MPPGA program to be completed in 20 months.

The MPPGA offers a professional degree and does not include an original research or thesis component. The MPPGA curriculum cultivates the skills required to be a professional in a policy-making environment, including comprehensive knowledge, application of scientific principles, assessment of alternatives and problem solving. With relevant training in various sectors, program graduates will be equipped to work proficiently and efficiently alongside other professionals developing policy solutions for global challenges.

A Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs—or MPPGA for short.

Each MPPGA candidate must complete eight core courses (24 credits), five elective courses (15 credits) and a Global Policy Project (6 credits).

The MPPGA program offers the opportunity to tailor your learning to your area of interest with electives in one of three streams:

  • Development and Social Change: This stream examines the economics and institutions of development. It explores how policy making can enable communities and countries to grow and manage social change in an inclusive manner.
  • Resources, Energy and Sustainability: This stream examines global and regional sustainability with a focus on energy and natural resources. It bridges scientific understanding with the needs of policy making in the context of energy and resource use, urbanization and the global environment.
  • Global Governance and Security: This stream uses the lens of governance to examine human security. It explores how human rights and international relations influence policy making both nationally and globally.

You will be asked to declare your stream choice in your application. If you wish to change your course of study after being granted admission, you must submit a formal request to the MPPGA Program Office.

Application and Admission questions

Please visit our Admission Information page to find out what makes someone a strong candidate for the MPPGA program.

Please visit our Application Process page to learn more about the steps to apply.

Please visit our Admission Information page to learn more about the admission process.

Yes, under certain circumstances. Please visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies FAQ to learn more about transferring to UBC.

If you are a UBC student or alumni, please indicate your student number in your online application and the MPPGA Program Office will download your UBC transcript directly. Please note that you are still required to submit any remaining transcripts from other educational institutions.

If you are accepted into the MPPGA program, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics before beginning your studies. Please contact the MPPGA Program Office for additional information and deadlines.

Please visit our Admission Information page to learn more about admission requirements.

No. If you choose to submit a relevant writing sample, it should be mailed to the MPPGA Program Office. Please note that all materials submitted as part of the application process become the property of UBC. If you wish to have your writing sample returned to you, please include a note of request at the time of submission.

Your referee must submit your letter of reference in a sealed and endorsed envelope, by mail, to the MPPGA Program Office. Emailed or scanned letters are not considered official and cannot be used to gain admission to UBC.

If you are a shortlisted candidate, you may be interviewed.

You will receive your admission decision by email in the late spring.

If you wish to delay your start date, you must submit a formal request in writing to the MPPGA Program Office.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has developed a cost-of-living calculator to help you prepare financially for graduate school at UBC.

You may apply to the MPPGA program and complete the necessary course(s) while we review your application and come to an admission decision. If you are accepted into the program, you must be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics/quantitative methods knowledge normally acquired from a 100-level (1st year) introductory course before beginning your studies in September.  This knowledge is typically gained from courses that can be taken at a post-secondary institution near you or online.

Please see the Prerequisite Knowledge & Preparation section on the Admission Information page for more details or contact the MPPGA Program Office.

When submitting official transcripts and degree certificates, either with your initial application or after you have been shortlisted, please provide two copies of each document from each institution you attended.

Yes, there is a non-refundable application fee of $100.00 CAD for domestic students and $162.00 CAD for international students. The fee may be waived if you are an international applicant with citizenship and a current mailing address in one of the world’s 50 least-developed countries, as declared by the United Nations. Learn more.

Unless you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you will need a valid post-secondary study permit to attend the MPPGA program. Study permits can take up to four months to process, so it’s essential to apply as soon as you accept your UBC offer.

Learn more about study permits

All MPPGA applicants must meet the same rigorous admission standards. If you have a degree from a university outside Canada for which English is not the language of instruction, you will also need to demonstrate English language competency. Any of the following test scores, achieved within the past 24 months, is sufficient:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper version) or 100 (online version) with no component scores below 22
  • IELTS: minimum overall band score of 7.0 with no component scores below 7.0
  • MELAB: minimum overall score of 81

Still have questions? UBC has dedicated resources to help you transition to life as a graduate student in Canada. Find answers to your questions about immigration, employment, health insurance, your first days on campus and more.

View our International Student Guide

Visit our website for international graduate students