Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Public Policy

Where bold thinking energizes change.


The MPP program does not offer online learning options under normal circumstances; students must be available in-person to pursue this program. 

The MPP is structured over one year of continuous study. For more information on our curriculum and past schedules, visit our Format & Timing page. 

The MPP program is structure as a cohort based, full-time offering. We offer each course once to a cohort over the one-year period, with many courses scheduled during regular office hours. Part-time students must adjust their personal/work schedules to fulfill the program requirements over multiple years. The timetable is subject to change from year to year, which is a risk part-time students must assume.

The MPP program has only one intake, which is for Fall term each year. We do not offer Winter or Spring start options.

Yes. We admit students from a wide variety of backgrounds into our program to enhance the learning atmosphere. Common areas may include, but not limited to English, History, Social Work, Psychology, Engineering, Biological Sciences, Nursing, Medicine and more. That said, we have found an economics and or statistics background is an asset in this program.

While this may vary between students, past MPP students have indicated they spent approximately 20-30 hours per week on studying/coursework outside of the classroom.

The ability to work while pursuing the MPP program depends on your personal situation. Many of our students maintained their professional roles during their studies; however, their employers were supportive of their education and provided schedule flexibility to attend daytime classes.

While you may have one or two part time students appear in some courses, the people you meet in orientation will be the same people in your courses through to convocation.

While MPP requires a capstone research project as a degree requirement, it is not a thesis nor do we offer a thesis option. If you are interested in a research-based program, please contact future.grad@ucalgary.ca to inquire about program options.


We aim to review applications and notify applicants of the decisions within four to six weeks of the application deadline. While this is our goal, it is not always reachable due to various circumstances.

Apply early! This allows your references enough time to submit their letters of support, and ensure all of your supporting documents arrive in time to meet the deadline. Submitting applications within two weeks or less of the deadline often results in an incomplete package. We do not consider late applications, nor do we grant extensions to the deadline.

Applicants submit and have a fully completed application by February 1; we do not accept late applications or documents. For additional information regarding our application components, see our Admissions website.

Incomplete applications will not advance through the review process and will be deemed inadmissible following the applicable deadline. Please review the information on our admissions section of our website for a detailed list of these components.

As long as the transcripts/documents are post-marked by February 1 and sent to the correct address, we will consider the documents for review. We are unable to accept documents outside of this parameter. 

Additional information on transcripts, including our mailing address, can be found on our Admissions website.

We do not have separate admission criteria for mature students. All applicants are assessed using the admission requirements listed on our Admissions website. 

Applicants must hold must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution to be considered for admission to the Master of Public Policy program. International applicants should view the academic requirement specific to their country, which can be found on our International Graduate Student website.

If you would like more information on potential bridging options, contact our undergraduate office for more details.

Applicants must hold must hold a 4-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution to be considered for admission to the Master of Public Policy program. International applicants should view the academic requirement specific to their country, which can be found on our International Graduate Student website

Yes. We require official transcripts from all of the academic institution you attended; this requirement will not be waived under any circumstances.

If you are unsure if your GPA meets our academic requirement or have questions about this area, please contact our office directly.

While the minimum GPA requirement is 3.3, the average GPA varies between 3.5-3.7 on a 4-point scale.

Admission to the MPP program is highly competitive and offers of admission are based on the overall strength of the full application. Please note, meeting the minimum application requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.

References should be academic in nature if at all possible. References of a professional nature will be only be accepted if the applicant has been absent from studies for five or more years. Letters from friends, family members, colleagues, and people currently registered in a graduate degree program, and or general reference letters unrelated to the MPP application are not acceptable nor will they be reviewed or kept on file.

While we understand obtaining official transcripts can be difficult, we are unable to waive this requirement and cannot accept unofficial documentation in its stead. 

Applicants who have not completed/been awarded their degree by the application deadline, must submit their current transcripts for review. If the application is successful, an offer will be conditional upon receiving the final transcripts noting both the awarded degree and a satisfactory GPA in accordance with our minimum requirements.

International Applicants

Because processing times may take up two to three months, we suggest submitting your visa application immediately following receipt of your offer letter. We often have prospective students who are unable to secure their permit in time to begin the program because they waited too long to begin this process.

We do not allow students to begin the program late. Please ensure you have set yourself up for success by submitting your application early.

Please clarify the terms of your student visa with an immigration officer. You may also contact the university’s International Student Services for assistance in understanding the parameters of your study permit.

While we understand the visa process is out of your hands, we do not have an option for students to begin the program late. You may inquire about deferral possibilities; however, the program only defers a small number of applications to the following year.

Only applicants from the list of approved waived countries qualify for an exemption of this requirement; All other internationally educated applicates must submit English language proficiency test results as outlined on our Admission Requirements page.


MPP tuition includes course instruction only. Students are also assessed general fees, which are set annually by the university. For a detailed breakdown of the general fees, please visit the Graduate Calendar.

Yes. Refer to the University of Calgary’s Tuition Support Program page for more information

Students can expect to spend approximately $500 a term on textbooks.


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