Careers in local government are among the most exciting opportunities in today's job market in Canada's public sector, since local government is closest to the community and addresses some of the most critical issues in the lives of citizens.
Western's Master of Public Administration program is designed for people aspiring to senior management positions in Canadian municipalities and their associated boards and commissions. Its focus on graduate-level education for local government management is unique in English-speaking Canada.
The MPA program aims to integrate general knowledge of management techniques with the broader understanding of politics and the public sector which is essential for local government executives. Demonstrating and exploring the connections between management and the political process is the central concern of the curriculum as a whole. That is why the prime responsibility for its development rests with the Department of Political Science.
The MPA and the Graduate Diploma in Public Administration are the main components of the Department's Local Government Program. In 1974 the Department launched its intensive four course undergraduate DPA program for mid-career municipal administrators. Since that time thousands of students have come to Western to upgrade their skills and broaden their management perspectives through the GDPA program. Western's MPA program admitted its first students in 1990, and currently accepts about 30 full time and part time students annually.
The inter-disciplinary faculty of the MPA and GDPA programs include both academic researchers specializing in local government and public policy, and practitioners with extensive local government experience. The alumni of Western's Local Government Program include many of Canada's senior municipal officials. Students generally find that the professional networks and friendships they develop with one another are one of the richest legacies of the program.