MA in Policy Studies

General Information

The Master of Arts in Policy Studies (MAPS) prepares students to conduct leading research in public policy and mobilize solutions to our world’s most pressing policy challenges. 

Housed within the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (the province’s capital city), MAPS exposes students to the interaction of politics and policy while connecting them to top practitioners and leading policy experts from across the government spectrum.

Housed in the Department of Political Science, the program is designed to be a pracademic program, with a strong commitment to academic and research excellence, as well as a commitment to teaching students the professional and practical skills needed to succeed in a variety of public sector careers.

The MA in Policy Studies is designed to take 16 months to complete.

Practicum-based stream students will take six courses in the first academic year, and then complete their practicum and capstone project in their second academic year. Depending on the practicum placement, some students may begin their practicum during the summer at the end of the first academic year. 

Students completing the course based program will take courses in the first year. In the second year, they will complete the capstone project and finish the remaining course requirements.

The program offers:

  • A unique pracademic approach which means that students are exposed to both the latest academic research and to practical, hands-on learning opportunities. 
  • Experiential and case-based learning opportunities in the classroom and outside of it.
  • The chance to take charge of your own professional development and career goals from the start of the program. 
  • For those with professional experience, or requiring greater flexibility, there is a course-based stream.
  • Opportunities to learn from and network with policy professionals from municipal, provincial, and federal government, as well as in Indigenous governance organizations, and the private and non-profit sectors in Alberta and beyond.  

Program Learning Objectives


Students will establish and accomplish research objectives. They will understand theories and models of public policy and the tenets of project planning; develop skills in anticipation and adaptability; and become agile and resilient researchers.

Students will work effectively with colleagues to develop and achieve common research goals. They will learn ethics, practice teamwork, and exercise change leadership.  They will emerge as collegial and inclusive researchers.