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, 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 degree—or MPPGA for short.

Each MPPGA student must complete 27.5 credits of required core courses, 15 credits from stream and elective courses and 6 credits for the Global Policy Project for a total of 48.5 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.
  • Design Your Own Stream: Students with a specific area of interest that does not directly align with any one of the above streams can combine courses from multiple streams to create their own learning pathway. For example, MPPGA students can pursue our recommendations for MPPGA courses to achieve an Asia concentration. This unique learning plan requires the approval of the Graduate Program Director.

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.

We unfortunately are unable to determine what impact covid-19 will have on the 2023/24 school year. The program and university will be guided by our provincial health regulations. For up-to-date information on covid-19 at UBC, please visit: and

Application and Admission Questions

Please visit our Admissions 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 Application Process page to learn more about the admissions 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 knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics/quantitative methods at the introductory level, by taking courses at a post-secondary institution or online, preferably within the last 5 years. Please visit the Admissions page for additional information and the list of acceptable economics and statistics/quantitative courses under the Knowledge and Preparation section. 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 admitted, you need to complete the prerequisite courses by a certain deadline, which is usually at the end of July.

Please visit our Admissions page to learn more about admission requirements.

No. Instead, you will respond to a series of essay-style questions in the application form. Please visit our Application Process page for more information.

If your referee has an institution / company email address, they may submit their reference letter through the secure online platform. A link to the submission platform will be emailed to them after you submit your application and pay the application fee. If your referee has a free email address (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.), they will not have access to the secure online system. They will need to mail in a hardcopy / paper copy of the reference letter. Please note that hardcopy reference letters should be on official letterhead, and need to be signed. Letters must be mailed directly from the referee to our MPPGA program office in a sealed and endorsed envelope. Emailed or scanned letters are not considered official and cannot be used to gain admission to UBC.

A member of the MPPGA Admissions Committee may contact you during the review of your application to discuss your application statements and materials in more detail.

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

It is possible to defer your program start date by 12 months. If you wish to defer your start date, you must submit a formal request in writing to the MPPGA Program OfficePlease note that deferrals are not guaranteed.

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

TAs and RAs are not administered by the MPPGA program office. They are arranged individually when needs arise from faculty. Notices about TA and RA are usually sent out on Student Portal from summer to fall. Priority is given to current students instead of prospective students. If the opportunity is important to you, you can also search the research backgrounds of the faculty here and contact faculty directly.

Yes, there is a non-refundable application fee of $114 CAD for domestic applicants and $168.25 CAD for international applicants. 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

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 the International Student Guide

Visit the website for international graduate students

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