Graduate Studies in Public and International Affairs
The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs offers a rigorous multidisciplinary curriculum, which combines the study of international affairs and domestic policy-making. Benefiting from its prime location in the heart of Canada’s National Capital, a stone’s throw away from Parliament Hill, foreign embassies and government departments, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs offers students an exceptional learning environment, where the benefits of talented teachers and cutting-edge academic research are complemented by the opportunity to engage experienced professionals about today’s challenges in public and international affairs.
Deadline: February 1st
Note: Based on availability in the program, strong applications will continue to be examined and admission scholarships are available for all eligible candidates.
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
Faculty of Social Sciences
120 University Private
Social Sciences Building
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5
Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(June to August: closed at 3:30 p.m.)
Stefanie Morris - Alumni (2019)
I highly recommend GSPIA to anyone interested in issues of social justice or the nonprofit sector. This program offers what I feel is the optimal balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
I came to GPSIA with an academic background in anthropology, after spending a year working an administrative (and fairly unrelated) job for the federal government. My hope was that attending GSPIA would allow me to steer my career back towards my primary interests: immigration and refugee policy. Because of the flexibility of GSPIA’s program, I not only was able to design my own experience to fit my interests but also gained a stronger foundation in international relations theory, ethics, economics and statistics. My first year also left me in awe of the excellent faculty and my collaborative cohort; the people I interacted with each day were the highlight of my experience, challenging and supporting me at every turn.
GSPIA also offers what I consider the best networking and placement opportunities for those interested in public service or to gain experience to transition to another sector. I personally participated in the CO-OP program and had many friends do the same. In my experience, the CO-OP program is very well managed and opens many doors. Interviews were organized by the CO-OP office and held on campus within the span of a few weeks: all I had to do was apply and attend the interviews. I ended up getting a few offers, including one from my first pick placement at Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a policy analyst related to complex cases. After my placement, I was able to continue working there part-time throughout my second year. The work was fascinating, challenging and I was treated as a valuable team member.
This work experience helped me realize that I had a deep interest in the legal work related immigration and refugee issues. During my second year at GSPIA, I found a professor whose interests matched my own (Dr. Patti Tamara Lenard) and she offered me a tremendous amount of support as my Major Research Paper supervisor. Together we worked on a project researching refugee family reunification and private sponsorship policies and laws in Canada. We have one article currently submitted for publishing and hope to write a second.
The skills and knowledge I gained at GSPIA relating to research, policy, and especially immigration and refugee matters continue to open doors for me. In my second year, GSPIA's flexibility allowed me to finish my courses early and volunteer at a legal clinic for refugees during the winter semester. In my last summer as a student, I was hired to conduct research in Tanzania concerning the country’s national refugee legal framework. I've also had the opportunity to present my research at a number of conferences and network with a wide range of refugee experts in Canada and abroad.
As my time at GSPIA concludes, I have been accepted to law school, though I’ve chosen to defer for a year to continue my research and to gain some more experience in the public sector. From my very first semester until now, I’ve observed GSPIA open many doors both for myself and for my peers. If you’re hoping for the flexibility to design your own experience, GPSIA is the place for you!