Global Horizons Jeyolyn Christi

Program Spotlight: Bachelor of Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies at Concordia University

When you think about post-secondary education, do international studies, political science or government administration cross your mind? The Program Spotlight series of articles will review selected college and university programs geared to those exploring education and career options in international relations and/or government.

Located in the vibrant and bilingual city of Montreal, Concordia University offers students the opportunity to explore public policy, advocacy, and economic development through the Bachelor of Arts in Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies. This program prepares students to succeed in policy work within the private, public or non-profit sector. Through their studies, students will delve into topics such as social and economic justice, citizenship and democracy, equity, and cultural pluralism. This program sits within Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs (SCPA), which provides both academic excellence and practical experience. The SCPA participates in various outreach initiatives, such as public lectures and symposiums to support community groups and public organizations.

In terms of program details, the degree can be completed in 3-4 years, and as a bilingual program, students must also complete a French proficiency test to meet program requirements. Students of this program are able to choose a major within the Faculty of Arts and Science, and 42 credits must fall under the Major in Community, Public Affairs and Policy Studies. Some examples of courses are as follows:

  • Introduction to Public Policy & the Public Interest
  • Economics for Public Policy and Community Development
  • Introduction to Canadian Politics
  • Social Debates and Issues in Public Policy Analysis
  • Neo-Liberal Globalization and the Global Justice Movement


Additional program information

In order to develop a wholesome understanding of policy work, students of this program have the opportunity to participate in an internship. In this particular program, government, community and business groups are integral in helping students find placements. In addition, students have access to the School of Community and Public Affairs Students’ Association (SCPASA), which represents undergraduate students, and gives them a chance to get involved with their school community in a meaningful way. The SCPASA engages students in activities such as fundraisers, field trips and outreach.

Overall, here are some key factors that make SCPA a great choice for students:

  • Unique curriculum
  • Bilingual environment
  • Small class sizes
  • Sense of community
  • Internship opportunity


Final Thoughts

What can you do with this degree? According to Concordia, graduates are well-versed to work in public affairs, as the program offers a combination of academic and practical experience. Students may find themselves in fields such as public service, policy and advisory roles in non-governmental organizations, and public affairs roles in the private sector. Do you want to learn more? You can follow SCPASA on Twitter or explore Concordia’s YouTube channel!


Photo: Concordia University (2009), by Concordia University via Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.

Jeyolyn Christi
Jeyolyn Christi is a registered social service worker and a Master of Public Service graduate who has experience working in non-profit organizations, government, and international development. Her research and professional interests lie in refugee resettlement, community development, government administration, and project management.