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    McMaster University
  Dec 18, 2017
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Engineering and Public Policy, M.E.P.P.

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In today’s complex world engineers and scientists are called upon to design technical systems that provide goods and services to society in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound manner. In this context, engineers and scientists can serve as key advisors to and take the lead as decision makers in both the public and private sectors. Therefore, engineers and scientists need more than extensive technical skills; you need an enhanced understanding of public policy and the role of engineering and science in sustainable technological, social, ecological and economic systems.

A professional Master’s degree in Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP) is offered within the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice. Engineers and applied scientists from a wide cross-section of organizations who want professional graduate training will find our program goes well beyond a conventional technical Master’s to develop candidates as leaders in the public policy area. The ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree in engineering or applied science and 3-5 years of professional work experience.


In addition to the general requirements for entry into a graduate program in Engineering, students must hold a 4-year engineering or science undergraduate degree, with at least a B- average (equivalent to a McMaster 7.0 GPA out of 12) or a B+ average (equivalent to a McMaster 9.0 GPA out of 12) for B.Tech. students in the final year in all courses in the discipline, or relating to the discipline, in which the applicant proposes to do graduate work. Each applicant will also be interviewed as part of the admission process. Professional work experience is desirable but not essential.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Students are admitted for September or January.

Prospective applicants who did not attain the required standing in their undergraduate degree, but who have at least four (4) years of relevant work experience, should discuss their situation with the program director. If the experience is deemed sufficient, the director will recommend an interview. Evidence of ability to do graduate work will be required. (See Sections 2.1.1 Admission Requirements  for Master’s Degree and 2.1.3 Admission of Students with Related Work Experience or Course Work Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree  in the Graduate Calendar.)

The Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice has the following program objectives for the Master’s degree in Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP):

  • to provide a high quality educational experience to graduate engineers and scientists in the areas of engineering, science and public policy;
  • to foster applied research in the areas of engineering, science and public policy through the successful completion and dissemination of a research paper;
  • to develop viable, working linkages between engineering, science and fields of study within social sciences and the humanities (public policy, economics, society, and others);
  • to nurture a diverse group of students who will be active participants within the broader range of activities in the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice;
  • to produce graduates who will provide inspired leadership in the engineering, science and public policy areas within the public, private and NGO sectors.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degree in twelve consecutive months of study, beginning in September or January. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the program in two years.


The curriculum has four main components:

  1. Core courses that provide the content and methodological skills necessary for understanding and analyzing societal issues for which engineering and science can contribute to public policy solutions;
  2. Focus elective courses that allow students to deepen their knowledge of a range of engineering, science and social science applications;
  3. The completion of a substantive research paper on a problem at the interface of engineering, science and public policy;
  4. Attendance and participation at an intensive workshop/seminar week on engineering and public policy.

Research Project - Inquiry/Thesis in Engineering and Public Policy

Students select a research topic at the interface of engineering, science and public policy which is of interest to them and carries out inquiry-driven research; completes a formal research paper and prepares to publish their results for broad dissemination.

Candidates for the MEPP degree will follow a program consisting of the following:

Additional Courses

  • Up to two graduate engineering half courses from departments within the Faculty of Engineering
  • Other courses in other departments and Faculties with approval of the Director of the program.

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