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Master of Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP)

Engineering and Public Policy

Public policy is created through decisions made by governments, industries and communities; they determine our lives. You will develop capabilities to create policy proposals which benefit from your technical knowledge and provide a sound basis for decision making.

Current Student Inquiries:

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Future Student Information


Create public policies that are scientifically sound

Application Deadlines

January 2023 admissions
Online portal opens June 15, 2022

Deadlines for:
Domestic applicants - September 30, 2022
International applicants - August 15, 2022

September 2023 admissions
Online portal opens Nov. 1, 2022

Deadlines for:
Domestic applicants - June 30, 2023
International applicants - April 30, 2023

International applicants are encouraged to apply early as the visa application process may take 3 months.

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2021-2022)
30 credit units are required to complete this degree and tuition is paid per credit unit. Please view the per-unit fees here.

Expected Full-time Tuition & Fees (2022-2023)
30 credit units are required to complete this degree and tuition is paid per credit unit. Domestic: $281.58 per credit unit   International: $1397.55 per credit unit

SEPT Course Cancellation Schedule (2021-2022)                                                     The course cancellation schedule can be downloaded as a PDF here. This applies in cases where a student decides to drop a course after classes begin.

Refer to the Apply section for more details.

Students enrolled in multiple academic years ( e.g. January admission) pay the fees corresponding to these years. The University reserves the right to correct typographical errors or to adjust the Tuition and Fees schedule at any time it deems necessary.

If you want to take an important role in developing policy directions for government, industry and society as they adapt to new regulatory frameworks and technological platforms, this is the program for you. Acquire expertise in policy analysis and development and fill an existing demand for technically oriented policy professionals.

Our focus is on policies which address economic benefits, social well-being and environmental protection and optimize outcomes across these three priorities.

Develop the ability to step back and to see an issue in its entirety. Then, take an evidence-based approach to develop and propose policy solutions.

Graduates of our policy program find work in a variety of challenging and fulfilling roles.

Program Duration

Full-time students are expected to complete the program in 16 months. The actual duration of studies may be shorter (not less than 12 months) or longer (not more than 24 months), for students who work faster or slower. Domestic students may complete the program on a part-time basis. It is recommended that part-time students complete the program within 40 months.

The program requires completion of 24 units in courses along with a major policy research project equivalent to 6 units.

In this program you will…

  • Have opportunities to be involved in on-the-ground policy initiatives with community and industry partners
  • Learn to initiate and drive real evidence-based policy solutions
  • Develop the research, analytical, and communication skills the policy profession demands
  • Get the skills that will allow you to work across business, government and communities
  • Build professional connections and learn from conversations with leading stakeholders to navigate your way towards a great career


Have questions about the program?  

Request More Information  




January 2024 Admission Deadlines
Online portal opens June 15, 2023
September 30, 2023 - Domestic applicants
July 15, 2023 - International applicants

September 2023 admission
Online portal opens November 1, 2022
April 30, 2023
 - International applicants. 
June 30, 2023 - Domestic applicants.

International applicants are encouraged to apply early as the visa application process may take 3 months.

Apply Now

Application Checklist

Step 1: Click on the link above to open your application with McMaster University. Alternatively, please click here.

Step 2: Answer all application-related questions.

Step 3: Register for your online interview (Kira) and ensure that you complete the $60 payment. Note that the $60 is in addition to your $110 application fee. They are separate charges.

  • The registration and payment link are embedded in your application questions.

Step 4: Gather, and upload all required documents.

  • Your current resume or CV, including academic and professional experience
  • Your clearly written Statement of Interest (This is a letter explaining your interest in the program, at a maximum of 2 pages).
  • Recent IELTS or TOEFL scores (within the last 2 years) required for international students. Minimum IELTS score 6.5 overall (minimum requirement 5.5 in reading and writing and 6 in listening and speaking). Minimum TOEFL score is 88. Note that if your medium of instruction was English and this is documented on your transcripts, you do not need to submit an ELP test.
  • Transcripts from all post secondary institutions you have attended.
  • Please note that all documents must be uploaded before application submission. CV, SOI, IELTS/TOEFL and Transcripts are uploaded in the same section of the application.

Step 5: Add Academic Referee contact information.

  • Contact information for 2 Academic References must be entered in online application. Referees will be contacted via our electronic referencing system
    • Academic references are to come from instructors most familiar with your academic work.
    • In cases where an applicant has been away from academic study for 5 or more years, we will consider one professional reference.
    • Please note that we do not accept reference letters uploaded by the applicant.

Step 6: Pay $110 application fee, and submit application.

  • Only submit your applicationonce all the above documents have been uploaded, you have entered contact information for both academic references, and you have paid your Kira fee.
  • *Applications will not be reviewed unless all items noted above are submitted at the time of application*.

Step 7: Complete your Kira interview.

  • Applicants will be sent a link to complete their Kira interview within one week of application submission and Kira fee payment.
  • Applicants will not receive a link unless they have fully submitted their application, and have submitted the $60 Kira fee payment.

Step 8: You will be contacted if there are any issues with your application. Please do not email about the status of your application. Applicants will be contacted once a decision regarding the application has been made.

  • Please note that if you are accepted to one of our programs, you will be required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit. This deposit is non-refundable if you withdraw your acceptance.

Important Notes:

  • Applications will not be reviewed until all required documents are uploaded, the referees have responded, and the Kira online interview has been completed. All applications must be completed in full in advance of the application deadlines in order to be considered.
  • Official transcripts are not required unless an applicant is granted an offer of admission. Documentation sent via post will not be considered for your application.
  • Applications will not be considered until we receive copies of transcripts noting grades up to at least Term 7 of your undergraduate studies.


Tuition and Fees

Full-time Tuition & Fees (2021-2022)
30 credit units are required to complete this degree and tuition is paid per credit unit. Please view the per-unit fees here.

Expected Tuition & Fees (2022-2023)
30 credit units are required to complete this degree and tuition is paid per credit unit.

Domestic: $281.58 per credit unit  

International: $1397.55 per credit unit

Students enrolled in multiple academic years ( e.g. January admission) pay the fees corresponding for the academic year the term is within. The University reserves the right to correct typographical errors or to adjust the Tuition and Fees schedule at any time it deems necessary.

Other Fees:

  • Application Fee: $110.00
  • Online Interview Fee (Kira Talent): $60.00
  • Non-refundable deposit upon acceptance: $500.00

IELTS/TOEFL: International students are required to present a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall (minimum requirements 5.5 in reading and writing and 6 in listening and speaking). Minimum TOEFL score is 88.

Admission Requirements

Prior degree: STEM Degree, B- average in last 10 technical courses (equivalent to a McMaster 7.0 GPA out of 12).

The Master of Engineering and Public Policy is aimed at highly motivated students seeking advanced training to guide, develop and interpret policy in fields including sustainability, technology, science and engineering. Application for admission to the program may be made through the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. The program accepts full-time and part-time students - see the Program Structure section for details.

In addition to the general requirements for entry into a graduate program in Engineering, students must hold an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or STEM discipline with at least a B- average (equivalent to a McMaster 7.0/12 GPA) in their final 10 courses.

Candidates may be enrolled on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students will complete the degree in twelve consecutive months of study. Students are admitted for September. Part-time students will normally be expected to complete the program in 28 months.

McMaster students may receive advanced standing for up to two courses (note that a maximum of two 600-level courses can count towards a SEPT graduate program) with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Admissions Questions? Click Here 

Program Structure

Full-time students are expected to complete the program in 16 months.  The actual duration of studies may be shorter (not less than 12 months) or longer (not more than 24 months), for students who work faster or slower.

A total of 8 courses and a policy research project (30 units) must be completed by candidates joining the program in September 2021. For candidates beginning in September 2020, the requirement remains 27 units (7 courses and policy research project).

  • Four (4) core half-courses (or equivalent) provide the content and methodological skills that allow you to understand and analyze societal issues in order to contribute to public policy solutions.
  • Three (3) focus elective half-courses (or equivalent) allow the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in a range of engineering, science and social science realms.
  • One (1) cross-disciplinary elective graduate engineering half-course which should be selected from the approved cross-disciplinary elective list (see below).
  • Two-term project course in which students prepare a substantive research paper exploring a problem at the interface of engineering, science and public policy.

For more details please refer to the Graduate Calendar.

Domestic students (Canadian citizens or permanent residents) may complete their MEPP degree on a part-time basis and establish their schedule according to how much time they can devote to studies. It is recommended that part-time students complete the program in 32 to 40 months.

Research Project - Inquiry/Thesis in Engineering and Public Policy

Early in the program, students select a research topic that intersects with engineering, science and public policy. As the student progresses through the program, they conduct inquiry-driven research on the topic to complete a formal research paper and publish their results for broad dissemination. Examples of previous research projects can be found under the “Projects to Inspire Change” tab. 

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

Four half-courses required for the program:

  • SEP 701 - Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis: Frameworks and Models (3 units)
  • SEP 702 - Systems Engineering and Public Policy (3 units)
  • SEP 709 - Emerging Issues, Technology and Public Policy (3 units)
  • SEP 773 - Leadership for Innovation (3 units) OR SEP 6EL3 - Leading Innovation (3 units)

Required project course:

  • SEP 704 - Public Policy Research Project, Part I (3 units)
  • SEP 704 - Public Policy Research Project, Part II (3 units)

All full-time students in W Booth School programs are required to attend the following 0-unit components:

  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part I (Seminar series)
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Practitioner's Forum, Part II (Seminar series)

Three half-courses are required for electives. Recommended electives include but are not limited to:

  • SEP 6I03 - Sustainable Manufacturing Processes (3 units)
  • SEP 6X03 - Liveable Cities, the Built and Natural Environment (3 units)
  • SEP 705 - Green Engineering, Sustainability and Public Policy (3 units)
  • SEP 706 - Energy and Public Policy (3 units)
  • SEP 708 - Special Topics in Engineering and Public Policy (3 units)
  • SEP 710 - International Governance and Environmental Sustainability (3 units)
  • SEP 778 - Circular Economy - Engineering Perspectives and Application (3 units)
  • POL SCI 784 - Quantitative Political and Policy Analysis (3 units)
  • POL SCI 785 - Public Sector Management (3 units)
  • POL SCI 790 - The Politics of Economic Policy in Market Economies (3 units)
  • Other courses across campus with faculty approval

Cross-Disciplinary Elective Courses. Candidates are required to take one half course (3 units) which should be selected from the following approved cross-disciplinary elective list.

  • SEP 770 - Total Sustainability Management (3 units)
  • SEP 790 - Emerging Technologies for Engineering Enterprise Innovation (3 units)
  • SEP 760 - Design Thinking (3 units)
  • SEP 777 - Cyber-Physical Systems and Industry 4.0 (3 units)

W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology strives to offer a full complement of courses every academic year; some of the course listed here are currently being reviewed. Their offering is subject to the pending internal approval.

MEPP Handbook

The MEPP Handbook will help you get started in the program with information about:

  • Important Terminology
  • Inquiry Guidelines and Logistics
  • The Government of Canada and Public Policy

Projects To Inspire Change

The Master of Engineering & Public Policy is a different type of program in which students engage in projects that lead thought and action. Through evidence-based analysis, they enable technological advancements to improve social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Below is a sample of projects completed by the program’s alumni. You’ll find these projects are diverse and address policy challenges that affect people and communities located around the globe.

Mapping the Landscape of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in Indigenous Communities in Canada

Akosua Pepra, 2019

Project Impact:

Akosua applies the community engagement and collaborative methodology used in her Master’s research project to her volunteer work as the Director of Operations for the God Cares Widows and Orphans nonprofit in Ghana. Akosua is currently working on an organizational transformation project that will streamline the group’s operations.

Project Partner:


Preparing for success

The MEPP program encouraged Akosua to go out and engage with her professional community. Attending talks and conferences, and seeking out knowledge outside of the classroom was vital to Akosua’s growth while at McMaster. This extracurricular engagement helped Akosura to build her confidence and make the connections that have mattered most in her career to date.

Akosua currently works as an Energy & Resources Consultant at Deloitte Canada

The Impact of Transitioning to Electric Vehicles on Ontario's Power System

Pedram Mazahery, 2020

Project Impact:

Pedram’s background in design and marketing led to a job in materials science in his native Iran. Working on the distribution, maintenance and repair of power lines, Pedram grew interested in energy, sustainability, and the potential of electrified economies.

He quickly understood that clean energy is at the top of most political agendas, and that the gradual shift will unlock a new era of technology and social interaction.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are prominent symbols of this shift. While the manufacture of EVs comes with its own carbon footprint issues, the net contribution of EVs to reduced emissions represents an increasingly accessible first step.

Pedram’s project considered the unique challenges and potential risks to Ontario’s power grid as a result of widespread EV adoption, and used data analysis to model impacts through to 2035. High prices, ongoing fleet renovation, and a progressive climate change action plan, make Ontario - and Pedram’s project - an excellent case study for the rest of the world.

Preparing for success

Pedram points to the MEPP program as a turning point in the way he approaches idea generation. “You will learn new tools and techniques for generating policy recommendations,” he says.

After graduation, Pedram continued to study at McMaster with a six-month certificate program at the McMaster Research Institute. The program concludes Spring 2021.

Marginal Abatement Cost Curve for the City of Hamilton Waste Management Division Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Projects

Erman Sener, 2020

Project Impact:

In 2019, Hamilton City Council, a McMaster community partner, declared a Climate Change Emergency, and asked staff to explore a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Erman’s research for the MEPP program tied into this mandate perfectly.

His work, supervised by McMaster’s Circular Economy and Carbon Mitigation program lead, quantified greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and estimated the costs associated with the City of Hamilton’s Waste Management Division’s projects.

Working with a team that included City of Hamilton staff, Erman created a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) that prioritized activities to address climate change on a cost per unit of reduction basis. The project is an ideal example of applied engineering practice and interdisciplinary learning combining to guide problem solving.

Project partner

City of Hamilton

Preparing for success

Trained as an engineer, Ernan entered the MEPP program with no public policy experience. The MEPP program introduced Ernan to concepts, tools, and methods that shaped his perspectives on societal, environmental, and economic issues, and gave him the confidence to pursue a career in public policy.

Erman currently works as a Program Officer at Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, a provincially-funded non-profit based in London, Ontario.

Environmental Impact Assessment of Road Monitoring Technology

Zhixuan Han, Sophia Nasato, Hibba Shahid, 2021

Project Impact:

In light of the City of Hamiton’s 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target, project partner IRIS R&D Group, a smart cities hardware and data provider, and its irisGO solution, aim to make a significant contribution to reducing the City’s carbon footprint.

The 'Environmental Impact Assessment of Road Monitoring Technology' contributes to this important initiative. The project focuses on the irisGO solution, which replaces manual road monitoring inspections of municipal vehicles with an automated solution that provides continuous data collection.

The team is learning how IoT technologies like irisGo maximize existing city assets to deliver significant cost savings. The project also allows them to explore their professional interests, all with a notable regional employer.

“The future of smart cities begins by utilizing resources more effectively and upgrading infrastructure to enable connectivity. The pilot project, irisGO, allows the group to learn about enabling the use of technology to decarbonize traditional road monitoring practises by using a cost-effective way to mitigate GHG emissions.”

Project partner

IRIS R&D Group Inc.

Preparing for success

Zhixuan Han:

Zhixuan has a background in Civil Engineering and has previously worked for various construction projects throughout his career. This program provides Zhixuan an opportunity to advance his knowledge and discover the feasibility of integrating automated systems in infrastructure.

Sophia Nasato: 

For Sophia, the Master of Engineering and Public Policy program is allowing her to adapt her Chemical Engineering background to a municipal operations context, allowing her to focus on outlining direct methods of implementing technological solutions into society.

Hibba Shahid:

The Master of Engineering and Public Policy program enables Hibba to apply her Environmental Systems Engineering background and utilize her experience with the Integrated Resource Information System (IRIS) to focus on solutions that build resilient and smart cities.

Project: Pathways to Sustainable, Integrated Urban Water Management for Ontario Municipalities: Diagnostic and Toolkit

By Kim Jusek, 2017


As many Ontario municipalities are growing rapidly, pressure is placed on urban water services. This includes clean drinking water supply, sewage treatment, the systems that transport both to and from homes and workplaces, and more. Municipalities face certain constraints when they plan for growth and expansion of their water services. This project provides municipal policymakers across Ontario a diagnostic and toolkit they can use to inform key policy decisions in their development of more sustainable and integrated urban water services and build consistency between municipalities.

Read the full paper [PDF]

Project: A Canadian Perspective on Policies to Address Obesity in Populations of Low Socioeconomic Status

Harshal Patel, 2017


Evidence shows that obesity is a growing problem among Canadians with less wealth, largely due to availability of cheap processed foods, and the challenges in buying fresh fruits and vegetables. This is a major healthcare issue, with estimates that obesity costs the public between $1.27 billion to $11.08 billion. Less affluent neighbourhoods are underserved by supermarkets, forcing them to rely too heavily on inexpensive, high-calorie/low-nutrient, processed foods. Including research into policies adopted elsewhere in the world to help curb the trend of growing obesity. The project makes policy recommendations based on successful initiatives elsewhere, including incentives for supermarkets to open in underserved neighbourhoods, zoning restrictions for fast food chains and taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Read the full paper [PDF]

Project: Water, Energy & Food Nexus: From model to Policy framework, towards the realization of SDGs-Case Study of Pakistan

Obaid Shah, 2016


Many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on water, energy or food security as separate issues to be addressed separately in local policy. This project analyzes this practice and draws on case studies from Pakistan to propose a “Water, Energy & Food Nexus” to link these development topics together. The framework proposed in this paper aims to guide policymakers towards solutions that address these issues in tandem, leading to more sustainable development actions and greater social and economic improvements.

Read the full paper [PDF]

Project: Case Study Assessment of Economic Development Surrounding Autonomous Vehicles: A Comparative Analysis of Michigan and Ontario

Hatim Elhag, 2017


Ontario and Michigan both adopted “supercluster” models in recent years to expand investment and collaboration to advance target industries. This project conducted a comparative analysis of the models implemented in Michigan and Ontario, specifically with respect to developing local leadership in autonomous vehicle technology. The project identifies a number of ways that Michigan’s approach is superior in terms of a more integrated and connected industry for developing and manufacturing autonomous vehicles. The project concludes that Ontario could build a more competitive ecosystem through greater interconnectivity between its advanced manufacturing and digital technology superclusters.

Read the full paper [PDF]


Policy Recommendations for Passive Parks as a Sustainable Solution to Urban Stormwater Management in Ontario: Lessons from the Hamilton Conservation Authority's East Escarpment Wetland Restoration Project
Christopher Boothe, 2017

Policy Recommendations for Reducing Urban Heat Island Effect in Hamilton
Ruberwa Bruno, 2017

Policies for Developing Sustainable Communities: A Review of Ontario
Augusta Eruero, 2017

An Analysis of Transboundary Water Resources: A Case Study of South Asian Rivers
Prakash Jha, 2017

Policy Making for Sustainable Development: Goal 6 and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Krupesh Patel, 2017

Rapid Transit: A Case Study of Tianjin BRT and the Problem Solving Towards Hamilton LRT
Zhiyuan Yang, 2017

Combination of Brexit and CETA - Study on the Possibility of Motor Corporation Moving Vehicle Platforms from UK to Canada
Jessie Junxi Yu, 2017


Jiaqiang Guo, 2016
Sanja Ivanovic, 2016

Energy Retrofitting in Built Environment: Financing and Policy Evaluation

Ravi Shah, 2016 
Likun (Queena) Wang, 2016
Maham Masood Sadiq, 2016


Policy Recommendations for Reducing the Carbon Footprint of information and Communication Technology Devices
Alex Braun, 2015

Landfill Gas as a Climate Change and Waste Management Initiative
Aloefuna Kingsley Okoye, 2015


Fazlur Rahman Hassan, 2014
Gonzalo Pineros, 2014
Justin Readman, 2014
Mohammed Elneel, 2014
Victor Mguni, 2014
Vipul Thakur, 2014
Xin Shi (Iris), 2014
G. Krantzberg and Jinxin Zhu, 2014


Joy Gnanapragasam, 2013
Bernhard Heikoop, 2013
Jinxin Zhu, 2013
Huijing Xu, 2013
Alejandro Islas Lopez, 2013
Thomas Li, 2013
Pauline Watson, 2013
Wenqi Zheng, 2013
Younggew Kim, 2013


Nick Larson, 2012
Kristin Pouw, 2012
Khagendra Dhakal, 2012
Cylma Foxton, 2012
Robert Wood, 2012
Philander Khuu, 2012
Morooj A. Habbani, 2012


Omar Al-Dabbagh, 2011
Mark Adamaley, 2011
David Arseneau, 2011 
Sophia Blaschke, 2011
Jim Sanders, 2011
Nadeem Jaffer, 2011
Fahad Khan, 2011
Ralph Krueger, 2011
Xu Zhang, 2011


Charity Kabango-Lowe, 2010
Lauren Krieger, 2010
Reaj Morshed, 2010
Roy Raghavan, 2010
Farshad Salehzadeh, 2010
Maria Topalovic, 2010
José Vera, 2010


Roddi Bassermann, 2009
Priya Tandon, 2009


Walid Abou Chacra, 2008
Sommer Abdel-Fattah, 2008
Sura Abdul-Razzak, 2008
Scott Hubbard, 2008
George Shaparew, 2008
Peter Topalovic, 2008
Chunbo Wang, 2008
Mohamed Zakzouk, 2008 
Mohamed Zakzouk, 2008
Mohamed Zakzouk, 2008
Greg Zilberbrant, 2008


Scott Fraser, 2007 
Gussai Sheikheldin, 2007
Tomo Saotome, 2007 
Peter Topalovic, 2007 
Peter Topalovic, 2007 


Cheryl de Boer, 2006
Mark Gallant, 2006


Philander Khuu
Adam Hempstock
Sagira Nazhmetdinova

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