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Department of Public Administration & Policy

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Master of Public Administration (MPA) and LLM

American University’s School of Public Affairs (SPA) and the Washington College of Law (WCL) jointly offer a dual degree program in law and public administration. The program is especially attractive for attorneys who hope to practice and innovate in the political, governmental and not-for-profit realms. The program provides a broad theoretical grounding in public administration and management, while also providing students with a practical education in the analysis and implementation of policy and law at all levels of government.


Admission to the Program

Applicants must satisfy the admission requirements of both the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP)/SPA and Washington College of Law (WCL). Admission criteria are the same as those for the MPA. However, students who have been admitted to WCL will not be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). For entering law students, applications for this program are first reviewed by the WCL. Upon admission to WCL, the application is forwarded to SPA for review and decision. Currently enrolled WCL students may apply during their studies at WCL.

Admission to either the MPA or LLM program does not guarantee admission to the other. Students who have been admitted to the MPA program may apply to WCL. Students may begin their studies in SPA in their first semester of the LLM program.

MPA Degree Requirements

  • 42 credits hours of approved graduate course work including at least 24 credit hours of MPA course work in SPA, and up to 18 credit hours from WCL
  • Comprehensive examination requirement completed through assignments in PUAD-610 Management Analysis and a separate reflective essay
  • The research requirement is satisfied by completing two of the following courses with grades of B or better:
    • PUAD-605 Quantitative Methods for Public Managers
      or
      PUAD-601 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis I
    • PUAD-610 Management Analysis
    • PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics
      or
      PUAD-670 Economics for Policy Analysis
    • LAW-580 American Lawyer Seminar
    • LAW-892 Washington Lawyer Seminar

Course Requirements:

  • PUAD-605 Quantitative Methods for Public - Managers (3)
    or
    PUAD-601 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis - I (3)
  • PUAD-610 Management Analysis (3)
  • PUAD-612 Intro to Public Admin/Policy Process (3)
  • PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics (3)
    or
    PUAD-670 Economics for Policy Analysis (3)
  • PUAD-684 Organizational Analysis (3)
  • Two courses from the following:
  • PUAD-602 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis II (3)
  • PUAD-609 Topics in Public Management (3)
  • PUAD-696 Managing in Information Age
  • PUAD-615 Public-Private Partnerships (3)
  • PUAD-617 Project Management (3)
  • PUAD-650 Leadership in a Changing Workplace (3)
  • PUAD-652 Facilitation and Team Development (3)
  • PUAD-696 Selected Topics: Non-recurring (3) (approved topic)
  • One course in public finance, budgeting or financial management from the following:
  • PUAD-631 Financing Government Services:
    Expenditure Analysis (3)
    Taxation (3)
  • PUAD-633 Budgeting and Financial Management (3)
  • PUAD-685 Topics in Policy Analysis and Management: Public Finance in Developing Countries (3)
  • 3 credit hours from the following:

LAW-580 American Lawyer Seminar (3)
LAW-892 Washington Lawyer Seminar (3)

Area of Concentration and Internship

  • 15 credit hours in an area of concentration with approval of the MPA advisor; this requirement is usually completed with WCL courses, as long as at least 24 credit hours for the MPA are taken in approved SPA courses.
  • Students without a significant professional work background generally participate in a non-credit internship or an externship. For students already employed, a formal internship is optional.

LLM Degree Requirements

  • 18 credit hours of course work required for the LLM, including:

    LAW-601 Administrative Law (3-4) or other approved course

Apply to SPA Graduate Programs

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