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Master of

Public Administration

Want to manage and lead your own organization? Our nationally ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares students to lead with distinction in government, non-profit, and private organizations—both in the US and abroad.

Benefit from our award-winning faculty, powerful alumni network, and events on campus and in DC. If you’re looking to make a difference, the MPA program will put you on track to become a leader in the area that matters most to you.

Do you have a desire to drive change and make a positive impact on the lives of others? Apply now or learn more below.

Tailor Your Studies to Your Goals

Manage an international NGO. Start your own nonprofit. However you want to make a difference, the MPA program helps you get there through a flexible learning environment that lets you tailor your degree. Study at your own pace, take summer or night courses, and choose a concentration and electives that align with your interests.

Learn from world-renowned scholars across a variety of areas within public administration, public management, and public policy. This breadth of expertise gives students a foundation for transformational research.

Doors will open quickly with access to an extensive alumni network and deep connections provided by faculty. Graduates emerge from the program well positioned to become change-makers in management.

#1 ranked university for Presidential Management Fellows finalists in 2016

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Accredited

Get Ready to Lead

Ranked fifth in the US and first in DC, the MPA program positions you for a career outcome that fits your goals.

AU’s prime location in the nation’s capital offers students unprecedented access to internship opportunities and exposure to leading policy makers through special events and seminars. Take advantage of these direct connections to the nation’s change-makers, our strong alumni network, and all that Washington, DC, offers.

Career preparation is aided by academic and career advisors within the School of Public Affairs.

Latest News

AU Number 1 in Presidential Management Fellowship Finalists

February 26, 2016

42 students, the most of any university in the nation, have been selected as finalists for the prestigious program.

Saving Millions? Examining the Effectiveness of Global Health Networks

April 26, 2016

New research presented in London on April 26 by SPA Professor Jeremy Shiffman highlights the role of networks in how global health problems are addressed.

SPA Assistant Professor Awarded Second Upjohn Early Career Award

April 15, 2016

SPA Assistant Professor Seth Gershenson has won a second Early Career Research Award from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.


Graduates of MPA are thriving across sectors and a range of organizations. Twenty-two percent are working in for-profit, 35 percent in not-for-profit, and 42 percent in government.

A full list of careers and internships can be found here:

Students and alumni in the MPA program have access to unparalleled career services throughout their lifetime. The Career Center is committed to helping them manage professional and academic pursuits while enrolled and after.

The department offers the following degress:

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Master of Public Administration and Policy (Online)
  • Doctoral Program

Executive Degrees and Certificates

  • Key Executive Leadership MPA
  • Key Executive Certificate Programs
  • Master of Science in Organization Development

Graduate Certificates

  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Financial Management
  • Public Management
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Leadership for Organizational Change

Joint Degrees

  • JD/MPA (Juris Doctor)
  • JD/MPP (Juris Doctor)
  • LLM/MPA (Latin Legum Magister)
  • LLM/MPP (Latin Legum Magister)

The Master of Public Administration requires 39 credit hours of approved graduate work.

Up to six credit hours may be waived for qualifying courses and/or transfer credit from another academic institution. Students who avail themselves of this provision will be encouraged to take advanced level work in designated areas as a consequence.

The degree also includes a capstone requirement that is completed through assignments in PUAD-610: Public Administration Capstone.