Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a one-year program designed to enhance the analytic abilities and management skills of experienced professionals currently working in the public, private or non-profit sectors who have at least five years at work experience.

Program Overview

This one-year (ten month) program helps students to strengthen their analytical abilities and core technical skills while offering the opportunity to explore a policy field in depth. The 30 hours of course work required of MPA students includes the Integrated Policy Exercise and at least 15 additional hours from the MPP core curriculum.

Course of Study

Students are generally in residence at the Ford School for one year (two or three semesters). Students typically complete coursework for the MPA degree by taking:

  1. 15 credits per term (Fall and Winter), or
  2. 12-14 credits per term (Fall and Winter) and 3-6 credits in the Spring and/or Summer sessions [Note:  only independent study and directed reading courses are available in the Ford School Spring/Summer], or
  3. 9-12 credits per term (Fall, Winter, and also the following Fall).

Students are encouraged to work closely with an academic advisor to choose the most appropriate option.

The degree requires completion of 30 credit hours (most courses are 3 credit hours), with a total of 21 credits required within the Ford School. Additionally, the Rackham Cognate requirement requires that students must complete a minimum of 4 credits of graduate-level coursework outside their primary discipline.

Core Coursework

All MPA students are required to complete the following core courses (13 credits):

  • PubPol 513: Calculus (Fall)
  • PubPol 529: Statistics (Fall or Winter)
  • PubPol 555: Microeconomics A (Fall)
  • PubPol 558: Microeconomics B (Winter)
  • PubPol 638: Integrated Policy Exercise (Winter)

If an MPA student waives any of the courses listed above, he/she should substitute additional core courses from the list below so that there are a total of 16 credits from core courses. MPA students choose an additional core course (3 credits) from:

  • PubPol 510: Politics of Public Policy (Fall)
  • PubPol 580: Values, Ethics, and Public Policy (Fall or Winter)
  • PubPol 587: Public Management (Winter)

Core Curriculum Learning Objectives

  • Acquire and demonstrate analytic skills necessary for successful policy analysis
  • Develop a sophisticated understanding of public policy institutions and processes (broadly defined to include economic, political, and other)—and the implications these have for policy development and implementation
  • Develop, practice, and refine communication skills appropriate to the policy arena
  • Develop and refine leadership, management, and decision-making skills
  • Demonstrate ability to integrate analytic, institutional, communication, and management skills

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