The Master of Public Affairs is designed for mid-career professionals who want to expand their leadership abilities and increase skills in interdisciplinary approaches to advancing the common good.
The framework of the Master of Public Affairs degree program is flexible and efficient. Classes are offered during the day, evening, some weekends, and over the summer. The program is adaptable to family, work, and other responsibilities. The majority of Master of Public Affairs students take one or two classes at a time while continuing to work full-time. Ninety percent of MPA students complete the Master of Public Affairs degree in less than three years. You can complete the program in one calendar year (fall, spring, summer, in that order) by attending the Humphrey School of Public Affairs full-time.
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs offers:
The MPA consists of a minimum of 30 semester credits: 12-credits of core (required) coursework, 14-credits of self-designed concentration, and 4-credits (required) of a Capstone Workshop.
The Master of Public Affairs core curriculum focuses on leadership abilities, critical thinking and analytic skills, systems thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, and the ability to work and lead as part of a team. These 12-credits are offered in a Cohort Learning Community with an integrated format that combines the best of intensive on-campus and online learning. Read more about the Cohort Learning community here.
How will you answer the call to service? How will you combine your experience, education, and passion to make the kind of difference you know you can in the next phase of your career?
The concentration courses provide the knowledge base and skills you need and want to achieve your career goals. Your concentration can include courses from Public Affairs and from the 150+ graduate programs across the University of Minnesota.
In consultation with advisors, you select areas to study that might include—but are not limited to—such things as Community and Economic Development; Integrative Leadership across Sectors; Disability Policy; International Development; Transportation Planning; Education Policy; Public or Nonprofit Leadership and Management; Program Evaluation; Food Systems Policy; Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy; Global Public Policy; Health Care Policy; Human Rights; Women and Public Policy.
Although no formal thesis is required for graduation, the Capstone Workshop, taken in or near the final semester, is a culmination of the student's learning through application to a community-based project. During the Capstone Workshop, students form into groups of 3-5 to serve as a consultant team for a community organization "client." Projects typically involve analyzing a public policy or management problem for a public, nonprofit, or private sector community client. The Capstone Workshop includes resarch, a written report, and a presentation to the client. Faculty, students, and the client contribute to evaluating the project deliverables and the quality of the team effort.
Current students can review specific details of the Capstone Workshop here.
At the Humphrey School, you learn from your peers, faculty members, and practitioners.
As part of a cohort of other experienced professionals, you will have the advantage of a unique learning environment. Studying with professionals from other fields and lines of work will broaden your view of societal problems and potential solutions. Interacting with students from other nations will give you a new perspective on policy issues.Challenging—and being challenged by—the faculty members will spur you on to greater understanding of the questions your community and organization face.
We value people with a variety of interests who come from a broad range of countries and backgrounds, including elected officials; nonprofit directors and managers; educators; lawyers; community organizers; local, state, and federal government administrators; union officials; and business professionals, from private consultants to managers in international corporations.
Faculty at the Humphrey School bring a breadth of experience to each class. Most have significant experience outside of academia that informs their teaching, and many actively consult with local, national, and international organizations working on significant policy issues that promote the common good.
The people you meet at the Humphrey School will form a strong network of mentors, advisors, professional contacts, and personal friends throughout your career.
Sample Jobs + Organizations of MPA Students
Our faculty members bring a breadth of experience to each class. Most have significant experience outside of academia that informs their teaching, and many actively consult with local, national, and international organizations working on significant policy issues that promote the common good. The people you meet at the Humphrey School will form a strong network of mentors, advisors, professional contacts and, personal friends throughout your career.
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