Master's Degree Overview

UMN Banner on campus

When you choose to study public affairs, you choose a path of leadership and service. You choose to be an active participant in decisions that will determine the future of your neighborhood, community, country, and people around the globe. In short, you choose to make a difference.

At the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, one of the country's top public policy and planning schools, you will acquire the skills, expertise, and real-world experience to transform ideas into action.

The legacy and values of Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey are alive in our work to address the world’s most pressing challenges. Our faculty members are deeply engaged in interdisciplinary research and public affairs, and our alumni are leading change in cities and nations around the world.

Our comprehensive program offers six master's degrees, a doctoral degree, five certificates, a variety of dual degrees and professional development options, and numerous opportunities for undergraduates. Explore what we have to offer and pick the program that's right for you.

Class Profile

Expand all

Student profile for all degrees: 2023–2024

  • Incoming Students: 177
  • Gender: Female: 53%, Male 47%
  • Minnesota Residents: 72%
  • International Students: 11%
  • Domestic Students of Color: 15%
  • Average Age: 26 (not including MPA), 31 (including MPA)
  • Average GPA: 3.38 (not including MPA), 3.39 (including MPA)
  • Average GRE Verbal Percentile: 68.6%
  • Average GRE Quantitative Percentile: 50.9%

Prospective applicants: please note that all applications are reviewed holistically, and profile numbers should not be viewed as admission cutoffs. Please contact the Office of Admissions with any questions about candidacy.

MDP Student Abroad

Master of Development Practice

Through dynamic, interdisciplinary training in public policy, education, public health, and natural and social sciences, the Master of Development Practice (MDP) degree program prepares students for careers in international development, equipping them with the skills needed to address the problems of poverty, social justice, and sustainable development.

Master of Human Rights

In a world that needs visionaries, the Master of Human Rights (MHR) degree program prepares students to engage in global human rights challenges through research, policy analysis, and advocacy. This interdisciplinary degree program provides a solid grounding in diverse substantive and methodological approaches to the study and practice of human rights.

Human Rights Rally

Students sitting in a study space at the Humphrey School

Master of Public Affairs (Mid-Career)

Using a unique cohort-based approach, the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree program is geared toward mid-career professionals with 10+ years of work experience who want to advance their skills in public and nonprofit leadership, policy, and program analysis, and using research data for evidence-based decision-making.

Master of Public Policy

The Humphrey School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program prepares future leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world. The program brings together students who are committed to public service at the local, state, national, and international levels; equipping them to design, manage, and advocate for better policy solutions. 


Solar Panels on green hills

Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy

The MS–STEP program prepares students to be leaders in addressing urgent environmental and energy challenges at local to global scales. Students work closely with faculty experts to explore interests in climate policy, the clean energy transition, environmental justice, and food and water sustainability.

Master of Urban and Regional Planning

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree program brings together experts from planning, sociology, engineering, law, architecture, social work, public health, landscape architecture, urban design, and other disciplines to build cities, tackle urban sprawl, upgrade housing, protect the environment, and promote community and economic development.

Minneapolis Light Rail Station

Dual Degree and Graduate Minors

Graduate Minors and Dual Degrees

Choosing a graduate minor provides students the opportunity to hone skills and expertise in policy-related fields as a complement to their graduate studies in other degree programs or academic units across the University. Pursuing a dual master’s degree allows you to earn a Humphrey School degree and another University of Minnesota graduate or professional degree, in less time than it would take to complete the two degrees separately.