Humphrey School News—February 13, 2020

Want to Attend the Humphrey School? Application Deadline is Approaching


MDP student Khadija Hamid in conversation with a man
MDP student Khadija Hamid (at left) hopes to use her degree in the Maldives, her home country.

If you’re considering a career in public affairs and trying to decide whether to apply for graduate school, you still have time to learn how the Humphrey School of Public Affairs can help you reach your goals. The School offers six master’s degree programs that match our students’ passion with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to solve real-world challenges.

The application deadline for five of our programs is April 1. The deadline for the mid-career Master of Public Affairs has passed, but applications are still considerd on a space-available basis.

Read this FAQ and visit our admissions page for more information. 

We asked students from several of our degree programs to tell us what they appreciate most about their Humphrey School experience.


The Master of Public Affairs 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, management, and policy analysis. Applications considered on a space-available basis.

Head shot of MPA student Faiza MahamudSTUDENT FAIZA MAHAMUD (MPA 2021)

Faiza is a full-time reporter education reporter at the Star Tribune newspaper, covering Minneapolis Public Schools. 

The MPA program is amazing the way it's set up; they understand students like me, people who have busy personal and professional lives but still want to get a master's degree. As a mid-career student, I wasn't expecting to find the community and friendships that I've made in the MPA program.

From the very beginning, the MPA program has allowed me to apply what I'm doing in my work as an education reporter to what I'm doing for my degree. Not only does the program complement my journalism career, but it's boosted my confidence and polished my skills.

I never thought I would be able to study full time and work full time. In the future, I hope to work for the State Department doing foreign service work, and what I've learned from the MPA program will benefit me both domestically and globally.  

Head shot of MPA student Jayme DavisStudent Jayme Davis (MPA 2020)

Jayme Davis, an Anishinaabe from the Turtle Mountain Band, is the program director at Native Governance Center, a Native American-led nonprofit organization based in St. Paul. 

I love that the program directly relates to my professional focus on tribal governance, leadership, and policy. My MPA program cohort has also pushed me to lead by example. I have a greater understanding of my own identity, my leadership style, and the ways in which I can best contribute to the community.

The MPA curriculum pushes me to think outside of the box every day. We sometimes have difficult conversations, but it’s through these moments that I’ve learned the most. The program brings important issues to life and encourages students to analyze and digest them in a space where everyone’s voice matters. The best part of the program is the chance to have diverse and impactful conversations during each session. 

Anyone wanting to level up in their field would benefit from the MPA program. It’s a challenge, but it’s the best kind of challenge. It’s one that will help you become a better person for yourself, your family, and your community.


The Master of Development Practice 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. Application deadline: April 1

Photo of MDP student Khadeeja Hamid sitting on a bicycle seatStudent Khadeeja Hamid (MDP 2020)

What appealed to me most about the Humphrey School’s MDP program is its interdisciplinary nature. I was tired of seeing organizations and individuals in the development field operating in silos, refusing to collaborate and think beyond their narrow mandates or main areas of expertise.

I was seeking a program that would not confine me to a box, but rather by design give me the opportunity to explore multiple disciplines and build skills that would allow me to make sense and meaning in the complex world that we live in today. 

One recurring theme in the program is the need for systemic change for us to move to a future where we take better care of the planet. Being from the Maldives, this is an issue that is close to my heart, and this is the area where I want to focus my future professional and academic pursuits.

Head shot of MDP student Rayan DeebStudent Rayan Deeb (MDP 2020)

Rayan is a Fulbright scholar from Lebanon.

I chose the MDP program at the Humphrey School because it values both theory and practice. For example, students are required to complete an international field experience, which includes professional work and academic cross-cultural training.

Fast forward two years: I gained a vast array of practical experience and a widely marketable set of skills, and I don’t feel like I spent two years of my life solely focused on academic work. I became confident that I want to pursue a career in international humanitarian assistance.


The Master of Public Policy degree program equips students to design, manage, and advocate for better policy solutions. It builds on all academic backgrounds, helping students develop the knowledge and skills to work in a variety of fields, anywhere in the world. Application deadline: April 1 

Head shot of MPP student Maia WahlbergStudent Maia Wahlberg (MPP/MBA 2021)

Maia is pursuing dual master’s degrees, in public policy at the Humphrey School and business administration at the Carlson School of Management. 

My favorite thing about the Humphrey School is its strong commitment to improving the Twin Cities community, and to academics grounded in action. As a St. Paul native, I am happy to have found a school that  fits my academic and professional goals, and also cares about this community as much as I do.

I’m fully convinced I could attend the Humphrey School full time for many years and not run out of interesting classes to take. The different perspectives give me a deeper understanding of subject matter and provide new lenses through which to view old problems.

The Humphrey School’s wide variety of dual-degree programs is unique and invaluable. The opportunity to pursue both an MPP and an MBA from two highly regarded schools without even crossing the street is almost too good to be true.

The MPP degree provides a meaningful base of knowledge about a variety of social issues, which will give me the ability to advance the common good through policy solutions that are rooted in an awareness of historical context and incorporate the need for equity in social policy.


The Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy degree program focuses on public issues arising at the intersection of science, technology, environment, and society that shape human well-being, environmental sustainability, and social justice.  Application deadline: April 1.

Head shot of MS-STEP student Nathan VikerasStudent Nathan Vikeras (MS–STEP 2021)

I want to pursue a career that uses both science and public policy to address issues related to land degradation and climate change. I hope to work on international food and water security issues. The STEP program is a perfect fit—my studies take place at the intersection of science and policy, and I’m in an institution known for advancing the common good.

I love that everyone here is passionate about using science to solve pressing real-world problems. I also love  the incredible opportunities the STEP program offers. I’m doing some awesome research on clean water valuation as a graduate research assistant, and I attended the UN climate change conference in Spain.


The Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree program brings together experts from a variety of disciplines to build cities, tackle urban sprawl, upgrade housing, protect the environment, and promote community and economic development. Application deadline: April 1

Head shot of MURP student Corrin BemisStudent Corrin Bemis (MURP 2020)

I love the research opportunities that the Humphrey School’s MURP program provides. Students are paired with real-world clients to complete projects for cities, counties, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, or other community groups, allowing us to gain firsthand knowledge of the types of projects we’ll be working on after grad school.

Because the Humphrey School’s MURP program is situated in a public policy school, it offers classes on urban design and the technical elements of planning, but students also get the benefit of learning from policy experts who are leaders in their field. I think this is the best of both worlds when it comes to a planning degree.

The best thing about a MURP degree from the Humphrey School is its versatility. This program will prepare you for a career as a city planner, urban designer, water resources manager, public participation expert, or environmental justice leader, just to name a few. I am really excited to put my degree to work.

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