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APPAM - Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management

Professional Master's Degrees for Public Service

The two most common of these for public service careers are the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP). Most MPA/MPP degrees require four semesters of course work and a summer internship (full-time attendance).

Some graduate schools use different names for degree programs with the same curriculum as the MPA/MPP. Examples of these include:

  • Master of Government Service
  • Master of Public Service
  • Master of Public Affairs
  • Master of Science in Public Policy and Management
  • Master of Government Administration

In general, MPA programs place more emphasis on management and implementation techniques, while MPP programs emphasize policy research and evaluation. 

The MPA Degree

The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the professional degree for public service or nonprofit management careers. MPA program graduates will develop the skills and techniques needed to develop strategies, projects, and programs that combat policy issues.
 
MPA degrees can encompass the following policy areas: public management, nonprofit management, human resource management, state/local government administration, financial management, health care management, international development, and urban affairs.
 
Here's a recent write-up from the Evergreen State College about all the reasons an MPA may be right for you!
 

The MPP Degree

The Masters of Public Policy (MPP) degree is the professional degree for analyzing, evaluating, and solving all aspects of policy. MPP graduates will be prepared to with both quantitative and qualitative data to develop, assess, evaluate, and develop recommendations for policy issues. 
 
MPP degrees can encompass the following policy areas: environmental, education, health, social, economic development, international, and urban policy. MPA/MPP program graduates are uniquely prepared for work in government, nonprofit organizations/NGOs, and private companies that develop and implement public policy.
 

For more information on program curriculum structure, and financial aid options, please visit our affiliated site PublicServiceCareers.org.

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