Farayi Chipungu MPA 2012

Master in Public Administration

The two-year Master in Public Administration (MPA) Program equips students who have prior work experience and have taken graduate-level courses with the skills, perspectives, and nuanced understanding they need to be effective leaders in solving public problems.

The MPA curriculum is designed to be flexible, allowing students to create a 16-credit study plan – or 12 credits for students pursuing a concurrent degree – that reflects their academic interests, and their personal and professional aspirations. Students complement their study plan by taking two electives in a Policy Area of Concentration, and one credit in each of these areas:

  • Economics and Quantitative Analysis
  • Management and Leadership
  • Political Thought and Institutions

While at HKS, a number of MPA students choose to pursue concurrent degrees in business, law, medicine, or other professional fields either at Harvard or at approved partner institutions. The concurrent degree option gives MPA students the opportunity to earn two degrees in a reduced amount of time.

Where MPA graduates go after HKS

MPA graduates secure higher leadership positions in their original professional fields or transition to careers in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. This may include careers at alternative energy firms, global development banks, nongovernmental organizations, multinational financial institutions, and leading strategic consulting firms. They also work in the private sector, in positions that have public impact.

The Office of Career Advancement’s most recent employment overview provides more information about the positions MPA graduates take on after HKS and the careers they develop to serve the public good.

Admission Prerequisites

MPA students are required to have at least three years of full-time professional work experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. They must also have completed a minimum of four graduate-level courses similar to those in the Master in Public Policy core curriculum, including some quantitative coursework.

Learn more about the academic and work experience prerequisites to ensure that you meet the program’s requirements to be considered for admission. Qualifying courses may include: economics, ethics, leadership, negotiations, policy analysis, politics and advocacy, quantitative analysis, and strategic management.

Alumni Spotlight

David Lerch MPA 2012

David Lerch MPA 2012

"I benefited enormously by learning from great teachers, fellow students and business practitioners. Many of the lessons went beyond policies and reflected on what it takes in terms of courage, openness and preparation to make a difference in the world."

Photo: Martha Stewart


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