The Difference between the MPP and MPA Degrees

The MPA and MPP degrees from the Schar School prepare students for leadership positions in the policy arena and careers in public affairs. Both degrees are recognized for their content and rigor in the public and private sectors, and many of our courses are cross listed for both programs. The MPA and MPP degrees differ in their emphasis on core skills.

The MPA degree places greater focus on implementation, governance, and management, and the MPP degree places greater focus on policy formation, policy analysis, and economic theory. Students in either program can focus their studies around a particular concentration or emphasis area.

Students may select from the focus areas below or design their own focus area in consultation with their academic advisor and program director.

MPA focus areas

  • Administration of Justice
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Environmental Science and Public Policy
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Management
  • Managing Across Sectors
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Policy Studies
  • Public and Nonprofit Finance
  • Public Management
  • State and Local Government

MPP focus areas

  • Economic Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Gender and Policy
  • Global Medical And Health Policy
  • International Governance And Institutions
  • National Security And Public Policy
  • Public Finance And Budgeting
  • Regional Economic Development
  • Science And Technology Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Terrorism, Transnational Crime And Corruption
  • Transportation Policy
  • Urban Policy And Development
  • U.S. Government Institutions And Policy Management

Request Program Information

To stay informed about the programs you’re interested in, complete our Graduate Program Interest Form.
(please do not use shared email addresses)