Master's in Public Administration (MPA)
Gain a comprehensive understanding of how leadership, management, policy, and politics intersect with a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) degree.
Sound leadership and management are vital to organizational and governmental effectiveness. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government puts you on a path toward senior-level positions in organizations that implement and manage public policies. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how leadership, management, policy, and politics intersect, along with the tools to enhance your communication, budgeting, and analytic skills. As a graduate of one of the largest MPA programs in the country, you will join thousands of Schar School alumni working in various roles in local, state, and national government, nonprofit management, and many other careers.
A TOP-RANKED MPA PROGRAM
The Schar School's Master of Public Administration program is No. 22 in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the ShanghaiRanking. It is No. 11 among U.S. colleges, and No. 1 in the Washington D.C. region. Some 200 programs around the globe were studied for the ranking. The MPA program is additionally ranked No. 47 for best public affairs programs and No. 32 for public policy analysis, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Ranking.
The MPA program is also accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), recognizing the quality and rigor of the degree.
Mason has moved to virtual instruction for its on-campus programs for the spring 2020 semester. Faculty and staff who normally work on-campus are teleworking and are fully available to support students. Visit Mason's Coronavirus Information page for more information, including affected dates and frequently asked questions. For questions as a prospective student, please don't hesitate to contact the Schar School Office of Graduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The curriculum requirements of the MPA program include eight required courses and four elective courses. As a student in the MPA program, you can tailor your degree to your interests with one of the following concentrations (or you may design your own concentration, with approval from your Schar School advisor):
- Administration of Justice
- Emergency Management and Homeland Security
- Environmental Science and Public Policy
- Human Resource Management
- International Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Public Management
- Public and Nonprofit Finance
- Policy Studies
- State and Local Government
- Managing Across Sectors
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES & EVENING CLASSES
The MPA program is offered on both George Mason's Fairfax and Arlington campuses, conveniently located within accessible transportation. The Schar School graduate experience is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing students to continue to add to their professional resumes while earning their degree. Classes are offered in the evenings on weekdays, and students can alternate between part-time and full-time studies each semester.
“I decided to get my master’s degree to show that I was dedicated to a career change. The teaching staff at the Schar School has real-world experience, and they provided me with a solid understanding of how the nonprofit sector works.”
—Stella Hanly, Master’s in Public Administration '13
“Without my degree I would not have been able to get into the [Presidential Management Fellowship] program…I knew I had an interest in management and I knew I had an interest in policy, but for me it was more about making organizations work more effectively.”
—John Salamone, Master’s in Public Administration '98
EARN A DEGREE THAT WILL PREPARE YOU FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
With George Mason University's prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, Schar School students gain access to leading scholars and practitioners closely connected to the epicenter of policymaking and public service, and the hub of the nonprofit sector.
In addition to university-wide resources, the Schar School has a dedicated team of student services and career development advisors to assist you in your academic and professional plans. The Master of Public Administration program prepares students for a range of industries and roles in the public and private sectors. In a recent graduating class career outcomes survey, the following were the top employers of MPA program graduates:
- Arlington County Government
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Deloitte Consulting
- Fairfax County Government
- ICF International
- Lockheed Martin
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
- Pan American Development Foundation
- Peace Corps
- Social Security Administration
- SRA International
- Vanguard Communications
- World Bank
A TOP-RANKED MPA PROGRAM
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