Introducing an innovative, powerful new degree: Master of Public Affairs
Two semesters of carefully designed coursework in public policy creation and analysis; public sector and nonprofit leadership; economics; policy writing; and the social, political, and ethical aspects of public policies and programs—all crafted to meet the needs and goals of experienced professionals.
This new degree—launched in 2019—combines training in the Ford School’s rigorous applied policy analysis with the development of high-level public and nonprofit management, leadership, and communication skills, focusing on complex domestic and international policy issues of the day.
Master of Public Affairs students will take some courses with our MPP students, and will also have several unique learning experiences tailored to their small cohort of accomplished professionals. This includes new courses such as Economics for Public Affairs, Leadership in Public Affairs and a sophisticated applied capstone project for a client. The 30-credit degree program can be completed in 9 months with a full course of study, and includes the opportunity to take courses not only from the world-renowned Ford School faculty, but from across the University of Michigan.
Students in the Master of Public Affairs program will develop rigorous analytic skills for objective policy analysis, sharpen their communication and management skills, broaden their expertise in a broad range of public affairs issues globally, and actively engage in leadership development. Upon completion, Master of Public Affairs graduates will be prepared for key senior roles in a variety of governmental institutions and public agencies, in the nonprofit sector and in the private sector as well.
Ford School Master of Public Affairs students will become part of a small cohort of accomplished policy professionals from around the world. They’ll spend nine months in Ann Arbor, taking challenging classes from around the University of Michigan and enjoying one of America’s most exciting, diverse, and beautiful college towns.
You are . . .
» A seasoned professional, with at least five years of experience in government, military, government affairs in the private sector, or the nonprofit sector—in the U.S. or abroad.
» Passionate about public affairs, and committed to a successful career of real impact
You seek . . .
» A leadership position in government, a nonprofit organization, or within the government affairs team for an engineering firm or other for-profit business.
» Leadership roles within governments around the world—in ministries of education, national security, environment, social inclusion, and more.
» A senior level position in U.S. local and state government, such as director of immigrant affairs for a major city, or a state budget director.
» A "translational" role as a public affairs specialist working in nonprofits and communications firms, advocating on issues and translating research into powerful campaigns.
Our powerhouse Master of Public Affairs curriculum will . . .
- Broaden your expertise on a wide range of domestic and international affairs in the public domain.
- Deepen your understanding of public institutions and political, economic and social processes and their implications for policy development and implementation.
- Teach you the analytic skills necessary for objective policy analysis and evaluation.
- Refine and deepen your leadership and management skills.
- Enable you to explore and apply the role of values and ethics in public policy design and decision-making.
- Enhance your written and verbal strategic communication skills.
The program culminates with a sophisticated applied project for an actual client. Examples might include conducting a landscape analysis of permanent supportive housing projects in the U.S. and making recommendations to a municipal client; crafting a blueprint for how a county could address the opioid epidemic; and identifying/analyzing transportation policy options designed to reduce auto-induced air pollution in a large urban area in a Latin American country.
The Ford School boasts a world-renowned faculty comprised of scholars from a variety of fields including economics, political science, sociology, social demography, law, psychology, social work, history and science and technology studies. Ford School faculty are active researchers who are also heavily engaged in research translation, policy advising/design and policy evaluation at the local, state, federal, and international levels.
Resources and community
Our MPA students will join a welcoming and diverse scholarly community. They’ll have ready access to all of the outstanding faculty, academic, career, and personal support that is such an important part of our longstanding, top-ranked, two-year Master of Public Policy degree program.
Note: standardized test scores are NOT required for admissions consideration.
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