Government, public administration, and public policy touch the lives of people locally, nationally, and globally. For professionals who want to ensure that politics, policy, and governance promote growth and provide services to people and communities, pursuing a Campus Government Masters Degree & Graduate Program might be a great idea. As students engage in their programs, they might learn what it takes to secure funding and resources, implement needed programs, develop infrastructure, support communities, address social issues, and more. Earning a master’s degree in public policy, public administration, or government could help you pursue a rewarding career or boost your existing skills.
Given that master’s degrees in these areas might lead to careers in highly interactive and personal fields, earning a master’s degree on campus might be appealing. As students interact with each other and engage in class discussion in person, they may develop their interpersonal skills through class discussions, group work on assignments, and non-classroom conversations in the halls and library. An on-campus environment might offer the perfect setting for these opportunities. Read on to learn about the benefits of on-campus programming in government, public policy, and public administration master’s degree programs.
On-campus education, often referred to as traditional education, embraces the roots of higher education. While some instructors might utilize online and digital resources, and some programs might even offer some courses online, the majority of on-campus programming takes place in the classroom. In the classroom, students and instructors commonly pour over information, share perspectives, and engage in discussions face-to-face with faculty and students alike. For many students, this in-person and often lively interaction may make learning easier and more enjoyable. It may also assist in building skills to engage in meaningful debate and thoughtful discourse on important policy issues after graduate school.
On-campus programs may enable students to access campus resources such as libraries, study groups, clubs, organizations, and recreational opportunities. They might also enjoy being on beautiful campuses, processing information on their bike-ride home, and submersing themselves in the college community.
There are several designations of master’s degree programs in government, public administration, and public policy and their subtopics. Some popular ones include the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), and the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.). While these types of degrees might cover a broad range of subtopics—such as management, leadership, public affairs, homeland security, and conflict resolution—many of them focus on the study of the public sector and influencing the direction of social, political, and economic policies. Students who pursue a master’s degree in government, public policy, or public administration might work in the public sector or in nonprofit organizations at home or abroad. There may also be opportunities in the private sector.
While every program is different, in many cases students pursue a master’s degree in government, public policy, or public administration over the course of one to two years of intensive or fulltime study. In addition to completing coursework in their programs, students commonly write and defend a thesis, take a comprehensive exam, do an internship, or complete a capstone project during the last semester or year of their program. Sometimes, students transfer their master’s degree credits to a Ph.D. program. If the masters to Ph.D. program is something you might do, talk to an advisor in both programs to ensure your credits will transfer.
Once again, graduate programs often differ in terms of what subjects they include in their curriculum. However, we can give you a general sense of what you might study in M.A., M.S., M.P.P., or M.P.A. programs.
First, any given program might cover a discipline broadly or emphasize a specific component of a subject. If you opt to study public administration, for example, the curriculum might focus on the discipline’s primary history, theories, and applications broadly, or it might emphasize the history, theories, and applications of a specific area of public administration, such as economic development, environmental management, or public safety. In many cases, the curriculum blends core and elective coursework in primary and secondary subjects. Put together, your coursework may help you develop a clear sense of a discipline or its subtopics in relative depth.
In some on-campus programs, students might pursue a dual degree and earn a second but complimentary master’s degree in nonprofit management, social work, law, or another discipline.
Second, many M.A., M.S., M.P.P., and M.P.A. degree programs allow for an interdisciplinary study. While we can’t predict the specifics of what you might study in any given program, we can give you a sense of what you might study. Here are some possibilities:
Many programs share their curriculum on their program page to give you a more thorough sense of what subjects and topics you might cover in their programs.
Navigating government and everything it and other entities invest to promote healthy, safe, and vibrant communities is no simple task. Whether you’re just entering the field or already working in it, developing your know-how to affect positive and lasting change could prove a gift. By pursuing advanced education in government, public policy, or public administration, you could develop your knowledge, skills, and talents in areas critical to causing success in your field.
With the knowledge gained from your master’s degree in government, public policy, or public administration, you can possibly pursue a career in a number of exciting and important fields. Here are just some examples of professions that might benefit from a degree in these fields:
If you’re ready to develop the skills and knowledge you may need to make a lasting difference in communities, countries, and the world, begin your search here. You may find an abundance of M.A., M.S., M.P.A., and M.P.P graduate programs that fit the bill of your perfect program. Simply browse our list of on-campus programs to get a sense of what’s available across disciplines. When you find programs you like, click on their links or the Request Info button. Through those functions, you can find additional information or contact programs directly to ask questions and prepare to register. If you’re excited to pursue your degree in these dynamic and important fields, why not get started now? Our communities await your contribution.
Sources: [i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-2 | [ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-1 | [iv] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm#tab-2 | [v] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm | [vi] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-2 | [vii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-4 | [viii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-1| [ix] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-2 | [x] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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