Government Masters Degree & Graduate Programs
Why Earn a Government Masters Degree?
Are you someone who wants to create change? Are you passionate about providing infrastructure, resources, and support to communities locally, nationally, or internationally? Do you want to stabilize those components of our society that work and transform those you find problematic? If so, pursuing your master’s degree in government, public administration, or public policy might be a great idea. A Government Masters Degree in these areas help people like you pursue advanced skills and knowledge in key areas government, public administration, and public policy. With a master’s degree, you might be able to pursue the career of your dreams and contribute to communities in a meaningful and lasting way. To learn more about government, public administration, and public policy master’s programs, read on.
How Are Government, Public Administration, and Public Policy Master’s Programs Structured?
Government, public administration, and public policy master’s programs encase a variety of degrees types across multiple subjects. Designations such as the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), and the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) are just some of many. However, these are unified by a common focus on the public sector and creating societal change. Degree programs of these types and others might cover subjects such as governmental management or leadership, public administration, public policy, public affairs, homeland security, diplomacy, and numerous others. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in public policy might want to work in the public sector, creating change on a wide scale, whether through work with government, nonprofits or international organizations. Master’s degree programs in government or public administration could help them develop the knowledge and skills they may need to jumpstart a career in this field.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Goverment Masters Degree?
What could you expect from a master’s degree program in government, public administration and public policy? While programs can vary dramatically in both length and degree requirements, they commonly take one to two years of intensive or fulltime study to complete. Students may complete their program by writing a thesis, participating in an internship, doing a capstone project, or taking a comprehensive exam. Some students might even eventually opt to transfer their credits from a master’s degree program into a Ph.D. program. If you think you might want to do so, talk to an academic advisor in the program of your choice to discuss your options.
Concerned about fitting class into your already full schedule? For students who work fulltime and want to pursue their M.A., M.S., M.P.P, or M.P.A. degree, many programs offer evening and weekend courses or distance education (online programming) to facilitate flexible scheduling. Online master’s degree programs in public policy may allow you to choose when you attend class, and access lectures right from you home. Distance education may also be available to students who live in locations far from where they want to go to school. To pursue this option, simply select “online” under program format in the menu for a custom list of these programs. Or inquire with your preferred program to see if online options might be available.
What Might I Study in a Government, Public Administration, or Public Policy Master’s Degree Program?
What you’ll study in your government, public administration, or public policy master’s degree program depends, of course, on your particular program. Programs might emphasize one or more of many areas of public policy, from government, to public administration, to homeland security. In some master’s degree programs, students may be able to pursue a “dual degree” and join their program in government, public administration, or public policy with a program in a complimentary area such as nonprofit management, social work, or law.
No matter your program, you’ll likely take core and elective courses. Your core coursework may help you develop your knowledge more broadly, while your elective coursework may help you develop your knowledge in a specific area. For example, in a master’s degree program in public administration, your core coursework might emphasize history, theory, and practical applications of public administration, while your elective coursework might emphasize an area of public administration such as economic development, environmental management, or public safety. In a master’s degree program in homeland security, your core coursework might emphasize theory, history, and practical application in homeland security while your elective coursework might emphasize an area of homeland security such as terrorism, natural disasters, or emergency response. In some programs, the collective of your elective coursework might be considered a concentration or specialization.
- Economics and finance
- Law and ethics
- Management and leadership
- Political science and politics
- Public policy
- Public administration
- Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
- City, country, state, and federal governance
- Homeland security
- Program evaluation
- Community planning
- Decision analysis
Of any of these and many other subjects, you may study theories, history, and practical applications.
Some of the subjects you might study through elective curricula in M.A., M.S., M.P.P., or M.P.A. programs in government, public administration, and public policy include: government policy, business and government relations, democracy and political processes, political science, governmental and non-governmental institutions, international affairs, political economy, social policy, urban policy, local government, nonprofit management, public health, and public finance. You might also study more nuanced areas of any of the core subjects mentioned above. If the above topics sound interesting, then a master’s degree program in public administration might be perfect for you.
Why Pursue an Advanced Degree in Government, Public Administration, or Public Policy?
Pursuing an advanced degree in government, public administration, or public policy may help you enhance your resume and develop knowledge and skills to pursue a career in the public sector. While not all positions in the fields of government, public administration, and public policy require a master’s degree, some do, and having one might help you pursue the positions you want in the fields you find most interesting. Here are some of the many positions you might pursue with a master’s degree in public administration or government:
- Urban or regional planners: urban planners help create, revitalize and protect communities’ physical facilities and land.[i] According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), urban and regional planners typically have a master’s degree. Professionals in this field earned a median annual salary of $68,200 as of 2015.[ii]
- Political scientists: Political scientists study political systems including governments, public policies, political trends, and other issues related to politics.[iii] Political scientists typically have a master’s degree and may need one to enter the field.[iv] Political scientists earn a median annual salary of $99,730 as of 2015.[v]
- Social and community service managers: Social and community services managers coordinate and supervise programs and community organizations that provide social services.[vi] The typical entry level education for social and community service managers is a bachelor’s degree.[vii] However, pursuing a master’s degree could help professionals develop their skills and knowledge in their fields. In 2015, social and community managers earned a median annual salary of $63,530.[viii]
- Management analysts: Management analysts consult with clients to help assess and improve an organization’s efficiency.[ix] The typical entry level education management analysts is a bachelor’s degree as well.[x] Pursuing a master’s degree in public administration or government, however, could help you specialize your knowledge in an area of either subject. Management analysts earned a median annual salary of $81,320 as of 2015.[x]
How Do I Find My Perfect Government, Public Administration, or Public Policy Master’s Degree Program?
Ready to get started on the path towards earning your degree? Through GradSchools.com, you can explore numerous options for government masters degree programs whether it be in public administration or public policy. Whether you want to pursue an M.A., M.S., M.P.A., M.P.P., or a degree of another designation, we likely have options for you. You can also search for online, on-campus, or hybrid programs by selecting your preferred format from the menu. Once you’ve found a master’s degree program that you like, contact it through our website to request additional information. Good luck!
Sources: [i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm#tab-2 | [ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm | [iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-2 | [iv] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [v] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-1 | [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
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