Campus Masters of Public Administration & Policy Programs
Thinking about returning to school to earn a master of public administration or public policy degree? If so, it may be time to learn as much as you can about public policy and public administration masters programs. Below, you’ll find lots of useful Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy on campus info to help you navigate your potential choices, like the difference between an MPA and an MPP, how to evaluate a prospective grad school campus, and more!
It may be important to spend some time considering your specific interests, past experience, and career goals. After all, there may be any number of paths you could potentially study or pursue in a master of public administration or public policy program, such as economics, law, ethics, and government, nonprofit, or private sector management. In many cases, political scientists may earn either an MPP (Master of Public Policy) or an MPA (Master of Public Administration), typically choosing an area of focus or concentration.[i] So if you are wondering what could you do after earning a masters in public administration, think about areas in which you hope to make a difference, and explore prospective programs that could help you get started!
An MPP stands for Master of Public Policy, while an MPA stands for Master of Public Administration. It’s easy to infer that an MPP program may focus more on public policy research, formation, and evaluation, while MPA programs focus more on public program administration and management. However, public policy masters programs may share some similarities and overlapping areas with public administration masters programs – like core courses in research methodology, program evaluation, statistics, and more. Plus, both program types may incorporate multiple disciplines, while still allowing students to choose an area of professional focus. Finally, before pursuing either type of Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy on Campus program, it may be helpful to have completed statistics, writing, and political science courses as an undergraduate student.
Today’s prospective grad students may be able to choose from campus, online, or even hybrid learning. So why choose to earn a master of public policy degree on campus? Here are just a few potential reasons:
The Graduate School Experience – Everyone’s motivations for returning to school may be different, and for some students, it could be important to pursue a traditional grad school experience – whether that means living in student housing, hanging out in the local coffee shop or pub, or spending long evenings in the library.
Social Opportunities and Networking – A graduate school campus could be a great way to meet people. Public policy and public administration masters programs may potentially be filled with students who share your passions, concerns, and political goals. By getting to know these peers, you may forge worthwhile friendships or even make professional connections. Plus, getting involved socially on campus can be a lot of fun.
Your Learning Style – Online learning may be a great choice for some students, whereas others may prefer to learn in person. Know your preferences before making your choice. If you find it easier to stay motivated in a traditional classroom setting, perhaps you should check out campus-based public administration and public policy masters programs.
Resources – While online programs may potentially share some of the same resources as campus programs, other perks may be exclusive to college campuses – like the fitness center, health services department, or computer lab.
That may depend on what you are looking for in a graduate school. A school that’s perfect for someone else may not be the greatest fit for you, and vice versa. You may want to evaluate public policy and public administration masters programs based on what makes sense to you! Here are some potential Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy on campus program criteria to keep in mind:
Accreditation[ii]– It may be wise to make sure your school is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation may be a good indicator of your program’s quality, which could be an important factor for you and potential employers! You can find a list of approved accrediting agencies (both regional and national) on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Curriculum – Does your prospective school offer the program (MPA or MPP) and the concentration you are interested in? Do the course offerings and other potential academic opportunities appeal to your goals and passions?
Lifestyle – Not everyone can pack up and move across the country to attend grad school. You may have work and family responsibilities that require you to look for public administration masters programs close to home. Or, you may seek certain potential resources and options – like on-campus childcare and the availability of evening and weekend classes. Try making a list of your needs and concerns before exploring potential programs.
Location – If you’re planning to move to pursue an MPP or MPA program, location may be a big consideration. Is your prospective grad school located close to cultural attractions, potential employers, and vibrant, politically-concerned communities? If possible, try to tour the campuses you’re interested in, to find out if you like the look and feel. And don’t forget practical concerns, like cost of living and housing availability.
Reputation – A master of public administration program does not necessarily have to be world-famous to have a good reputation. Some potential indicators you could examine may include retention and graduation rates, Better Business Bureau reports, alumni success stories, and your prospective program’s positive impact both in its field and in the surrounding community.
Below, you’ll find some Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy on Campus program listings potentially worth checking out! See a program you’re interested in? Click to learn more about what it has to offer. Good luck!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html
Both programmes of study provide an opportunity to acquire an advanced knowledge of public administration, public management and comparative public po...