Boston MA Public Administration and Public Policy Graduate Programs & Graduate Schools

Hoping to pursue a new career path in public administration or policy? Than perhaps it’s time to explore public administration or public policy graduate programs that may help you pursue your passions. Whether you’re hoping to potentially manage a government organization, evaluate public policies, head up a nonprofit, or achieve a totally different goal, you may find a graduate program that captures your interests! Check out some helpful Public Administration Graduate Programs info and FAQs, below.

What might be perfect public administration graduate programs for my goals?

The answer, of course, may be different for everyone! There’s no guarantee that a particular path will lead you to the place you expect. That said, there may be a few types of public administration or public policy graduate programs you could encounter on your search, and each may have different requirements or areas of focus. Learn about Public Administration Graduate Programs, below:

Masters in public administration or policy[i]– Political scientists and others with an interest in policy and administration may pursue one of two kinds of master’s degree programs: the MPP – Master of Public Policy, or the MPA – Masters in Public Administration. While each type of program may focus on a different area (policy vs. administration), the curriculum may include several disciplines and may even allow candidates to choose an area of concentration, such as government and policy. Areas of study may include research methodology, statistics, policy formation, and more. Candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree, and it may be helpful to have studied writing, political, science, and statistics as an undergraduate student.

Public administration or public policy doctoral programs– Some candidates may decide to pursue doctor of public policy or doctor of public administration programs, particularly if they are interested in teaching at the postsecondary level. Earning a doctorate, such as a PhD, may require several years of study, in addition to conducting independent research for a dissertation. Candidates may also be able to select a concentration or subfield, like national politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.

Public policy or public administration certificate – In some cases, earning a graduate certificate may be the way to go. You might be interested in pursuing a public administration certificate program if you are hoping to prepare for a potential new opportunity, or brush up on your knowledge for an existing professional role. You could potentially study an area like nonprofit management, public sector service, etc.

Public Administration Graduate Programs: Professional Insight 

“My Masters in Public Administration solidified my understanding of how I could utilize my gifts and talents to assist other organizations in achieving their mission and vision to serve others. Additionally, I gaineErica Wyatt; public administration graduate programsd the knowledge and understanding needed to launch my own non-profit organization serving underprivileged and underserved youth in my community.”

 -Dr. Erica Wyatt, Life Coach | Author | Educator

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What program formats may be available?

Have you decided whether to pursue an MPP, MPA, public administration certificate, or doctorate degree? Next, you may need to choose your program format. Keep in mind that not all public policy graduate programs may be available in every format. However, you may be able to find a program that offers what you’re looking for! Here are three formats you could encounter:

Campus – Learning on campus may be what most students envision when they think of graduate school. Pursuing a master of public policy degree or another graduate program on campus could potentially be a way to pursue personal and professional connections, while getting involved in student activities and the local community. You may even be able to pursue courses on evenings and weekends.

Online – These days, it may be possible to earn your degree entirely from home. Online learning harnesses the power of technology to bring the classroom to you. You could potentially earn an online masters in public administration while continuing to juggle your busy schedule, or pursue a doctorate in public administration online from a faraway university without relocating.

Hybrid – Can’t decide between campus-based and online learning? Pursuing hybrid public administration and public policy graduate programs may be a possibility worth considering. By combining the potential benefits of online learning with those of campus-based learning, hybrid programs may help you strike a perfect balance.          

What are great public policy graduate programs, and public administration graduate programs?

That may depend on many factors, and a school that’s perfect for one student may not be the best fit for another candidate. It’s natural to wonder about the top public policy graduate schools in the country…but perhaps a better question to ask is what program could potentially be the perfect fit for you. Here are just a few of the criteria you may want to keep in mind during your search:

Curriculum and concentration – Does your prospective school offer the program you are looking for (such as an MPA or MPP) and/or the potential concentration you’re interested in? Does the curriculum interest you and make you excited to start learning?

Reputation – Pay attention to word of mouth about prospective public policy graduate programs, as well as hard data like graduation rates. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau, your state’s higher education agency, or even prospective employers in your field.[ii]

Resources and amenities – Does your prospective graduate program offer the potential resources, support, and opportunities you are looking for? Possible examples may range from a student organization for candidates of public policy doctoral programs, to an on-campus coffee shop that makes a great cappuccino. 

Accreditation – Accreditation by an independent agency that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education may be an indicator of quality of education a school offers; check the U.S. Department of Education’s website for a list of recognized accrediting agencies.[iii]

Public Administration Graduate Programs: Your next step

Ready to begin exploring public administration and public policy graduate programs that may be a good fit? Below, check out some program listings that might interest you. On the left sidebar of this site, you can filter the program listings by degree type (master’s, doctorate, certificate) or format (campus, online, hybrid) to help narrow down your results. Good luck on your grad school search!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#complaints-reputation | [iii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#accreditation

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