Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Cornell University

Cornell University
Masters (MPA)

2 years
Full time

Course description:

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Cornell University is 2 years full-time taught graduate program that prepares individuals for management and leadership careers in public service. It offers a solid foundation of core coursework in management, economics and finance, and quantitative analysis. You will receive a rich combination of coursework and practical experience, with hands-on opportunities offered both inside and outside of the classroom. MPA graduates go on to work for a wide range of governmental, nonprofit and private organizations, where they serve as managers, executives, and policy analysts, etc.

The MPA degree program places a strong emphasis on experiential learning. Real-world consulting opportunities, internships, off-campus study, and Capstone experiences help you develop the skill set you need to be successful in your future careers, and provide relevant material for inclusion in résumés and job interviews. Students can choose from 8 broad concentration options to pursue specialized courses in which they develop expertise in their selected area:

• Economic and Financial Policy
• Environmental Policy
• Government, Politics, Policy Studies
• Human Rights and Social Justice
• International Development Studies
• Public and Nonprofit Management
• Science, Technology and Infrastructure Policy
• Social Policy.


Cornell Institute for Public Affairs at Cornell University

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should be exceptional students who have the analytical, leadership and communication skills required to take on some of the most complex policy challenges facing the world today and to succeed in a career serving the public in government, nonprofit or for-profit sectors.

If English is not your native language, you will need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam unless you are an international student who has studied at least 2 years at a college or university in a country where English is the native language and instruction is provided in English. Required minimum scores on the TOEFL exam are: writing 20, listening 15, reading 20, speaking 22, as well as an overall combined score of at least 100. Minimum requirements on the IELTS exam are: 7.0 in each section as well as an overall score of at least 7.5.

You have to furnish a 500-word Statement of Purpose which includes:

• The reason for applying to the program;
• Personal and/or professional experiences that led to the interest in Cornell’s MPA program;
• Future goals and explain how you would put an MPA graduate education to use; and
• Examples of volunteer work, positions of responsibility, and any other life experiences that have contributed to your interest in public affairs.

You also have to include a 1000-word Essay:

• Briefly describing an area of public affairs to which you would like to make a contribution;
• Discussing what you would like to see accomplished in this area; and
• Explaining how you would go about initiating, supporting and sustaining changes in this area so as to enhance public well-being and public services.


Official Programme Website:

Scholarships available:

IMPORTANT NOTE: In some cases, the scholarships may not be applicable to the course or are already expired at the time of viewing. Please double check with the course and scholarship pages.

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