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American University Master of Public Administration
American University

Master of Public Administration

Washington, USA

2 Years


Full time

Request application deadline *

Request earliest startdate

USD 1,922 / per credit


* for international master's applicants; February 15 - Priority deadline for first-round consideration for Fall merit awards.


Leading with Integrity and Distinction

The mission of the nationally-ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the AU School of Public Affairs is to prepare students to lead with distinction in programs that serve the public good, both in the U.S. and abroad. Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), our program delves into the prime components of leadership in public and nonprofit organizations, the realm of public policy, and the analysis of issues critical to public administration today.

Tailored to Your Goals

AU’s MPA program offers a flexible learning environment that allows you to align your degree with your interests. Some of our eight concentrations offer optional focus fields that allow for even further specialization. These personalized toolkits build upon and showcase areas of expertise on your resume, online portfolios, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles.

Access Powerful Networks

You’ll learn from world-renowned scholars whose expertise spans public administration, management, and policy. Our students master contemporary administrative, management, and leadership best. They hone their analytical, decision-making, and communication skills, and learn to navigate organizational, human resource, and budgetary challenges while managing complex programs. What’s more, AU’s prime location in the nation’s capital offers students singular access to internship opportunities and policymakers. These direct connections to the nation’s change-makers, along with our extensive alumni network, will quickly open doors.

Get Ready to Lead

Ranked 4th in Public Management and Leadership by U.S. News and World Report, the MPA program positions you for leadership and executive roles in public agencies, national and international nonprofit organizations, and private firms. If you want a degree that will equip you to drive change and craft solutions to today’s most pressing challenges in public administration, AU’s MPA is the one for you.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) requires 39 credit hours of approved graduate work for students entering the program with a bachelor's degree. 12 credit hours are electives that can comprise an area of concentration. Required core courses comprise 27 credit hours, including a Public Administration Capstone class. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all coursework is required to remain in good standing and to earn the degree. Full-time status is considered to be 9 credit hours per semester. Students are expected to complete the degree within two years, including one summer.

The Public Administration Capstone tests students' abilities to integrate and synthesize MPA coursework and apply it to significant public management challenges. The course requires students to apply curriculum content, critical thinking, research, and writing skills through a substantial management analysis project. The Capstone is taken in the final semester of study and is offered in the fall and spring semesters only.


Students without significant professional work backgrounds participate in either a for-credit or non-credit internship. Students electing the internship for credit register for the course as part of a concentration. Students electing for the non-credit internship are required to complete a survey about their experience.


Career Opportunities


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About the School