Master’s programs in Public Administration/Public Policy (MPA/MPP) are translated in different ways – public administration, public administration, public policy and many other options. Even in the US, there is a debate about what exactly distinguishes between Public Administration and Public Policy programs. In different universities – even among those that are members of the Ivy League – these programs are called differently.
In general, master’s programs in this area last from one to two years. One-year programs are usually more intense and often aimed at those who can not break away from work for two whole years, but want to get skills in this area. In most universities, such a program still lasts two years. Among your classmates can be both having up to 2-3 years of work experience, and experienced professionals with experience of 5, or even 10 years.
Graduates of MPA/MPP programs can work in almost all areas – public policy, non-governmental organizations and foundations, think tanks, or in various areas of business – banking, investment, consulting and many others – that is, everything that is usually associated with work MBA (Master of Business Administration) graduate. The reason for this is the wide range of skills that graduates of MPA / MPP programs get. And although the fullness of the program differs in each university, it usually involves obtaining knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- Data Analysis and Econometrics
- Micro and macroeconomics
- Financial management (budgeting, accounting)
- Management management
- Public Sector Policy and Management
Unlike master’s programs in Ukraine, which usually involve writing a master’s thesis, such a program in the United States will most likely include a practical aspect – a consulting project with a real client and/or compulsory internship in the specialty. Depending on the university, the program will also include specialization in a certain direction, for example, local government, international security, gender policy, financial management – the list is endless. The goal of the MPA/MPP programs is not only to give the student a chance to gain knowledge in a particular specialization, but also to master the universal skills that are necessary independently of her.
Admission to such programs in the USA usually includes a fairly common package of documents:
- Essays (there are likely to be several)
- Tests TOEFL/IELTS (for knowledge of English) and GRE (in some cases also take GMAT)
- Resume/CV, and sometimes the so-called Quantitative resume, which describes your previous experience and skills in data analysis, or taking courses in economics and other related disciplines
- Letters of recommendation (usually up to three of these letters with mandatory recommendations about your academic skills)
- The previous academic performance is also important – all in order to make sure that the student “pulls” the intensive training.
The success of entering the MPA/MPP program is a clear understanding of why you need this program and how you plan to use the knowledge you have in your future career. Universities want to see among their students those who are ready to change the world and their countries for the better, regardless of the area in which they work.