Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Nicole Young Collier

    '00 MPA


    Collier is director of government relations at Nestlé, the world's largest food company. She works on policy issues related to child nutrition, climate change, and sustainability, among others, while building relationships with the federal government and NGOs, thus helping to maintain Nestlé's leadership role in policy development.

A strong legacy serving bright futures 

The Maxwell School's MPA is a 40-credit professional graduate degree designed to prepare students to lead and manage in the public sector.

Created nearly 90 years ago, it is one of the nation's first professional programs in public management and policy, and it is consistently ranked as the best public administration program in the United States.

Maxwell houses the MPA within a school of social sciences. This creates a unique legacy of interdisciplinary research and an unusually broad context for the study of public policy analysis and management. As a result, the skills gained from a Maxwell MPA prove highly transferable. They serve a varied career lasting a lifetime.

The MPA program has nine core courses - Public Affairs Colloquium, Public Budgeting, Public Administration and Democracy, Public Organizations and Management, Economics for Public Decisions, Introduction to Statistics, Quantitative Analysis, MPA Workshop,and Executive Leadership and Policy Politics

And it offers seven specialized programs of study, for students seeking in-depth coursework in one of seven areas: International and National Security Policy, Environmental Policy and Administration, International and Development Administration, Public and Nonprofit Management, State and Local Government Financial Analysis and Management, Social Policy, Technology and Information Management.

Maxwell Executive Education offered one of the first mid-career degrees in public administration. A flexible, 30-credit on-campus EMPA option is available for mid-career professionals who have seven or more years of relevant experience.  An Online EMPA option is available for public service professionals working anywhere in the world with five or more years of managerial experience.

Mission Statement 

"The MPA program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs seeks to enhance knowledge and develop skills essential to careers in public service. We believe public service means using one’s abilities and opportunities to contribute to the broad public good across levels of government and with nonprofit and for-profit organizations, nationally and internationally. The MPA program is grounded in a comprehensive view of public service education that appreciates the need for three areas of mastery: formulating, implementing and evaluating policy; leading and managing organizations with diverse stakeholders; and applying rigorous and evidence-based analysis to inform decision making. To accomplish this mission, the Maxwell School MPA’s program is designed with several distinctive features including a twelve-month intensive cohort experience, a broad cross-section of domestic and international students, productive and accessible faculty who are engaged in applied inter-disciplinary research, and a focus on citizenship in teaching, scholarship, and service."

To learn more, follow the links at left under MPA. 

Want even more detail? Download the MPA Handbook being used by current students in the program.