Executive Master of Public Administration

Our EMPA program helps midcareer public service professionals sharpen their leadership skills to advance their careers.

The Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) prepares public service managers to take the next step in leading organizations across the public, nonprofit, NGO, and private sectors. Accomplished midcareer professionals with seven years or more of experience seek our program to fill gaps in their skills or knowledge, prepare for future management and policy challenges, or refocus their career plans.

Flexible and individualized on-campus program

The 30-credit, on-campus EMPA can be completed full-time in one calendar year, or on a part-time basis according to the schedule and career demands of the student. The flexible master’s format, with three core courses and seven electives, allows the midcareer student to tailor the curriculum to their professional and organizational needs. Students can select up to four graduate courses from other departments within Maxwell or even other schools at Syracuse University.

Diverse students and perspectives

The degree attracts midcareer professionals from around the globe. International students make up about half of our students and come from 20 different countries, contributing to an exciting and unique learning environment.

Coursework invites students to examine issues from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Areas of study

Students choose an area of study depending on your career goals.

Data Analytics for Public Policy
Environmental Policy and Administration
International and National Security Policy
International Development
Public and Nonprofit Management
Social Policy
State and Local Government Financial Analysis and Management
Technology and Information Management

Complete degree requirement details are outlined in the Course Catalog.

Specialized focus through certificates of advanced study

Along with the EMPA degree, on-campus students may enhance their learning experience by concurrently earning a 12-credit Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in a specialized field. Certificates include:

Conflict Resolution
E-Government Management and Leadership
Environmental Decision-making*
Health Services Management and Policy
Leadership of International and Non-governmental Organizations
Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Public Administration
Public Infrastructure Management and Leadership*
Security Studies

Learn more about our certificates programs.

“The interaction with students from other cultures is what makes the difference, and the Maxwell School has a spectrum of students from all around the world. I learned to think the way other students thought and to stand in other people’s shoes, and that is the best way to do public policy.”

Sofia Greco

~ Sofia Greco ’13 EMPA

Legal Consultant LEG/SGO, Inter-American Development Bank


Online EMPA option for emerging leaders on the move

A 30-credit Executive MPA degree is also offered online. The program welcomes midcareer professionals with at least five years of supervisory or managerial experience seeking opportunities to hone their leadership skills and advance their careers without having to leave their current situation. Visit the ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse program site for more information.

Executive Master of International Relations

Midcareer professionals interested in international policy challenges are invited to learn more about our Executive Master of International Relations (EMIR) program offered on our Syracuse campus, and our EMIR in DC program offered in Washington, DC.

Dual degree option

Many professionals opt for the EMPA/EMIR dual degree program, earning both degrees concurrently by completing a total of 51 credits.

International students

International students at Syracuse University have an excellent resource in the Lillian and Emanuel Slutzker Center for International Services. Please visit the Slutzker Center website for information about what to expect when living in Syracuse, the mandatory orientation schedule, and other helpful information for international students.

How to apply

Visit our Admissions section for information about application requirements and deadlines, cost to attend, and financial aid.