Program Overview:

Public Policy & Administration Online

Most graduate programs in public policy require students to choose between the analytical and the administrative sides of the discipline. Northwestern’s part-time MPPA degree program encompasses both. While instilling leadership skills, the program develops students’ administrative as well as analytical competence to enable them to rise in the field and drive change at the local, national and international levels. The program encompasses a range of specialized areas — public administration, public policy, global policy — all grounded in the perspective that policy challenges are fluid, interconnected and global. Students learn to think across diverse groups and boundaries. MPPA graduates set their sights on leadership roles in government at the local, regional and federal levels, in nonprofit organizations or in private enterprise. MPPA graduates pursue rewarding management careers in health service, community service, government IT and emergency management, as well as urban and regional planning, political science research and foreign affairs. Fully accredited, SCS online courses marry the best aspects of online technology with the interactivity of the classroom in a format designed to work with students' busy schedules.
Find out more about online learning at SCS.

Public Policy & Administration Faculty Perspective

Greg Wass
Instructor in the MA in Public Policy and Administration program and senior advisor in the Illinois Governor’s Office. Wass facilitates public and private sector collaboration and innovation for better health care and social services for Illinois residents, led the launch of the largest regional multi-government open data site in the U.S. and led the development of the Illinois Health and Human Services Framework project. Wass was recently named in Government Technology's list of the top 25 doers, dreamers and drivers in public sector innovation.

Program Goals

  • Evaluate the collaborative inter-organizational, inter-governmental, and international public policy and administrative environment
  • Apply a standard of ethics to policy and administrative context
  • Design public policies and programs
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies and programs
  • Communicate relevant policy or program information to diverse stakeholders
  • Lead public organizations to implement policy decisions with respect and understanding for the broader institutional, societal, economic and political environment
  • Manage public resources to achieve organizational goals

Areas of Specialization

Choose from the following specializations:

Curriculum Requirements

The MPPA online curriculum requires the completion of nine core courses, two elective courses corresponding to a declared specialization, a leadership course and a capstone (498) or thesis (590) project. Review details on the MPPA curriculum and specialization options. Current students should refer to curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program.

Core Courses:

  • LEADERS 481-0 Leadership
  • LEADERS 481-DL Leadership
  • MPPA 401-0 OR 401-DL Research Methods
  • MPPA 402-0 OR 402-DL Public Finance and Budgeting
  • MPPA 403-0 OR 403-DL Fundamentals of Public Admin
  • MPPA 404-0 OR 404-DL Microeconomics
  • MPPA 405-0 OR 405-DL Statistics for Research
  • MPPA 406-0 OR 406-DL Analytic Methods
  • MPPA 407-0 OR 407-DL Public Policy
  • MPPA 408-0 OR 408-DL Organization Theory Analysis
  • MPPA 409-0 OR 409-DL Writing and Communication
  • MPPA 498-0 OR 498-DL Capstone Project
  • MPPA 590-0 Thesis Research

Elective Courses:

  • MPPA 411-0 OR 411-DL The Legislative Process
  • MPPA 413-0 OR 413-DL The Nonprofit/NGO Sector
  • MPPA 417-0 OR 417-DL Public Human Resources
  • MPPA 419-0 OR 419-DL Strategic Policy Environment
  • MPPA 432-0 OR 432-DL Intergovernmental Relations
  • MPPA 435-0 OR 435-DL Regulatory Policy
  • MPPA 440-0 OR 440-DL International Institutions
  • MPPA 445-0 National Security
  • MPPA 450-0 OR 450-DL International Macroeconomics
  • MPPA 452-0 OR 452-DL The Global City
  • MPPA 490-0 Topics: GIS for Public Policy
  • MPPA 490-0 Urban Issues Seminar
  • MPPA 490-0 Lobbying and Public Policy