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Master of Public Administration and Policy

American University's Master of Public Administration and Policy program is designed to expose students to practices and processes for analyzing and managing public policies. Continue reading to get more information about this online graduate degree program.

Official Program Name:

Master of Public Administration and Policy

School Offering Program:

American University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

While it is not necessary to hold an undergraduate degree in public administration to enroll in this program, prospective students must have earned a bachelor's degree in any area from an accredited institution. Strong analytical and leadership skills are important, as students will focus on evaluating public policies and programs and managerial practices in areas of finance, human resources, and project development. All applicants to American University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

What techniques are used in public policy analysis? Which methodological tools are employed to assess the need for a public policy or program? What concepts are addressed in microeconomics-based policy analysis? These are the kinds of topics addressed in the online Master of Public Administration and Policy program at American University. Students could also expect to study legal processes in public administration, contemporary issues faced by public administrators, budgetary processes in the public sector, and management concepts and responsibilities in areas of staffing, labor relations, team building, conflict resolution, employee development, and project planning, development, and implementation. In the program's practicum, students will be required to complete a policy analysis project in an organizational setting.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

36 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact American University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Master of Public Administration and Policy:

Students of this master's program must complete a total of 12 3-credit courses to earn the Master of Public Administration and Policy degree. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact American University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

Required Courses (36 credits)

  • Introduction to Public Administration & the Policy Process
  • Legal Issues in Public Administration
  • Foundations of Policy Analysis
  • Public Managerial Economics
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Foundations of Program Evaluation
  • Organizational Analysis
  • Managing Human Capital Assets
  • Leadership in a Changing Workplace
  • Project Management
  • Policy Practicum

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Furthering Your Education:

Graduates of the Master of Public Administration and Policy program at American University might consider enrolling in a doctoral degree program rather than entering the workforce. A doctorate could be vital to those who intend to pursue teaching or administrative positions in public or private colleges or universities, or for those who wish to explore a career in research.

Doctoral degrees graduates might be prepared to pursue include, but are not limited to:

  • PhD in Public Policy
  • PhD in Public Administration
  • Doctor of Public Administration

Career Paths:

Once they have completed American University's Master of Public Administration and Policy program, graduates could possess the assessment and management skills needed for leadership positions in the public or nonprofit sector. They could be prepared to oversee program or policy development and implementation, evaluate existing policy effectiveness, identify policy issues, and provide solutions to handle policy problems. They might also manage areas of budgeting, project scheduling, project implementation, or staffing.

Jobs that graduates might consider include:

  • City manager
  • Public finance manager
  • Public policy consultant
  • Public policy administrator