Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Gain key professional skills for an impactful career in public affairs – in just one year.

The Ivy League’s only one-year master’s program in public affairs, the MPA prepares students to be public policy leaders, analysts and advocates in government, politics, and the nonprofit, and private sectors, both in the U.S. and abroad. In just one summer and two semesters, students gain problem-solving, quantitative, communication, and managerial skills. At a time of heightened concern about economic development, poverty, social equity, education, security, and the environment, the MPA program equips students with the tools to develop effective, evidence-based solutions.

An emphasis on experiential learning

In addition to a rigorous, multidisciplinary core curriculum and individualized career coaching, the Watson's MPA program has many distinctive features. All MPA students also participate in the Policy-In-Action Project, a consulting-type project conducted with a partner organization in which student teams apply their skills to address policy-related challenges in a professional setting.

Innovative courses on management and implementation, program evaluation, and advocacy equip students to diagnose political and organizational obstacles to social change and to identify effective leverage points. Students can also choose to focus on data-driven policy, which allows students to gain coding skills and collaborate with leading data scientists.

Join a diverse, vibrant community

Enriched by the many special events and programs offered at the Watson Institute, the MPA program is a tight-knit community. Our students come to the program from diverse backgrounds, but all share a desire to use knowledge to promote the common good. The teaching faculty includes leading researchers who are producing cutting-edge studies of topics such as economic mobility and education reform, as well as distinguished policy practitioners.