To earn the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Northeastern, you must successfully complete 42 semester hours (typically fourteen courses) of credit in a prescribed curriculum.
More detailed information on requirements and opportunities for MPA students can be found in the Graduate Programs in Political Science Program Guide.
Information accurate as of August 2013. Requirements and policies are subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Louis DaRos or view the official graduate catalogue for a full listing of graduate level courses.
The MPA Core
The following eight core courses are required of all MPA students. These courses serve as a foundation for all MPA students and cover a wide-array of public policy and management areas to prepare students for leadership and management careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. With the exception of POLS 7306 Capstone in Public Policy and Management, which should be taken in the last spring semester of a student’s academic career, there is no required sequence to these courses. Each core course is offered at least once per year both on-campus and online.
- POLS 7202 Quantitative Techniques
- POLS 7203 Techniques of Policy Analysis
- POLS 7301 Public Personnel Administration
- POLS 7302 Organizational Theory and Management
- POLS 7303 Budgeting and Financial Management
- POLS 7304 Economic Analysis and Institutions
- POLS 7305 Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager
- POLS 7306 Capstone in Public Policy and Public Management
Beyond the Core
MPA students are required to complete an internship as part of their degree.* During their studies, students must, with the assistance of the internship faculty advisor or their academic advisor, find an internship of 300 hours and request MPA program approval of that internship. Once the student is placed in an internship, students will be registered for:
POLS 7407 Internship: Offers work experience (at least fifteen hours per week) that includes planning, research, policy development, and other administrative aspects in a public or nonprofit organization.
For more information on the internship requirement and assistance in finding an internship, please consult with Prof. Dan Ahern our faculty internship advisor. Students who are interested in an internship should consult with the internship advisor at least six weeks prior to the semester in which the internship is to be undertaken.
*Students who are currently employed in the area of public affairs can petition to have this requirement waived and instead take another elective.
Certificates and Concentrations
The MPA Program at Northeastern does not formally offer concentrations. However, students with an interest in a specific area may work with their academic advisor to find elective courses relevant to their area(s) of interest. These elective options can be done in a way for students to pursue an individualized specialization and opportunities exist for students to pursue relevant interests in courses housed in other departments at Northeastern University.
There are also Certificate Programs in Urban Studies as well as Non-profits that might be of interest to MPA students with specialized interests. Courses in some of these options may also count toward the MPA degree as elective credits.