Academics

Full-time MPA

Versatile skills and practical experience for success in public management 

Driven by our three-pronged approach of context, analysis, and practice, the Fels Full-time Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program delivers the versatile and robust skillset, specialized knowledge, practical experience, and valuable connections you need to achieve your goals and ignite meaningful change.

Our curriculum in management, finance, data analysis, and politics provides the framework for tackling today’s challenges and the flexibility to move between sectors. Seven core classes cover the fundamental competencies needed for effective public management, preparing you for impactful leadership in government, nonprofit organizations, and private firms that serve the public interest.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on your passion and fine-tune your skills through four elective classes, as well as capstone projects and other real-world learning opportunities including fellowships, internships, the Public Policy Challenge, and the Fels Lab. Fels students also enhance their expertise through coursework at the University of Pennsylvania’s 12 world-class graduate schools.

“My Fels degree offers the very hard, practical skills that I’m going to need in running organizations or initiatives … The opportunities that have been afforded to me because of these action-oriented experiences have been unbelievable.”

 – Nate Bronstein, MPA, Class of 2016 

The Experience

At Fels, you’re far from a face in the crowd. Full-time Fels students are admitted into a small cohort of approximately 30 civic-minded individuals. This uniquely personal program fosters a strong sense of community and camaraderie, and allows students maximum access to Fels’ distinguished faculty, instructors, and staff.

The full-time track can be completed in four semesters. In year one, students focus on completing the core requirements in preparation for electives in year two. Practical, real-world experiences are woven throughout core and elective coursework and positively impact the community at large. The summer is open for students to pursue paid fellowships, internships, or other career advancement opportunities. Many students also complete internships during the academic year and get involved with civic, social, or service projects at Penn or in the Philadelphia community.

The Students

Fels educates tomorrow’s most ambitious, innovative, and effective public sector leaders, who are seeking the advanced skills and expertise to drive meaningful change. Most students bring at least two years of full-time work experience prior to coming to Fels. Some students have worked on campaigns, in government, and for nonprofits, while others have spent time in the private sector. Many have participated in national service programs such as Teach For America, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps. 

Fels students bring a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. International students comprise approximately 30 percent of the class and include Fulbright and Thouron fellows, as well as seasoned government employees.

Application Deadline

Admission for Fall 2018: January 5th

  • Application Fee: $75
  • Online Application
  • All Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview
  • Standardized Test Scores*

* International applicants whose first language is not English must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency

Please see our Full-Time MPA Application Requirements and Deadlines page for more information.

2017-2018 Academic year costs per semester, measured by c.u. (credit units)*

  1 c.u.  2 c.u.  3 c.u. 
Tuition $6,146 $12,292 $18,438
General fee $372 $744 $1,116
Total   $6,518 $13,036 $19,554
 * Full-Time MPA students typically take three CUs per semester
Est. Health insurance   n/a n/a $1,674
Est. Clinical fee   n/a n/a $265
Est. Living expenses n/a n/a $12,205

A majority of our full-time students receive departmental scholarships. Aside from public service program partnership agreements, all full-time scholarship awards are merit-based and depend on the strength of an application.

Master of Public Administration Full-Time Curriculum

Fall 1
GAFL 611 Statistics for Public Policy
GAFL 621 Public Economics
GAFL 732 Public Management
GAFL 600 Quantitative Recitation (Non-Credit)
Spring 1
GAFL 651 Financial Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations
GAFL 631 Policy Making and Public Institutions
GAFL 735 Program Evaluation and Data Analysis
Fall 2
GAFL 502 Public Communications
Elective
Elective
Spring 2
GAFL 799 Capstone
Elective
Elective

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu