Academics

Executive MPA

A flexible format for working professionals

The Fels Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program is designed for busy working professionals looking to advance their skills, accelerate their careers, and drive meaningful change—whether locally, nationally, or globally. Striking an ideal balance between onsite and offsite education, independence and individualized attention, Fels’ unique hybrid program combines classes on campus one weekend a month with online tools used to support lecture, discussion, and group work. This flexible format offers Executive students the opportunity to complete an Ivy League degree and establish a valuable network, while still working full time.

Driven by our three-pronged approach of context, analysis, and practice, the Fels Executive MPA program delivers a versatile and robust skillset, specialized knowledge, and practical experience—which can be applied immediately to achieve your goals. 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. Fels students also enhance their expertise through the University of Pennsylvania’s 12 world-class graduate schools.

From the Executive MPA I have gained new insights, knowledge and tools – whether improving negotiation techniques, identifying types of leadership and how each type is exerted, constructing research models, evaluating project performance, or diagnosing an organizational bottleneck – that have increased my preparation and readiness to face political and technical issues.

– Marian Vidavauri, Executive MPA, Class of 2016

The Experience

The Fels Executive MPA program draws seasoned and fast-rising leaders seeking proven tools as well as innovative techniques. The program’s cohort model is limited to 35 students, who take their core classes together and develop strong connections that will last throughout their careers. 

The Students

Elected officials. Nonprofit leaders. Private sector executives looking to switch fields. These are just a few of the high-level students who benefit from the Fels Executive MPA degree—and bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. Thanks to its convenient hybrid format, the program draws experienced leaders from across the country who can continue to work full time.

Application Deadline

Admission for Fall: June 1st

Program Format and Schedule

For one weekend (Friday and Saturday) each month, Executive MPA students come to campus for an intensive weekend of instruction, class discussions, and group activities. During the weeks in between, students use a cutting-edge online platform to support lecture, discussion, and in-depth interaction among students and faculty.

Executive MPA students take two courses per semester for six consecutive terms, giving our students the ability to finish the degree in two years.

Here's what a weekend at the University of Pennsylvania looks like:

Friday Saturday
  • 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Course 1
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own
  • 2:00-5:30 p.m. Course 2
  • 6:00 p.m. Evening Programming
  • 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Course 2
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own
  • 2:00-5:30 p.m. Course 1
  • 6:00 p.m. Depart
Program Calendar: Spring 2016-Summer 2017 Schedule

Fall 2016 Schedule of On-campus Class Meetings

  • September 9-10
  • October 14-15
  • November 18-19
  • December 2-3

Spring 2017 Schedule of On-campus Class Meetings

  • January 13-14
  • February 17-18
  • March 17-18
  • April 21-22

Summer 2017 Schedule of On-campus Class Meetings

  • May 19-20
  • June 16-17
  • July 21-22

Fall 2017 Schedule of On-campus Class Meetings

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

*Applicants with over 7 years of work experience are not required to submit a standardized test score. All others are required to submit scores from either the GRE or LSAT exam.

Please note that all applicants who wish to be considered for the merit-based scholarships from Fels are required to submit standardized test scores regardless of their work experience. International applicants are also required to submit standardized test scores with no exceptions.

Please see our Executive MPA Application Requirements and Deadlines page for more information.

Tuition and Fees

The university has yet to announce tuition rates for the upcoming academic years. All rates are estimated based on this year's tuition and fees.

  Fall 2016  Spring 2017 Summer 2017
Tuition $11,876 $11,876 $12,340
General Fee $696 $696 $721
Program Fee* $600 $0 $0
Online Course Fee** $300 $300 $300
Total $13,472 $12,872 $13,361***

Tuition per semester covers the required 2 courses Executive MPA students take per term.

* The Program Fee will be charged once per academic year in the fall semester.
** Students will be charged a technology fee of $150 per course.
*** Cost of attendance for Summer 2017 is estimated, as tuition and fees are adjusted during this term for the subsequent academic year.

Scholarships

Executive MPA students are eligible for merit-based scholarships. Students who would like to be considered for merit-based scholarships are required to submit standardized test scores as a part of their application materials. All Executive MPA applicants should indicate if their employer provides tuition assistance. Penn employees and others who receive significant employer assistance are not eligible for scholarships.

Financial Aid

Executive applicants are eligible for federal loans as long as they matriculate in two classes during two academic semesters in a single year. Enrollment in one class during the academic year will result in a withdrawal of federal loans.

Accommodation and Transportation

All Executive MPA students are responsible for their accommodation and transportation needs. Fels will be happy to provide advice and suggestions as needed.

Sample Course Plan

Master of Public Administration Executive Curriculum

FALL 1
GAFL 622 Economic Principles of Public Policy
GAFL 733 Public Management
SPRING 1
GAFL 612 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis
GAFL 652 Financial Management of Public & Nonprofit Institutions
Summer 1
GAFL 641 Program Evaluation & Data Analysis
Elective 1
Fall 2
GAFL 710 Negotiations
Elective 2
Spring 2
GAFL 720 Critical Issues in Public Finance
GAFL 632 Art of Politics
Summer 2
GAFL 799 Capstone
Elective 3

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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