MPA: Full-Time Format

Immerse yourself in learning with our full-time format.

Full-time students are admitted into a cohort of 30-35 individuals with diverse interests and experiences. The intimate size of the cohort quickly fosters a sense of community between classmates and allows students maximum access to Fels staff and faculty members. 

The Experience

The full-time track can be completed in three or four semesters. Students focus on completing the core requirements in year 1 in preparation for electives in year 2, with the summer free to pursue full-time internships, travel, or other opportunities. Many complete internships during the academic year and get involved with civic, social, or service projects at Penn or in the Philadelphia community.

Many Fels classes bring well-established public leaders into the Fels community, which gives students up close and personal experience with established public leaders and hear diverse perspectives on current issues and trends. Recent speakers have included: Camille Cates Barnett, former Managing Director, City of Philadelphia; Scott Pattison, Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Budget Officers; Kathleen McGinty, former Secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental ProtectionGina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Counselor, Senior Foreign Service;  Farah Jimenez, former Executive Director, Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation, and many others who have made significant contributions to public life.

The Students

Most students bring at least 2 years of full-time work experience prior to coming to Fels working on campaigns, in government, and for nonprofits. They have served in national service programs such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps or have spent time in the private sector. Our international students comprise approximately 20 percent of the class and include Fulbright Fellows, Thouron Fellows, and seasoned government employees.