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 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 Protection; Gina 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.
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.
This course will build on the fundamentals taught in the introductory budgeting unit to help build students’ competence in budgetary analysis. Using detailed data from a major city as a course-long case study, and incorporating Excel skill-building exercises, students will develop a hands-on understanding of budgets by working through such factors as: economic drivers of fiscal performance, revenue analysis and forecasting, including tax policy considerations; expenditure analysis and projection, with an emphasis on workforce costs; and capital budgeting and financing. Students will also be introduced to key fiscal policies, budget monitoring and performance measurement, and the development of effective budget communications for various audiences.
This is a hybrid course.
Fundraising and marketing are complementary tools for building revenue streams and fulfilling the program objectives of nearly every nonprofit organization. GAFL520, Fundraising and Marketing for Nonprofits, develops the student’s ability to market a nonprofit to mission recipients and prospective donors, and solicit funds from individuals and organizations.
Through lectures, readings, discussions and assignments, students are actively engaged in learning how to help an organization achieve its mission and objectives. This includes, but is not limited to the assessment of an organization’s marketing and fundraising capabilities, identifying, segmenting and creating relationships with target markets and donors, building infrastructure to properly seek and steward gifts, using technologies to fulfill marketing and fundraising objectives, focusing on fundraising and marketing methods such as social media, direct response, events, major gifts, planned giving and others.
The course emphasizes applications. Each student will complete a fundraising and/or marketing for a specific organization of their choosing plan, derived from the term’s assignments.
In a system of representative government, organizations and individuals with interests at stake often seek the support of a government relations professional. This course addresses government relations from the varying perspectives of the current or aspiring professional, the client, and the government official.
This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.
Infrastructure is widely acknowledged to be critical for economic success, and infrastructure investments are promoted as leading to economic growth, either at the local or national level. Yet, investments in telecommunications, transportation, energy, or other infrastructure do not always yield the hoped for public benefit. This course will help answer the question: Under what circumstances does infrastructure investment contribute to economic growth, and how do we know? Because government resources are limited, advocates often must be creative to find sufficient funding to get desirable projects completed. This course will also help answer the question: How do we pay for the infrastructure projects we want to build? The course will illustrate approaches to answering these questions using case studies of past and proposed investments.
This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration, Certificate in Economic Development and Growth and Certificate in Finance programs. It is also an approved elective in PennDesign’s Certificate in Urban Development.
Leading Nonprofits is designed for those who have a practitioner’s interest in the development, leadership, and management of nonprofit organizations and their intersection with the private sector and government to create social change. The course brings the student through the process of starting a nonprofit and then leading an organization through key decisions and stages of development. Leading Nonprofits provides students with essential strategies and tools to conduct in-depth analysis of a non-profit’s effectiveness, financial sustainability, and policy change. The class will also address contemporary challenges related to organizational ethics, accountability, emerging legal frameworks, public policy, and politics.
This course satisfies a core requirement in the Certificate in Nonprofit Administration. It is also an approved elective in PennDesign’s Certificate in Urban Development.
This course examines the policy development process including: the interaction of branches of government; policy analysis; information; constituencies; and management of a policy development office. The objective of this course is to provide an understanding of the development of governmental policy, both at the macro level and from the viewpoint of persons who are in supporting roles to the major actors in the process. The formula employed to achieve this objective consists of a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, and activities that are designed to blend conceptual and practical skills.
This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration program.
This course introduces students to the theories and practice of the policy-making process. There are four primary learning objectives. First, understanding how the structure of political institutions matter for the policies that they produce. Second, recognizing the constraints that policy makers face when making decisions on behalf of the public. Third, identifying the strategies that can be used to overcome these constraints. Fourth, knowing the toolbox that is available to participants in the policy-making process to help get their preferred strategies implemented. While our focus will primarily be on American political institutions, many of the ideas and topics discussed in the class apply broadly to other democratic systems of government. The class will be a mix of lecture and cases. Cases are on a diverse set of policy topics, with a goal of illustrating broad themes about the policy-making process rather than the specifics of certain policy areas.
This course provides students with the knowledge required to understand government operations in relation to the market economy. In theory of supply and demand, students explore the pricing mechanism, price elasticity, and the effects of price controls on markets. Efficiency is examined in connection with competition and again in connection with equity, and market failure is considered as a reason for government intervention. Cost-benefit analysis is examined in the context of selecting among public investment alternatives. The course also assists students in addressing issues connected with local public goods and economic development.
This course is a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a pre-requisite requirement for the Certificate in Public Finance and the Certificate in Economic Development and Growth.
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of budgeting and accounting for government and nonprofit managers. The course is divided into two units. The first unit covers budgeting concepts and skills, culminating in a real-world budget simulation. The second unit will cover basic accounting principles and financial statement literacy, so that students are able to evaluate the fiscal health of public sector organizations. The unit culminates with a final project requiring students to analyze the City of Philadelphia's CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report). This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration, Certificate in Public Finance, and Certificate in Economic Development and Growth programs.
This core MPA course is intended to help each student to learn more than he or she already knows about public management both as a profession and as a field of academic study, and to enjoy the company of supportive peers, instructors, and special guests as he or she contemplates a post-MPA career in governance.
This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.
Successful leaders must be able to convey their integrity and their ideas, their vision and their values clearly and convincingly in public settings. By analyzing great political speeches and affording students the opportunity to prepare and deliver different types of speeches, this course teaches the fundamentals of persuasive public speaking while encouraging students to develop their own voice. This is a performance course. Students will gain skill and confidence in their speech writing and public speaking skills through practice, peer feedback, and extensive professional coaching. Class lectures and discussions will focus on persuasive strategies and techniques for handling community meetings, Q and A sessions, and interactions with the media.
This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.
The purpose of the course is to study the theory and application of certain key quantitative methods utilized in financial and fiscal decision-making in state and local governments: defining and measuring efficiency and equity; statistical analysis, multivariate analysis, linear and multiple regression; inter-temporal decision-making; and cost-benefit analysis. Primary emphasis will be on understanding the context and quantitative basics of these methods to prepare students for effective careers in state and local governments. Each student should have a basic understanding of market economics, the roles of government in our market economy, accounting/budgeting basics, and the Philadelphia metro area economy and government.
“In the past three decades, the global citizen sector, led by social entrepreneurs, has grown exponentially. Just as the business sector experienced a tremendous spurt in productivity over the last century, the citizen sector is experiencing a similar revolution, with the number and sophistication of citizen organizations increasing dramatically. Rather than leaving societal needs for the government or business sectors to address, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions, delivering extraordinary results, and improving the lives of millions of people.” Ashoka
This course provides students with concepts and tools that can help them both build a sustainable and profitable business and create social impact. Students will learn how to assess the feasibility of a social enterprise through the application of impact, blending mission with profits, potential for large scale impact, and organizational strength and capacity criteria. Students will learn how to identify and measure social impact, design and create social sector business plans, calculate social return on investments (SROI) and unit costs, identify and development markets (includes social media and networks), assess risks, leverage start-up capital and influence policy toward leveraging public resources.
Students will use these applications in business engagements, networking in the social sector, and field assignments during the semester. Students will be paired with a social sector organization and leader in the Philadelphia region to apply concepts and tools learned in the course to the organization. Students will present the organization with a social enterprise analysis and article that presents an opportunity to be published in the nationally recognized and respected Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal.
This course fulfills an elective requirement for the Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Certificate programs.
In the real world, development and finance are intimately linked in a complex, mutually supportive and antagonistic relationship. At every turn, this contradiction is present though it is often overlooked, misunderstood, and undertheorized—with sometimes disastrous consequences on the ground for people, their communities, and the ecological systems that support life as we know it.
Typically, many students interested in business and finance learn a broad set of applied skills that are essential for economic development, but these students are often socialized to identify with the interests of capital and thereby develop narrow conceptions of development. On the other side of the street, many students interested in community development are socialized into broader conceptions of the public good but do not learn the applied knowledge available in the disciplines of business, law, economics, and finance. As a consequence, we have a situation in which both sides of the street—cut off from each other by a tall, sturdy wall—are in the ironic situation of being simultaneously (but in very different ways) impoverished and abundantly endowed.
This course is actually two courses rolled into one. The first class is PSCI 692, which is the required course in statistical analysis for Political Science Ph.D. students. The second one is GAFL 611, the required course in statistical analysis for students in the Fels school. The two classes will meet together on Mondays and Wednesdays for lectures, and on Fridays for the Stata labs. The PSCI 692 students will also meet several times separately with Professor Levendusky to discuss various applications of regression and quantitative methods separately.
This is the required course in statistical analysis for graduate students in political science and public policy/public administration. Increasingly, ours is a quantitative field. These days, even qualitative researchers need to be skilled consumers (if not outright producers!) of at least some quantitative scholarship. For example, consider any of the following key questions in political science: what is the probability that two states will go to war in a given year? How does their level of trade and democratization affect this probability? Do left-wing governments help or hinder economic growth? How likely is it that a Democrat will vote for a Republican Presidential candidate? Likewise, those interested in public policy and public management are often concerned with various types of program evaluation: did giving low-income children after-school tutoring improve their academic performance? Did Philadelphia’s “big belly” trash cans actually reduce the amount of litter on our streets? Answering any of these questions requires statistical analysis.
This course aims to lay the groundwork for you to answer these (and many more!) questions. The point here is not to convince you to adopt a quantitative design for your own work, or that quantitative designs are the “best” designs for answering all questions. Rather, the goal is to give you a set of tools that will enable you to read, critique and eventually produce your own quantitative research. The course will introduce you to the logic of social scientific inquiry, and the basic statistical tools used to analyze politics and public policy.
The purpose of the course is to provide a detailed understanding of finance in the public sector with a focus on investment banking. The course provides students with a broad-based and technical overview of public finance and municipal bonds as well as a thorough understanding of the business aspects of public finance. This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a core requirement in the Certificate in Public Finance program.