Full-time MPA


The University will not admit a class to the Fels Full-Time MPA for Academic Year 2018-19. The Fels Faculty Committee has recommended significant modifications in the Full-Time MPA program to reflect a changing emphasis in our public policy education.  Admissions to the program are being paused for one year in order to allow faculty and staff time to focus on this important initiative. If you have already applied and submitted an application fee for the Full-Time MPA, we will refund your application fee.
The Fels Executive Master of Public Administration will continue admissions for next year. If your interests and qualifications align with the Executive MPA (see details on the website here), we invite you to consider this program for Fall 2018.  If you have already submitted your application and wish to be considered for the Executive MPA in place of the Full-Time MPA, please send a request to and put “Attention: Fels Admissions” in the subject line.  Our staff will be in touch to confirm your status.

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 skillset, knowledge, experience, and valuable connections needed 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 purposeful leadership in government, nonprofit organizations, and private firms that serve the public interest.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on your passion and fine-tune your skills through elective classes, capstone projects and real-world learning opportunities through fellowships, internships, Re:CAP, and the Fels Lab. Fels students enhance their expertise through coursework at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate and professional schools.

The Experience

At Fels, you’re far from a face in the crowd. 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 woven throughout the coursework 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 Fee: $75
  • Online Application
  • All Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Two 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)*

(All tuition and fee charges are subject to the approval of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.)

  1 c.u.  2 c.u.  3 c.u. 
Tuition $6,380 $12,760 $19,140
General fee $394 $788 $1,182
Total   $6,774 $13,548 $20,322
 * 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
Spring 2
GAFL 799 Capstone

Social Media


Contact Information

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

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