Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Fels Institute of Government aims to train the next generation of public service leaders who work to create a more equitable and inclusive public life. The University of Pennsylvania offers financial services to help you navigate billing and financial aid, and Fels offers a range of scholarship and fellowship opportunities to support you as you gain valuable experience. See below for a breakdown of expected tuition and fees below and see whether you are eligible for financial aid.

Tuition

Your tuition at the University of Pennsylvania is calculated at a per course unit (c.u.)* rate based on the program you choose and the number of course units for which you register unless otherwise indicated. All tuition and fee charges are subject to the approval of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

Choose your program of interest to learn about the relevant tuition and fees.

Fall 2024 – summer 2025 tuition and fee rates for Master of Public Administration students

Tuition per semester is calculated based on student enrollment in four courses in the fall, four courses in the spring, and one course in the summer. Any additional courses have a $6,976 per c.u. tuition rate.

  Fall Spring *Summer
Tuition $27,904 $27,904 $6,976
General Fee $1,977 $1,977 $490
Clinical Fee $358 $358 N/A
Total $30,239 $30,239 $7,466

*Cost of attendance for summer terms is estimated, as tuition and fees are adjusted during this term for the subsequent academic year.

The Master of Public Administration requires 9 c.u. to complete: tuition per term is calculated based on student enrollment in four courses (4 c.u.) in the fall, four courses (4 c.u.) in the spring, and one course (1 c.u.) in the summer. Cost of attendance for summer terms is estimated, as tuition and fees are adjusted during this term for the subsequent academic year.

Fee definitions

  • General fee: A general fee is assessed to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and directly funds Penn's non-instructional student support services. The general fee for full-time students provides them with full access to a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling and wellness, multicultural resource centers, student activities, recreation and fitness, career services, learning support, and much more.

  • Clinical fee: This mandatory fee is assessed to all students and supports Penn Wellness services, including Campus Health, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Student Health Service, and the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Programs.

Fall 2024 – summer 2025 tuition and fee rates for Executive Master of Public Administration students

Tuition per semester covers the required two courses Executive MPA students take per term. Individual courses have a $6,976 per c.u. tuition rate.

  Fall Spring *Summer
Tuition $13,952 $13,952 $13,952
General fee $984 $984 $980
Program fee $600 N/A N/A
Total $15,536 $14,936 $14,932

*Cost of attendance for summer terms is estimated, as tuition and fees are adjusted during this term for the subsequent academic year.

The Executive Master of Public Education requires 10 c.u. to complete: 2 c.u. per term for five terms. The chart above shows tuition and fees for three terms in the current academic year; tuition and fees for terms in the upcoming academic year may change. Cost of attendance for summer terms is estimated, as tuition and fees are adjusted during this term for the subsequent academic year.

Fee definitions

  • General fee: A general fee is assessed to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and directly funds Penn's non-instructional student support services. The general fee for full-time students provides them with full access to a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling and wellness, multicultural resource centers, student activities, recreation and fitness, career services, learning support, and much more.
  • Program fee: The program fee is a one-time charge in the fall term and covers program activities specific to Executive MPA students.

Fall 2024 – summer 2025 tuition and fee rates for Non-Degree Program students

  1 c.u.

2 c.u.

Tuition $6,976 $13,952
General fee $492 $984
Total $7,468 $14,936

Tuition is based on the number of courses taken per term.

Fee definitions

  • General fee: A general fee is assessed to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and directly funds Penn's non-instructional student support services. The general fee for full-time students provides them with full access to a wide variety of services and resources, including counseling and wellness, multicultural resource centers, student activities, recreation and fitness, career services, learning support, and much more.
  • Please note: Students enrolled in three or more c.u. are considered full-time students and are required to pay a clinical fee each term which allows unlimited access to the Penn Wellness services.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Financial aid

Fels offers a variety of scholarship opportunities to support students who have demonstrated a commitment to public service, who bring perspectives and diversity to public sector leadership, and who show exceptional potential as future leaders.

Eligibility

Students in the MPA and Executive MPA degree programs are eligible for scholarship funds from the Fels Institute of Government. Scholarship amounts depend on the admission committee’s assessment of the applicant, the individual’s fit with Fels, and the amount of funding available. Students are eligible for one Fels scholarship; if a student meets the eligibility criteria for multiple types of Fels scholarship types, the higher award will be applied. Penn employees who receive a tuition benefit are not eligible for scholarships. Applicants are considered for Fels scholarships through their admission application materials. Separate scholarship applications are not required.

We also encourage you to research your eligibility for federal financial aid opportunities listed below.

The 15 for 5 Scholarship is available to applicants who have at least five years of full-time government and/or military work experience, including all levels of US government (federal, state, local). Pending a resume review and fund availability, the scholarship awards qualified students $15,000 in financial aid disbursed throughout the program.

Students admitted to the Fels Institute of Government MPA or Executive MPA programs who are current members or alumni of a Fels admissions partner organization are eligible for an Admission Partner Scholarship of $15,000. Applicants who are awarded the 15 for 5 Scholarship are not eligible for the partner scholarship.

Current admission partners include:

  • AmeriCorps
  • Bonner Foundation
  • City Year
  • Eastern Leadership Academy
  • Govern for America
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • Lead For America
  • Peace Corps
  • Public Policy and International Affairs Program
  • Teach For All
  • Teach For America

To further strengthen Penn’s commitment to the local Philadelphia community, Fels has developed partnerships with two organizations to offer a 25% tuition discount for students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration or the Executive Master of Public Administration.

Get more details about our partnerships with:

Students with exceptional potential, academic ability, and/or track records of public service who are not eligible for an Admissions Partner Scholarship or the 15 for 5 Scholarship may be considered for merit-based scholarships based on their application materials. Students will be contacted if additional information is needed. Fels Public Service Scholarships are typically between $1,000 and $15,000.

Open to students in the MPA program, which includes a required internship, the Fels Public Leadership and Service (PLAS) Fellowship Program provides students with financial support to pursue meaningful internships with government agencies and nonprofit organizations around the world that would otherwise be unpaid. Students can be awarded up to $5,000 to pursue their public sector internship with 200 completed hours.

The Public Leadership and Service Fellowship is not open to students in the Executive MPA program.

If you intend to complete a Fels degree as a working professional, you may be able to take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits offered by your employer. If you are a full-time Penn employee, learn more about Penn's tuition benefits on Penn’s Human Resources website. Applicants who are eligible for University of Pennsylvania employee tuition benefits are not eligible to apply for Fels scholarships or grants.

Penn honors the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The program allows Penn to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses for eligible veterans. There are limited openings in each school for Yellow Ribbon awards. To learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program and how to apply, visit the Veterans at Penn page.

All domestic applicants interested in their federal loan eligibility should complete the FAFSA form after applying to the program. Visit the Department of Education’s website to start your FAFSA form.

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

Student financial services

Penn’s Student Registration and Financial Services office is available to prospective and current students for financial aid inquiries. For more information on financing your graduate studies, visit the Student Registration and Financial Services website to:

  • Check your loan eligibility status
  • Get information on federal loans and payment plans
  • Get email and mailing addresses, phone numbers, office hours, and appointment details
  • Learn more about the differences between private and federal loans, and where you can find lenders

Learn more about financial aid and billing: Watch a video hosted by Joe Manning, Director of Graduate Aid.

Ami Patel

"The Public Leadership and Service Fellowship (PLAS) is one of the amazing things that Fels offers. It’s not only allowing you to take an internship, it’s also acknowledging that we want to work in the public sector, and that’s valuable. They’re willing to invest in us.”

Ami Patel, Master of Public Administration ’20

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