Public and International Affairs

College of Humanities and Social Sciences


The master of public administration (MPA) is designed for people who hold or aspire to hold leadership positions in organizations that participate in the development and implementation of public policy. The mission of the MPA program is to give graduate students the opportunity to build their knowledge of politics, public policy and management and to enhance their analytic, problem solving, and communication skills.

MPA students at Mason have the research and cultural resources of the Washington, D.C. area at their disposal. Government agencies representing all levels in the U.S. federal system are located close to the campus, as are the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Another benefit is the wide range of internship opportunities available in governmental and nonprofit organizations. The MPA Program regularly has internship invitations from national, state, and local government organizations, as well as from nonprofit organizations whose principal work is at the local, state, national, or international levels. Many of these internships are paid positions.

MPA courses are held at the Fairfax and the Arlington campuses during the week and on the weekend in an accelerated format.

An accelerated master's option is available to students in the government and international politics or public administration bachelor's program.  See each listing for specific requirements.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer credit into the MPA program from graduate courses taken at other institutions or taken at Mason in nondegree status. Transfer credit is subject to university and college policies and must be approved by the MPA director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through nondegree studies should submit their application to the MPA in the first semester of study. Only 9 credits taken in nondegree status may be transferred to the degree program. See additional information in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

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