Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration in Public Policy and Administration program are required to complete 42 course credits. Students are also required to pass the MPA qualifying examination (MPAQE), which is administered as a part of PAD 700. Complete information about the MPAQE is found on the MPA section of the John Jay College website. Students are advised to complete PAD 700 and the two other core foundation courses, PAD 702 and PAD 705, within the first 15 credits of matriculation.

Failure to complete program requirements or admission conditions on a timely basis may result in a student not being permitted to register for future classes without the explicit permission of the program director.

Core Courses (27 Credits)

This program requires 27 credits in core courses that focus on key areas of the public policy and administration field:

  • Public Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • Economic Principles for Public Administration
  • Organization Theory and Management
  • The Political Setting of Public Administration
  • Public Sector Financial Management
  • Capstone Seminar


Specialization (9 Credits)

A three-course specialization is required. Students should declare a specialization upon the completion of 12 credits. Except where otherwise noted, students must complete a specialization by completing three courses designated for the specialization including each course designated as required. PAD 780 (Internship), PAD 755 (Writing for Management), and a PAD 800-level course can also be used to complete any specialization, but may not substitute for a course required for the specialization.

Dual specializations are permissible if the student has fulfilled the requirements of both specializations. One course can count as an elective for two specializations with approval from the program director.

Specializations are offered in the following fields:
  • Court Administration
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
  • Emergency Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Law and Public Management
  • Management and Operations
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Urban Affairs


Free Electives (6 credits)

Students must select two elective courses from any MPA offerings that have not been used to satisfy other program requirements. 

For a complete list of program requirements and courses, see the program’s entry in the Graduate Bulletin.