MPP/MPA Curricular Types

foldersCategorizing programs on courses required, subject-matter orientation and math-economics content

This page provides a proposed categorization of different curriculum types of MPP, MPA and similarly named degree programs. The categories are not intended to imply that one design is more or less valid than another. They are intended to respond to the questions that a curriculum designer charged developing a new MPP or MPA program might ask about the nature of the design choices, and which programs might serve as examples of particular curricular types.

The Curriculum Comparison Tables and the Program Ranking by Curricular Attributes illustrate that there are wide variations in attributes among MPP/MPA programs. The variations suggest that the three most crucial program design decisions are:

  1. The number of courses required for graduation, which is closely related to the normal time to completion.
  2. The subject-matter emphasis, which can be expressed in terms of the proportion of course work taken by the typical student in particular subjects.
  3. The extent to which the curricular subject matter requires familiarity with mathematics and economics, which can be expressed in terms of the proportion of courses taken by the typical student in quantitative methods and economic subjects.

We have used data from the 119 programs reviewed to date to create three categories for the magnitude of the course requirement and two categories for subject-matter emphasis, each of which has two categories for math-economics content. This produces a total of 12 potential curricular types for MPP/MPA programs. We have given them names based on well-known programs that meet the definitions of each type.

Those programs requiring 16 to 18 one-semester equivalent courses to graduate we call high course requirement; those requiring 13 to 15 we call medium course requirement and those requiring 8 to 12 we call low course requirement.

Regarding subject-matter emphasis, we proceed as follows. Those programs where typical students undertake 60% or more of their course work in what we call policy-oriented subjects we call policy-oriented. Those programs where typical students undertake more than 40% of their course work in what we call management-oriented subjects we call management-oriented. We have designated one subjects, Policy and Management Analysis, as 50-50, equally oriented to Policy and Management. It is worth noting that the PEACO calculations suggest that programs are well spread out along the continuum from highly policy oriented to highly management oriented. We have selected 60% as the dividing point, making just over half the programs policy oriented and just under half management oriented. It can be seen that there are very few MPP programs under 60% but there are many MPA programs over 60%.

Regarding mathematics-economics content, those programs where typical students undertake 20% or more of their course work in the four most economics- and mathematics-intensive subjects (Economic Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Macroeconomic Policy; Financial Markets) we call higher math-economics content and those where typical students undertake less than 20% of their course work in those subjects we call lower math-economic content.

Subject-matter emphasis
High course requirement (16 to 20)
Higher math-economics content (>20% courses)
Lower math-economics content (<20% courses)
Policy-oriented
(typical student takes >60% of courses in Policy-Oriented subjects)
Harvard-Toronto

Tokyo MPP/IP

Princeton MPA

Texas MPAff

Columbia MPA

Columbia MIA

Jindal MPP

USC MPP

Minnesota MPP

RANEPA MGPP

GRIPS Tokyo MAPP

Chicago MPP

Georgetown MIDP

Stanford MPP

Michigan MPP

Maryland MPP

Cornell MPA

Georgetown MPP

Brunei MPPM

UCLA MPP

Pittsburgh MPA

LSE IPA MPA

Toronto MPP

SciencesPo MPP

Simon Fraser MPP

Oregon MPA

Indiana MPA

Berkeley MPP

Washington MPA

Carnegie MSMPP

Harvard MPP

Hertie MPP

Duke MPP

Virginia MPP

ANU-Singapore

ANU MPP

Sydney GIR MPP

ANU MPA

Singapore MPP

Harvard MPA

 

Management-oriented
(typical student takes >40% of courses in Management-oriented subjects)
Ohio

Ohio MPA

Melbourne-Dalhousie

Dalhousie MPA

Man-Win MPA

Moncton MPA

Melbourne MPPM

UVic MPA

 

     
Subject-matter emphasis
Medium course requirement (13 to 15)
Higher math-economics content (>20%courses)
Lower math-economics content (<20% courses)
Policy-oriented
(typical student takes >60% of courses in Policy-Oriented subjects)
Syracuse-Carleton

Mich State MPP

Ottawa MAPIA

GW MPP

Carleton MAPA

Arizona State MPP

NYU MPA

Wisconsin MPA

American MPP

UBC MPPGA

Laval MAPP

Syracuse MPA

Arizona State-
York Glendon

Beijing MCDC

York MPIAA

American MPA

Concordia MAPPPA

USC MPA

Oxford MPP

Arizona State MPA

 

Management-oriented
(typical student takes >40% of courses in Management-Oriented subjects)
Albany-Georgia

Sac State MPPA

Albany MPA

Florida State MPA

GW MPA

Georgia MPA

SF State MPA

Illinois Chicago MPA

Rutgers MPA

 

Kansas-North Carolina

New Mexico MPA

Bocconi MPA

Colorado MPA

Kansas MPA-C

Kansas MPA-I

NC State MPA

Tenn State MPA

Western MPA

ENAP MPA

North Carolina MPA

     
Subject-matter emphasis
Low course requirement (8 to 12)
Higher math-economics content (>20% courses)
Lower math-economics content (<20% courses)
Policy-oriented
(typical student takes >60% of courses in Policy-Oriented subjects)
Kings-Queen’s

Michigan MPA

GRIPS Tokyo MPP

Queen’s MPA

Maryland MPM

Kings MAPP

Georgetown MPM

 

Warwick-McMaster

Glasgow MScPUP

Warwick MPP

Edinburgh MPP

Singapore MPA

UNSW MSc

McMaster-G MA

Sask-Reg MPP

FGV Brazil MPA

Macquarie MPP

 

Management- oriented
(typical student takes >40% of courses in Management-Oriented subjects)
Cambridge-Calgary

Northwestern MPPA

Sask-Reg MPA

UC London MSc

LSE Gov MSc

Calgary MPP

Cambridge MPP

 

Pennsylvania-Ryerson

Queen Mary MPP

Victoria MPP

Griffith MPA

Ryerson MAPPA

Exeter MAP

MBRSG MPA

Pennsylvania MPA

Sydney GSG MPA

ANZSOG EMPA

Ottawa MAPA

Victoria MPM

Canberra MPA

Waterloo MPS

Melbourne MPA

York MPPAL

Hong Kong MPA

Terms Used

Course requirement: Credit-bearing one-semester course equivalents (including dissertation and workshops) required to graduate.

Policy-oriented: 60% or more of total courses taken by the typical student are in the following 24 subjects: Policy and Management Analysis (50-50); Economic Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Analytic Methods; Professional Practice (50-50); Socioeconomic and Political Context; Intergovernmental and Global Context; Evaluation and Performance Measurement; and the 16 subjects of the Policy Sectors domain.

Management-oriented: More than 40% of total courses taken by the typical student are in the following 12 subjects: Policy and Management Analysis (50-50); Leadership Skills; Communication Skills; Professional Practice (50-50); Democratic Institutions and Policy Process; Ethics, Rights and Accountability; Public Financial Management; Human Resource Management; Information and Technology Management; Program and Service Delivery; Regulatory Policy and Management; and Nonprofit Management and Advocacy.

Higher math-economics content: 20% or more of total courses taken by the typical student are in the following four subjects: Economic Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Macroeconomic Policy; and Financial Markets.

Lower math-economics content: Less than 20% of total courses taken by the typical student are in the following four subjects: Economic Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Macroeconomic Policy; and Financial Markets.

NOTE: Programs are listed in order of their subject-matter emphasis: Within each of the groupings portrayed above, programs where the typical student takes a higher percentage of courses in policy-oriented subjects are listed above those where the typical student takes a lower percentage.

NOTE: The PEACO calculations used in December 2015 used in this analysis employed the 33 subject nomenclature which has been slightly modified to a 34 subject nomenclature by splitting the former Policy and Management Analysis into two subjects (Policy Analysis and Process; Implementation and Delivery) and renaming Democratic Institutions and Policy Process (to Governance and Institutions). These changes do not substantially effect the quantitative results for distribution of subject matter among domains, or between management-oriented and policy-oriented designations.

Page created by: Ian Clark, on 8 December 2015 and modified by adding the NOTE above on 9 April 2016, last modified 5 June 2016.

Image: Handleiding Magento 1.9, at http://www.zign.nl/handleidingmagento/basis/categorieen-toevoegen-aan-magento/, accessed 15 December 2015.