PA and IA Degrees offered by Times Higher Ed Top Fifty Universities
How the world’s highest ranked universities deliver Master’s degrees in public affairs and/or international affairs
This page examines how the 50 universities that score highest on the 2015 World Reputation Rankings produced by Times Higher Education (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2015/reputation-ranking) organize themselves to provide, or not provide, Master’s programs in public affairs and international affairs.
The data in on the tables below draw on the data in the MPP/MPA Program pages and the Curriculum Comparison Tables. Some of the highlights are:
- Of the 39 English speaking universities in THE’s Top Fifty, 30 offer Master’s degrees in public affairs (that is, all but MIT, Caltech, Yale, Imperial College, Illinois-Urbana, McGill, and 3 University of California campuses) and most of these offer Master’s degrees in international affairs.
- With the exception of Princeton, universities that established their public affairs programs before the mid-1990s deliver them through a School that can hire and promote faculty.
- Most universities that established their public affairs programs before the mid-1990s also offer professional international affairs degrees that are delivered (with the exception of Berkeley, Chicago, Johns Hopkins and Washington) through the same School.
- Universities that established their public affairs programs after the mid-1990s deliver them either through the political science department or through a School employing what might be called an Umbrella Model (designated UM in Table 1) whereby the School designs, oversees, and typically houses the public affairs program using faculty with academic appointments in other units.
- Four universities (LSE, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Melbourne) have recently moved to extend the Umbrella Model to encompass research on public policy matters from across the university.
- With the exception of the relatively small programs at Johns Hopkins, Pennsylvania, Northwestern and Georgia Tech, the flagship public affairs degrees offered by North American universities on the Top Fifty list have a curriculum where more than 60% of the courses taken by the typical student are policy-oriented (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types) with more that 20% having a high math-economics content, and (with the exception of New York and Wisconsin-Madison) have a graduation requirement of at least 15.8 semester-course equivalents.
- These flagship programs have annual intakes of 50 or more students and, with the exception of Toronto, offer 50 or more different courses.
- With the exception of LSE and Tokyo, universities outside North America offer public affairs programs with lower graduation requirements (12 semester-course equivalents being common in the UK) and lower math-economics content. Melbourne and Singapore offer degrees with course requirements equivalent to those in the flagship North American programs but with lower math-economics content.
- Annual fees vary widely with most private universities in the $40,000 to $50,000 range and most public universities in the $15,000 to $25,000 range for domestic students. LSE, Oxford and Cambridge have fees in the range charged by American private universities, as do many public universities for students outside of the state or country. The median annual fee for the 31 universities on the list is $30,929.
The 31 Universities from the 2015 Times Higher Education Top 50 Reputation Index that Offer Master’s Degrees in Public Affairs in English
 Rank in the Times Higher Education 2015 World Reputation Rankings.
 Date of establishment of a Master’s program in public affairs, although not necessarily with the current degree name.
 Approximate number of graduates per year from the flagship program.
 Tuition plus fees, usually including medical insurance, for domestic students, in US dollars at 3 September 2015 exchange rates. The fee entries are linked to the university web page, where further details, including differences for domestic and international students, can be found.
 The Stanford MPP is only available to “current Stanford seniors and graduate students, recent Stanford alumni, and external applicants seeking a joint degree.”
The 19 Universities from the 2015 Times Higher Education Top 50 Reputation Index that Do Not Offer Master’s Degrees in Public Affairs in English
|English Speaking||Non-English Speaking|
|Rank||University||Pub or Priv||Rank||University||Pub or Priv|
|30||Illinois Urbana||Pub||32||Peking University||Pub|
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 15 December 2015.
Image: TimesHigherEducation.com, at https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings, accessed 15 December 2015.