Reference Programs

referenceHighly ranked MPP and MPA programs with online syllabi

Our methodology for determining the MPP/MPA core (see Defining Core) includes reviewing what is taught in the required courses of leading MPP and MPA programs.

We have selected a set of four programs that are highly ranked in the U.S. News and World Report (based on a fall 2015 survey of deans and directors, see, accessed 23 May 2016) and which make available online syllabi for most of their courses.

Reference programs
University Since (1) Pub/Priv Rank (2) Size (3)
Harvard Kennedy MPP 1936 Private 3 250
Michigan Ford MPP 1914 Public 8 110
New York Wagner MPA 1938 Private 11 180
Wisconsin La Follette MPA 1967 Public 13 44

Notes: (1) Year of first graduate degree; (2) US News and World Report ranking for Public Affairs, at, accessed 23 May 2016; (3) Estimate from available web information of the number of graduates per year.

Our four reference programs provide a mix of MPP and MPA degrees, of private and public universities, and range in size from an intake of under 50 to over 200. They are all in the top fifteen ranked programs in the United States.

We have provided detailed comparisons of their syllabi for required courses in two subjects at Comparing Course Workload – Economic Analysis and Comparing Course Workload – Quantitative Methods.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 5 June 2016.

Image: Iopa Solutions, at, accessed 23 May 2016.