Cost per Credit:
Learn how your leadership can add value to public service roles in government, nonprofit, or for-profit organizations. American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy (MPAP) program transforms our students into public service management leaders who enhance all of society, whether in their own communities or globally.
You will gain a single, powerful degree when you gain the blended knowledge and experience from our two NASPAA*-accredited programs, the Master’s in Public Administration and Master’s in Public Policy.
Regardless of where you live and work, you can study at an institution with a long-standing reputation for excellence — our School of Public Affairs and learn from leading scholars with deep connections in public affairs. Enrolling in the program gives you immediate access to our vast network of policy experts, reputed faculty, and well-connected alumni.
*Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
Our MPAP degree prepares you with the leadership skills, insight, and critical thinking to craft public policies, lead public programs and monitor their implementation and success effectively. By graduation you can:
Apply knowledge of organizational management, leadership, structure and culture, human resource systems, and political and legal context of contemporary public service organizations.
Use acquired analytic frameworks and methodological skills, including statistics, economics, and politics while considering their responsiveness, accountability, effectiveness and equity.
Include values in policy and administrative analysis and actions, including respect for the diversity of people and perspectives in the policy process.
Use new knowledge in real-world policy and organizational problems in a collaborative manner.
Our Master of Public Administration and Policy program ensures you build real-world experience and your professional network to best serve you after graduation.
AU was recognized by Princeton Review, Best Colleges 2022, with the title of College Gets High Marks. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as:
Best Public Affairs Programs — 2023
Top Public Management & Leadership Program — 2023
International Policy & Administration — 2023
Admission to American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
Applicants will need to submit:
*The application fee is typically waived if the application file is complete within a three week period.
No Separate Application Required
Prospective students who have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above (on a 4.0 scale) in their undergraduate program, or those with five or more years of active-duty experience in the military (regardless of their GPA score), can qualify for the Online Merit Scholarship in award amounts up to $12,000.
As part of your application process, your academic history and military experience will be reviewed to see if the scholarship can be applied; there is no separate application to fill out.
You’ll be notified of the scholarship status when you’re admitted to the program, or shortly thereafter.
To receive the scholarship, which is applied equally across the fifth through eighth courses of the program, you must remain in good academic standing.
When you choose the online Master of Public Administration and Policy from American University, you will study a critical blend of topics in public administration and policy analysis that prepare you to make a real difference in society and advance your career.
Over the course of this program, you will develop knowledge and skills in public administration and policy analysis so you can:
Together, our online faculty deliver a comprehensive understanding of core administrative, policy and analytic skills in an effective and engaging manner. Using their current work in Washington, DC they share the practical application of policy analysis and administration and provide unique insights into today’s challenges policy experts and administrators are facing.
The renowned faculty of our School of Public Affairs are experts in every aspect of public service and develop all courses for this MPAP degree. They work closely with course instructors, who mentor and guide students through the day-to-day learning process.
Our online MPAP courses are developed by faculty who:
Our instructors are well-connected professionals in government and the nonprofit sector who have deep connections with managing and analyzing public programs. They hold advanced degrees in public affairs and are part of our Department of Public Administration and Policy, which includes some of today’s most respected educators in their areas of specialization.
Our faculty’s academic credentials, real-world experience, and political and policy expertise provide a world-class education that prepares you for immediate success in your career.
Shape your approach to becoming a successful leader in public service. Our instruction offers hands-on, case-based learning and regular opportunities to work and interact with peers.
The online Master of Public Administration and Policy program consists of 12 courses that are each eight weeks long. The curriculum takes you through sequenced coursework in as few as 24 months, during which you take two courses per semester, including fall, spring, summer.
This introductory course prepares you for advanced coursework and teaches the basic concepts to effectively lead public service programs in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors. You will become acquainted with public administration and policy as fields of study, and learn how to recognize, explain, and contrast foundational public administration concepts and issues.
You will explore public administration within political, legal, and social contexts to understand the three broad challenges you will face in your career as a public manager: administrative rationality in a democratic republic, organizational capacity and networks, and institutional opportunities and constraints. You will also gain practical knowledge through case studies and interviews with leading D.C. practitioners in the public, nonprofit, and advocacy sectors.
This course was developed by Senior Professional Lecturer and Director of Online Programs Dr. Sonja Walti. Walti is an international scholar in public policy who has served in consulting, advisory, and decision-making roles at various levels of government in the U.S. and abroad, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Italian Agnelli Foundation, and the Quebec Commission on Fiscal Imbalance. Her research on comparative public policy and public administration, policy analysis, comparative federalism, and environmental policy has been published in several major journals.
Legal Issues in Public Administration explores the legal framework for contemporary public administration in the United States. You will master how to manage public sector organizations in a constitutional and legal manner and understand when to consult an attorney before taking legal action. You will also learn the principles of federal constitutional and administrative law that govern public administrators’ decisions, activities, and operations.
This course will explain how and why legal requirements must be integrated into general administrative processes, practices, and systems. In the process, you will gain non-technical constitutional competence, which is welcomed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and required by the federal courts. Although the course deals with public management and U.S. law, many of the issues discussed are also pertinent to other political and administrative systems as well as to nonprofit management.
This course was created by distinguished Professor of Public Administration David Rosenbloom, a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, a current member of the editorial boards of about 20 academic journals, and the winner of several awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship. Rosenbloom served on the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team for the Office of Personnel Management in 1992.
Rosenbloom was cited by Supreme Court Justices as an authority on the first amendment rights of federal employees in Elrod vs. Burns (1976) and Branti vs. Finkl (1980). His book Public Administration: Understanding Management, Politics, and Law in the Public Sector was ranked the fifth most influential book published in public administration from 1990 to 2010.
The course will cover the following main subject areas:
In this course, you will learn the basics of “speaking truth to power,” an eight-step approach to policy analysis that is professionally rigorous and politically relevant. Study how to translate good policy analysis into better policy by deeply understanding policy problems, carefully formulating solutions, and strategically engaging in dialogue with key decision-makers.
Through selected readings, lectures, discussions, and hands-on assignments, you will assimilate this approach and tailor it to your purposes. You will gain an appreciation for the difficulties of designing policy interventions that can survive not only mistaken assumptions about cause and effect but also flawed implementation processes.
Dr. Karen Baehler, a Scholar in Residence at American University, developed this course. Baehler has extensive experience in policy analysis that has included more than a decade of work for government agencies and think tanks in the Washington DC area, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Maryland Department of Human Resources, and the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies. She has published three books, 12 refereed journal articles, and three book chapters on policy-analysis topics.
The course covers the following topics:
In this course, you will explore the relationship between economics and public policy and learn the concepts necessary to become an informed consumer of microeconomic-based policy analysis. You will develop an understanding of resource scarcity, opportunity cost, supply and demand, consumer and producer surplus, market equilibrium, competitive markets, economic efficiency, market failure, efficiency equity, and cost-benefit principles.
This course will also show you how to apply the basic principles of modern microeconomic theory to practical public policy problems and decisions. You will discover how to avoid unintended consequences of policy interventions by thinking critically about the resulting incentives and how individuals are likely to respond to them. These skills will help you recognize all relevant costs and benefits to avoid common pitfalls in decision-making.
This course was developed by Professor Seth Gershenson, who has been honored with the Emerging Education Scholar Award sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Gershenson’s approach to teaching and scholarship applies economic approaches to practical, policy-driven questions in policy areas such as education, including studying teacher behavior in response to financial incentives. He has completed grant work for the American Educational Research Association, the Spencer Foundation, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute.
The course will cover the following main subject areas:
This course examines the importance of governmental budgeting and explains the federal budget processes for the executive and legislative branches. It will familiarize you with the role of the federal budget in national economic policy and explore how governments use taxes and other means to acquire and dispense resources. You will consider the relationships between budgeting and financial management, public policy, and politics. The course examines the different processes at the enterprise level (entire nation or entire state), agency level, and program level. While this course emphasizes budgeting and financial management in the federal government, it also includes numerous examples from the state and local levels of government and related to the nonprofit sector.
This course was developed by Albert C. Hyde, an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University. He is the author or editor of numerous public administration textbooks, including an extensively revised 10th edition in July 2022 of Introducing Public Administration. Hyde was a senior staff member and consultant at the Brookings Institution from 1997 to 2009. Before starting his academic career, he was a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department and a senior associate with the New York State Legislative Commission on Expenditure Review.
Topics covered in this course include:
As a future leader in public affairs, whether as a public manager or a policy analyst, you will need to understand statistics. This course provides those foundations. You will learn how to think about and describe populations and samples, make inferences about populations from samples, and use samples to make predictions about population patterns. Policy professionals will explain how you can process and apply this knowledge. You will also gain hands-on experience using statistical software to work with large datasets, a skill that directly enhances your resume. By the end of the course, you will have a quantitative research project that you can use as a writing sample for interested employers.
Those who understand patterns and trends by means of quantitative data can make better policies and manage programs effectively. In your career, you will likely need to conduct or interpret quantitative analysis of data. You will also need to understand quantitative studies that may influence your decision-making. This course prepares you for both of these essential tasks.
This course was developed by Anna Amirkhanyan, Professor and Chair of DPAP American University.
Course topics covered include:
While significant resources are used to evaluate policies and programs, not all evaluations successfully determine whether a policy or program works. This course will teach you how to distinguish high-quality from low-quality evaluations so you can critically consume evaluation studies. You will learn how to conduct and design evaluations and employ tools that measure whether programs and policies have achieved their objectives.
This course introduces you to a variety of research designs and related methodological tools useful for evaluating the need for a program or policy, its implementation, and its impact on key outcomes. You will learn how organizational, programmatic, and political factors can influence evaluation. The class examines policies and programs in a broad range of areas, including health, criminal justice, education, welfare and poverty.
This course was developed by Associate Professor Alison Jacknowitz, who also serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Department of Public Administration and Policy. Jacknowitz has won awards from American University for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment and Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching. Her research on issues related to poverty, the elderly, children and families have been funded by several major governmental and academic institutions, including Feeding America, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The class will require and reinforce a basic understanding of regression analysis. You will apply concepts taught in PUAD 660: Quantitative Methods.
In this course, students will:
Topics covered include:
Many daily challenges managers face originate from a need to coordinate and control organizational and individual action to meet program goals and broader social objectives. To address these challenges, public and nonprofit managers must understand the unique institutional context of public organizations and the behavior of individuals within them.
In this course, you will examine several theories that seek to explain the actions of organizations (organizational theory) and the behavior of individuals within organizations (organizational behavior). You will explore relevant research in public administration and bridge theory and practice in ways that will help you approach and successfully address complex management problems. You will accomplish this by studying relevant cases, submitting a paper describing the development of a hypothetical mini-survey, and completing a group paper and presentation of organizational analysis. Along the way, you will get a chance to gain insights into specific organizations and meet relevant practitioners.
The developer of this course is Assistant Professor Khaldoun AbouAssi. AbouAssi holds a Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and served as an assistant professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M before joining American University. He has extensive practical experience, having worked for more than 12 years in public and nonprofit organizations in the Middle East. AbouAssi serves in leadership positions at the American Society of Public Administration and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.
Topics covered include:
This course provides the necessary foundation to perform human resource management responsibilities in the public sector. It will trace the history of the human resource function in the public sector and provide an understanding of the legal context in which human resource managers function, including constitutional protections and equal employment opportunity frameworks. You will learn and apply the skills associated with the primary functions of a human resource department through exercises and case studies. The course also develops your understanding of the legal, political, and practical issues facing public personnel managers.
The format and assignments for this class are designed to build the skills you need as an HR professional. Your assignments will test your abilities to conduct independent research and analysis and to clearly and concisely present your findings in various formats.
This course was developed by Dr. Vicky Wilkins, Interim Provost and previously the Dean of the School of Public Affairs Department of Public Administration and Policy. Prior to that, she served as an administrative leader at the University of Georgia. Wilkins has received six awards for outstanding teaching. Her research on human resource management, representative bureaucracy, bureaucratic discretion, gender and race issues, deservingness, and political institutions has been published in numerous leading public administration and policy studies journals. She is a member of the editorial board of three major journals in public administration.
Topics covered include:
Leadership is not just about having a plan or about having the answers. It’s far more complex. This course teaches you how to let go of the ingrained perceptions of leadership and problem-solving that limit the mind’s ability to see and solve. You will discover and expand your leadership style through individual and collective learning.
In this class, you will explore various leadership models and their strengths and weaknesses and learn to think critically about leadership based on real-world cases. You will learn how to connect leadership concepts and behaviors to other ideas, people, and realms of life. This course also includes exercises that raise issues about the practicality of your leadership style. This exploration of how your perspective shapes your view and enactment of leadership will help you develop your distinctive leadership approach.
This course on leadership was developed by Dr. Ruth Zaplin, Executive-in-Residence at our School of Public Affairs and the Director of International Programs in our Key Executive Leadership Programs. Zaplin served as a senior advisor and project director with the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington, DC, and founded the Academy’s Global Leadership Consortium. As a Senior Manager at BearingPoint, she led enterprise-wide transformation plans, large-scale government reform, workforce restructuring, and work redesign initiatives in both the public and private sectors.
Topics covered include:
“Performance” and “results” are two words used to describe what we expect from public management. Successful project completion makes an important contribution to both. A set of disciplines known as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) aims to improve rates of successful project completion, but its success is unproven.
In this course, you will draw on academic and professional literature as well as case studies to critically examine the project management disciplines and their potential contribution to performance, particularly in the public sector and nonprofit settings. Class readings will identify good practice norms in project management, which you will test against the realities of actual projects, many of which failed. You will scrutinize standards for judging success and consider methods for explaining project outcomes. This course encourages you to challenge existing theories and approaches to help you build a distinctive understanding of project management.
Upon completion of the course, students are qualified to apply for certification as a Certified Associate in Project Management, awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI). To qualify for the certificate, students need to pass the PMI’s three-hour examination, which contains 150 multiple-choice questions.
This course was developed by Dr. Karen Baehler, who is Scholar in Residence at the School of Public Affairs. Baehler has extensive experience in policy analysis that has included more than a decade of work for government agencies and think tanks in the Washington DC area, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Maryland Department of Human Resources, and the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies. She has published three books, 12 refereed journal articles, and three book chapters on policy-analysis topics.
Topics covered include:
This capstone course is the “culminating skills” component of the MPAP degree program. You will put to practice the material from the MPAP curriculum to demonstrate your preparedness to work professionally in the field of public administration and policy. The practicum gives you the opportunity to complete a real-world assignment on behalf of an external client; typically a government agency or a nonprofit organization selected from among the School of Public Affairs partnering organizations.
To complete the assignment over the course of the semester, you will be asked to work in small project teams using virtual collaboration and meeting tools. During that time, you will meet with your client organization on several occasions, including receiving your assignment, clarifying its scope, discussing intermediate deliverables, and finally, presenting your work. Throughout this experience, you will have an opportunity to observe other clients and teams and network with partnering organizations.
Senior Professional Lecturer and Director of Online Programs Dr. Sonja Walti is the developer of this course. Walti is an international scholar in public policy who has served in consulting, advisory, and decision-making roles at various levels of government in the U.S. and abroad, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Italian Agnelli Foundation, and the Quebec Commission on Fiscal Imbalance. Her research on comparative public policy and public administration, policy analysis, comparative federalism, and environmental policy has been published in several leading journals.
Topics covered include:
Whether you work at the local, state, federal or international level, you are ready to manage and lead effectively. Use your online Master of Public Administration and Policy degree and your professional network to develop a successful career in public service.
You graduate prepared to:
You will know how to manage and lead public, nonprofit, and private organizations that administer public policy and be prepared to conduct research and develop tools to implement public action.
With your abilities to grasp and solve complex problems to improve policies and public service delivery, you will easily adapt to, and advance within the sector and career you pursue.
Ninety-five percent of our graduates are working, in grad school, or both.1
Working in Nonprofit Organizations
Working in Government
Working in For-Profit Organizations
Working and Attending Grad School
Attending Grad School
Note that 53% of professionals with an MPA or an MPP earn more than $75,001 a year.
|Salary Range||% of Professionals|
Overwhelmingly, professionals with an MPA or MPP are happy in their careers.
Level of Autonomy
Value to Society
Level of Responsibility
Level of Challenge
Opportunities to be Promoted
Our graduates put their skills to use as project managers or program directors, or as public policy analysts, public affairs specialists, and consultants across all sectors.
Learning to use the different frameworks for policy analysis and applying logic and ethics to the understanding of government policy prepares you for a policy analyst role. Policy analysts may collect or research data related to a particular policy, estimate the effects of new proposed policies and make recommendations, evaluate existing programs, and communicate this information to public officials and other decision-makers.
Coursework prepares you to:
The online Master’s in Public Policy and Administration prepares you for roles such as a level-2 public policy analyst, which typically requires 4-7 years of experience and has a median salary of $91,750.3
With continued experience, you could pursue a government liaison level-3 position and earn a median salary of $132,000 a year.4 In this role, you will monitor and analyze proposed legislation, emerging issues and trends and prepare reports to inform and support the organization.
With a decade of experience, you could become a government liaison level-4. At this point, you work independently and most likely in a specialized area. Your responsibilities revolve around solutions and possibly leadership in your area of expertise. You will earn a median salary of $172,000.5
The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) is committed to the improvement of public policy research, analysis, and education.
Studying topics in legal and financial issues, organization management, project management, and human resources gives you the grit, grace and skill sets needed to succeed in public administration and management roles. You graduate able to:
Public administration applies to a variety of potential career paths, including those in municipal, county, and state management as well as in the federal government. Public administrators work in a wide range of sectors, including:
In the federal government, salaries are publicized annually in General Schedule (GS) pay tables. A new employee with a master’s degree is typically paid at a GS-9 level. However, if you’ve already been working in a government role, your master’s degree could move you up two paygrades, from a GS-9 to a GS-11, or even from a GS-11 to a GS 13.
Each pay grade on the scale can also evolve within 10 steps to produce a salary range for that level.
Throughout your coursework you will cover the unique operational, financial, and managerial aspects of nonprofit management so that you can graduate able to:
Nonprofit work represents 10.2% of private sector employment and is responsible for 12.3 million jobs and $6.7 billion in wages annually.6
When you graduate with a master’s degree, you may start out as a program manager with a salary of $92,718 per year.7 With experience and success, you could become an associate director of a nonprofit, with a median salary of $126,516 a year,8 and after that, a program executive director with a median salary of $144, 828.9
Students looking to work at the municipal or state level are at an advantage with a combined degree in public administration and public policy. You will understand how to straddle the analytic and management tasks within the ever-present political context. Graduate able to use a lasting set of organizational, managerial, and leadership skills so you can:
With these skills, students are prepared to enter their state or local government offices and improve how the local programs and government departments and agencies operate. Public service employees at the state and local levels may begin as researchers with a salary of $59,740 a year.10 They could progress to city management or a position managing a state’s department, and earn a median salary of $104,00 a year.11
Students who expect to work in this challenging field must have an in-depth understanding of the way that different organizations function in the public and private sectors. They are often called to seamlessly switch between working in government and operating in a for-profit environment. You graduate able to:
Joining a consulting firm is a common career path for graduates in public administration and public policy. Consultants bring specialized competencies to the table to assess a program’s efficiencies and make reform and improvement recommendations to programs. Typically, students who wish to start on the path of government consulting start as management analysts or auditors.
At the government level, the median income for management analysts is $81,090per year.12 With many years of experience, government consultants may become an executive in government with an annual salary near $104,730 a year, or choose to work within professional services and earn an average salary of $208,000 or more.13
Government consultants enjoy access to a premier consulting association:
Coursework in the MPAP curriculum prepares you to balance competing needs to determine the most effective method in how to finance important public programs. It prepares you to grasp the political and legal contexts that public budgets operate within at all levels of government. Graduate ready for this career path able to:
Government funds at any level require careful management to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently.
Public administration and policy graduates working in financial management help ensure that budgets for policy initiatives and goals are in line with the needs of constituents. They may create budgets, estimate budgetary impacts, account for funds, analyze the use of funds, collect fees and some taxes, or study the implications of the use of public funds.
People in this field often start out as budget analysts in local, state or federal government, where 46% of them work and earn between $77,000 and $87,000 a year.14 With experience, you could step into a financial manager role in government and earn an average income of $123,010.15
American University’s Career Center offers its services to online and on-campus students as well as to all alumni, so you will continue to receive support for as long as you need it.
This means you will have access to resources for your job search, career advising, internships, and scholarships. You can also network, look for jobs, and apply for positions by making an account at AU Career Web, our online career search tool.
Every year, approximately 6,000 public administration and policy graduate students apply for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program in hopes of joining its prestigious ranks. The PMF program, established by executive order in 1977, was designed to provide a pipeline of qualified professionals who could bring their skills and expertise to the federal government.
Landing a fellowship means a paid, two-year appointment working for the federal government. Alumni of the program include senators, diplomats, and federal program directors — becoming a PMF finalist can jump-start the careers of civil servants and provide them with a powerful network.
In 2022, about 7% of PMF applicants became finalists, and only 33% of those were selected for a fellowship.16
The extensive testing, resume evaluation, and essay writing processes are intense, and for most, the PMF experience ends with the application process. But with support from peers and faculty, the number of PMF appointments to American University grads outnumbers those from all other universities in the nation — in 2022, 41% of our PMF finalists were awarded a fellowship.16
American University actively encourages its top students who are interested in a federal public service career to apply for the PMF program and provides detailed online information sessions.
After applying, candidates must take an online test and submit a résumé and transcript. Top-performing, first-round candidates are named finalists and are eligible for an appointment as a Fellow with a participating federal agency.
While it’s a challenging process, American University prepares its candidates for each stage.
One secret to the school’s success: American University has a Blackboard site set up with study guides and offers prep workshops for students who plan to take the three-hour test.
If selected, finalists have one year to apply for positions available only to Fellows. Last year, there were 550 finalists. American University connects its finalists with alumni through networking sessions in which finalists receive tips on applying for these positions. This dramatically improves their chances of success when applying. Because of the school’s efforts and support, 98 percent of American University’s finalists become Fellows.
Built to address the real-world needs of policy professionals and public administrators, the online MPAP program offers experiences that truly prepare graduates to make a difference. With many opportunities to collaborate, network, and take on realistic challenges, the program produces outstanding graduates.
As passionate change-makers, our alumni are responsible for using their policy skills to make an impact. You can join an incredible set of AU alumni who work in diverse roles across sectors and organizations.
Professor Walti teaches Public Administration and the Policy Process, Foundations of Policy Analysis, Policy Process, and the Policy Practicum in our MPP, MPA, and online MPAP programs. She also serves as the School of Public Affairs’ Director of Online Programs.
Professor Walti has a BA in Political Science from the University of Geneva, Switzerland; an MA in Political Science, University of Geneva, Switzerland; and a PhD in Public Administration, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Her research appears in the American Political Science Review, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Governance, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Administration & Society, Policy Studies Journal, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. Vicky earned her BS in Political Science and History from Northern Michigan University, her MS in Human Resource Management from Chapman University, and her PhD in political science from the University of Missouri.
She co-authored Adding Value to Policy Analysis and Advice (University of New South Wales Press 2010), which presents a new, systems-based approach to policy analysis. Professor Baehler has supervised two PhD students to completion and over 50 individual student research projects. Her professional experience includes ten years of work in Washington, D.C. think tanks.
Professor Karen Baehler holds a PhD in Policy Sciences from the University of Maryland (1999), where she also earned a Master of Public Policy (1991). Her BA is from St. Olaf College (1981), where she majored in Philosophy.
Dr. Zaplin served as a senior advisor and project director with the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington, DC and founded the Academy’s Global Leadership Consortium. Selected achievements include leadership development, succession planning, and diversity study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; designing a Government Center for Innovation to strengthen the capability of the State of Qatar’s public sector leaders; and leading the organizational change effort to integrate the core IRS financial management systems.
She is certified to score the subject-object qualitative research methodology developed at Harvard University. She received her Executive Coaching accreditation from Georgetown University and is certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation.
He has worked as a geologist, environmental consultant, and trial attorney, currently with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor, enforcing health and safety laws against mining companies. Wilson has published articles in Sustainable Development Law & Policy and presented research at the American Society of Public Administration, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and Work in a Warming World conferences. He is currently teaching “Legal Basis of Public Administration.”
Wilson holds advanced degrees from American University, including a master’s of public policy from the School of Public Affairs and a JD cum laude from the Washington College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences from Brown University.
American University welcomes its online students as a part of its community. As an online student, you’ll learn from the same outstanding faculty and be held to the same learning standards as students who attend courses on campus. On-campus and online programs deliver the same outcomes, and important support systems, like career resources, are set up for online learners as well. The only difference is you’re allowed to learn when and where it’s best for you so you can earn your degree and advance your career without putting the rest of your career and life on hold.
Our digital campus was intentionally designed based on extensive research behind what makes online learning successful. We combine advanced technology, hands-on experiences, and full access to the American University community. Here, you’re not an online student, you’re an AU student.
Online courses are as challenging as their on-campus counterparts and taught by the same connected faculty members, influential guest speakers and prominent lecturers.
New-student orientation, 24×7 help desk for technical issues, a student services coordinator, financial aid advisers and more are all available to ensure your success.
Home to some of the most acclaimed scholars and thought leaders in the world, you’ll learn from award-winning scholars and policymakers, diplomats, authors, artists, attorneys, scientists, journalists and more.
Use virtual tools to talk about your coursework, work in teams with classmates, build strong connections, network with others and ask your instructor questions and turn in assignments.
American University is dedicated to supporting military service members, veterans, and their families.
As an online Master of Public Administration and Policy student, you can transform your military experience and leadership skills into new career possibilities as you earn your degree regardless of where you live or are stationed.
We support a full range of military education benefits such as:
Additionally, if you’ve served in any branch of the U.S. military on active duty within the past three years, you’re eligible to waive the application fee. We accept transfer credits from military coursework, have a dedicated Office of Veterans Services to help connect you to benefits, and maintain an active Veterans Services Support Network.
Become an American University student. A passion for public service, an emphasis on active leadership, and a global outlook are the hallmarks of the American University learning experience. We create graduates who stand out from their peers as active, socially aware, and compassionate leaders who work toward creating meaningful change in our world.
Admission requirements for the online Master of Public Administration and Policy program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Applicants will need to submit the following:
All applicants are considered for the Online Merit Scholarship in award amounts up to $12,000 during the application review — no separate application is required.
*The application fee is typically waived if the application file is complete within three weeks.
A TOEFL score of 600 (or 100 on the internet-based test), a minimum score of 68 on the Pearson Test of English, or a minimum IELTS score of seven (7) is required. Additionally, applicants with international transcripts must have them evaluated course by course. For a list of acceptable evaluators, go to NACES.org.
Applicants will complete a phone interview with the Program Director and will need to submit:
Yes, it is not a requirement to have an undergraduate degree in public administration and policy.
The program can be completed in 24 months at a full-time pace of two courses each semester. Taking more than two courses per semester is not recommended due to the rigor of the program.
No, there are no specializations offered. This program is structured to blend the core curriculum of the campus Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy.
GRE requirement is currently being waived. Although the MPAP program does not require the GRE, students with a GPA below 3.0 are encouraged to take the GRE for further evaluation. LSAT scores can also be evaluated in place of the GRE.
Our application deadline varies based on the term you are applying for. Please note that the earlier you submit your application, the sooner you will know whether you’ve been awarded the Online Merit Scholarship. Please contact our online admissions advisors for a specific timeline as to when your application file needs to be fully submitted.
Our fall semester starts in late August. The spring semester starts in January. The summer session begins in May.
Graduate students enrolled at least part-time in a master’s program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our FAFSA number is 001434.
The final course in your Master of Public Administration and Policy is to demonstrate what you’ve learned by performing policy analysis or a management project for an external client.
Professionals with a Master of Public Administration and Policy are typically employed in the public, for-profit, and nonprofit sectors in the United States and abroad. Learn more about our graduates’ success.
When you graduate with a Master of Public Administration and Policy degree, you will be prepared for a variety of nonprofit jobs, depending on your experience within the field, including:
Yes. A significant portion of our graduates have entered careers with nonprofit organizations.
American University is pleased to offer the Online Merit Scholarship to students who demonstrate undergraduate excellence and continue to graduate studies as well as to incoming students who have five years or more of active-duty military experience. Scholarships are available to students who meet the eligibility requirements. Contact an admissions counselor for more information.
Yes, online students can easily request a Student ID online to take advantage of all the same resources as our on-campus students.
Home to some of the most acclaimed scholars and thought leaders in the world.
Home to some of the most acclaimed scholars and thought leaders in the world.
Home to some of the most acclaimed scholars and thought leaders in the world.