Master of Public Affairs (MPA)

A leader in public affairs education

With an MPA from O'Neill, your education builds on more than four decades of growth and scholarship. The O'Neill School is one of the largest and most-respected schools of its kind, consistently recognized as one of the best among all Master of Public Affairs programs.

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O'Neill offers the #1 ranked MPA program in the nation. And, our Environmental Policy and Management, Nonprofit Management, and Public Finance and Budgeting concentrations are each ranked #1 by U.S. News and World Report. Our Public Management and Leadership is #2, and we're #4 for Public Policy Analysis.

Consider a dual degree

Get more education in less time with a dual degree—earning two master's degrees in less time than it would take to earn each degree separately. Combine your MPA with a MAAA or an MSES degree and further your career possibilities.

Learn more about the MPA-MSES  Learn more about the MAAA-MPA   Explore additional dual degrees

Our Program Mission Statement, Goals & Values

To foster the preeminent community of principled, creative, and skilled practitioners and leaders who serve the public good from an interdisciplinary and global perspective.

  • Instilling the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills needed to effectively address problems through objective and evidence-based analysis, implementation, and evaluation of policies;
  • Positioning our graduates to excel in the public, non-profit, and private sectors where they contribute to the public good by addressing social, economic, environmental, and governance challenges efficiently, effectively, and equitably;
  • Developing students from diverse backgrounds who can understand and manage the complexity and dynamics of contemporary issues in public affairs;
  • Fostering and modeling professional ethics such as fairness, compassion, accountability, transparency, and respect for the rule of law;
  • Producing high-quality policy-oriented research and professional service that focuses on significant issues in public affairs, and creating innovative opportunities for students to learn from and collaborate with leading scholars and practitioners.
  • Being dedicated to service in the public interest, and contributing to the public;
  • Utilizing skills and creativity to address public problems;
  • Exhibiting professional ethics, including accountability and transparency;
  • Using resources efficiently and responsibly;
  • Acting with caring and compassion, demonstrating equity and fairness, and respecting views expressed by citizens and public servants; and
  • Upholding the public trust and democratic ideals, such as the rule of law, the protection of individual liberties, and intellectual freedom.

Learn from the best

Our faculty members are scholars, practitioners, and educators. Their wide-ranging research and service activities around the globe result in practical and professional applications of public affairs theories in the classroom, where they draw not just from their own education but also their experience.

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