Public Policy or Public Affairs?

Whats in a name

Looking at the many available course options for Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees, it’s understandable that you may be confused. Deciding which one is right for you starts with understanding the differences and clarifying what type of career you intend to pursue. With this in mind, here are 3 points to help you make your decision….

  1. In general, the MPP tends to be more research heavy, with a focus on technical skills such as economic and statistical analysis, enabling graduates to research, for example, the social and financial impact of policy, and thus create new, improved policy. The MPA tends to focus more on developing people management, financial management, and leadership skills, enabling graduates to implement policy and ensure it is being followed.
  2. Most MPP and MPA programmes have a wide variety of concentrations and specializations. Some programmes allow you to cross register with other departments and even other universities, meaning that you have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your individual goals. Understanding what you really want from graduate study will help you identify the best match for you. It’s also worth remembering that there is no standard definition for these programmes, so ensure you do your research on each school in detail!
  3. Most MPP and MPA programmes require some work experience, but only some require relevant work experience. Considering your potential network, think about how this will affect your experience.

Overall, both the MPP and MPA degrees are well-respected, professional options for those seeking careers in Public Service. Having helped many students gain acceptance into the top programmes, I recommend clarifying your goals and skill gaps, identifying exactly what you need from a graduate degree, and then researching each programme to find the best fit.

 

Posted by Faye

Author: AGOS Consulting Team

@AgosJapan (formerly Princeton Review of Japan) – 25 years of experience. Best MBA, LL.M, and MPP admissions results in Japan.