Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.)
"The M.P.A. program is for a diverse, international, and talented group of individuals who are all committed to careers in public life. The curriculum includes the professional tools, perspectives, experience, and career planning for public policy decision-making, implementation and leadership — from the grass roots to the international capitals."
The Master in Public Affairs (M.P.A.) offers rigorous preparation for international and domestic policy careers. This two-year, full-time residential program cultivates among its students and graduates a lasting commitment to public service. Through its core curriculum and elective courses, it teaches analytical skills that address the political, economic, quantitative, organizational, and normative aspects of complex policy problems. It fosters an appreciation of the historical, institutional, and cultural contexts and interactions that encompass both domestic and international arenas.
The Woodrow Wilson School believes that it is essential for students of public affairs to understand how issues of gender, race, class, and cultural diversity affect public policy decisions, implementation, and outcomes. The School's ongoing commitment to incorporate these issues into its curriculum, research centers, colloquia, public affairs programs, and other activities is embraced by both students and faculty. To strengthen the future leadership of society, the School promotes opportunities for students from the broadest possible socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds to receive the highest quality of professional training and to build dynamic careers of public service. The financial aid resources of the School are dedicated to permitting the majority of its students to receive graduate degrees without incurring loan indebtedness, and to guide them toward public service careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. Over 90 percent of M.P.A. students receive financial aid, and more than half receive full scholarships for tuition and living expenses.
Heidi Gomez Rapalo, MPA '98
Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Embassy, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Heidi Gomez Rapalo spent her childhood summers in her parents' hometown of Tela, Honduras, where she saw, first-hand, her grandparents' and aunts' strong service ethic. Their deep involvement in civic improvement projects to protect the integrity of their coastal environment, as well as the livelihoods of the deeply marginalized garifuna communities that lived there, left a lasting impression.