The Accelerated Master's in Public Policy and Administration Program

An Immersive One-Year Program

Earn your master's degree from Northwestern in one year through the accelerated program. Students in the accelerated option take two on-campus courses and one to two online courses each term. The program begins in the fall term each year and ends with the completion of the following summer term. Students move through the program in a cohort model, immersing themselves in a strong network of their peers while completing a curriculum based in both theory and application.

Students apply to the full-time program to achieve the following:

If you are unsure whether the full-time program is the right fit, you can view the full-time and part-time programs side-to-side to compare your options.

A Versatile Degree in Policy and Administration

Students build the analytical, administrative, and leadership skills needed to make an impact in a variety of fields — public and private. Northwestern’s Accelerated Public Policy and Administration curriculum is one of the only curricula that focuses on both policy and administration. Students build the leadership, administrative, and analytical expertise needed to drive change at the local, national, and international levels.

The program offers a unique and comprehensive opportunity to delve into both the administrative and analytical sides of policy. This holistic approach is grounded in the perspective that policy challenges are fluid, interconnected, and global. Some advantages of this approach are highlighted below:

A Global Perspective

The MPPA program helps students put their analytic skills and administrative knowledge together into a new, synergistic perspective and understand how these connect to achieve global solutions in an increasingly interdependent world. The program prepares students to do the following:



Haleigh Hoskins

I researched a lot of programs here in Chicago, and the accelerated MPPA had the perfect combination of online and on-campus classes. More importantly, it was one of the few with faculty who work in the field. Other programs have full-time professors who have been out of their practice areas. But at SPS, for example, my microeconomics instructor actually works in the Federal Reserve during the day.”

Haleigh Hoskins (MPPA '20)

It was a tough decision, but I knew that with the accelerated program I could jumpstart a new career and return to the job market sooner. I researched other programs, but two years for those programs was too long. For many reasons, including the chance to study in Chicago, Northwestern was the right choice.”

Lauren Evasic (MPPA '20)


Lauren Evasic

More about the Accelerated Public Policy and Administration

Accelerated Public Policy and Administration Program Goals

After successful completion of this interdisciplinary professional program, graduates will possess the knowledge, skills and aptitude to do the following:

  • Evaluate the collaborative inter-organizational, inter-governmental, and international public policy and administrative environment
  • Apply a standard of ethics to policy and administrative context
  • Design public policies and programs
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies and programs
  • Communicate relevant policy or program information to diverse stakeholders
  • Lead public organizations to implement policy decisions with respect and understanding for the broader institutional, societal, economic and political environment
  • Manage public resources to achieve organizational goals

Accelerated Public Policy and Administration Curriculum

The Accelerated Public Policy and Administration program requires the successful completion of 13 courses: nine core courses, three specialization courses, and one final capstone project. Students in the accelerated program follow a set curriculum with their cohort and complete two on-campus courses and one to two online courses each term. The nine core courses taken within the accelerated cohort are listed here. Find more information, including course descriptions, on the accelerated curriculum page.

  • MPPA 401 Research Methods
  • MPPA 402 Public Finance and Budgeting
  • MPPA 403 Fundamentals of Public Administration
  • MPPA 404 Microeconomics for Public Policy and Administration
  • MPPA 405 Statistics for Research
  • MPPA 406 Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis
  • MPPA 407 Scope and Theory of Public Policy
  • MPPA 408 Public Organization Theory and Management
  • MPPA 418 Ethics and Leadership
  • MPPA 498 Capstone Project 

Accelerated Public Policy and Administration Areas of Specialization

Students in the accelerated program choose one of three available specializations: Public Administration, Public Policy, or Global Policy. Specialization courses are usually completed online in the accelerated program, which means students complete the coursework asynchronously each week with other students of the same specialization election. Review these specializations and their associated courses on the associated curriculum page.

Accelerated Public Policy and Administration Admission

A variety of factors are considered when reviewing applicants to the accelerated program. Background and experience vary from student to student. For a complete list of requirements, see the Admission page for the Accelerated Public Policy and Administration program.

Accelerated Public Policy and Administration Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the Accelerated Public Policy and Administration program is paid every quarter, along with the associated service and quarterly fees. Financial aid opportunities through federal and private loans exist for accelerated students. Complete details can be found on the Accelerated Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Public Policy and Administration Careers

Professional opportunities for graduates of Northwestern's Public Policy and Administration program are as broad and varied as the field of public policy and administration itself. With five concentrations to choose from, graduates set their sights on leadership roles in government at the local, regional and federal levels, in nonprofit organizations or in private enterprise.  For details visit the Public Policy and Administration Career Options page.

Public Policy and Administration Faculty

Instructors in the Public Policy and Administration program at Northwestern University are leading scholars and practitioners in their field. They bring real-world experiences to the classroom and engage with students on a personal level. Get to know the instructors on our Public Policy and Administration Faculty page. 

Public Policy and Administration Student Leadership Council

Learn about the Student Leadership Council for the Public Policy and Administration program and their efforts to create and host network events for the program.

Find Out More

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