Part-time or accelerated full-time — what's right for me?

You can earn your MPPA degree through part-time nonresidential study or the one-year accelerated option. Each option offers the deep and broad learning experience of the MPPA curriculum. Whatever option you choose, you will learn from experienced, engaged faculty who are thought leaders in their fields and you will earn a master's degree from Northwestern University — ranked tenth nationally among U.S. universities. 

Use the information below to decide which option suits your needs.


Earn your degree by taking classes part-time.

Earn your degree at a pace that works with your life. Take any combination of online and evening on-campus courses to complete your degree. You'll learn and network with classmates who are experienced professionals from a wide range of fields.

Choose from five specializations — Public Policy, Public Administration, Global Policy, Global Health, or Data Analytics. 

  • Part-time, flexible schedule — complete the program in two to five years
  • Course load is one to two courses per quarter — study at your own pace
  • Choose a blend of online and on-campus courses, or all online, for most specializations
  • Choose from five specializations
  • Faculty members are accessible as needed; meet and network with classmates — most are working professionals — in person and online
  • Most students balance their studies with full-time jobs
  • The part-time option is nonresidential — no campus housing is available
  • Begin in any quarter  
  • Apply any time — application deadlines and quarter start dates


The MPPA full-time accelerated option.

Immerse yourself in the program by taking three courses per quarter. With two on-campus courses (evening and daytime) and one online course each term, you'll have the flexibility to pursue additional outside activities during the day. Benefit from strong relationships built in a cohort and from learning with diverse groups of professionals — many who are highly-placed in their fields. Choose from specializations in Public Policy, Public Administration, or Global Policy.

We welcome international students from around the world to apply for our accelerated MPPA option. If admitted to the accelerated option, international students are eligible to apply and receive a student visa. Learn more about admission details for international and domestic students.

Applicants to our accelerated MPPA option may be invited to interview after evaluation of a submitted application.

  • Accelerated pace, complete program in one year
  • Course load is three to four courses per quarter
  • Students take a mix of day, evening and online classes
  • Choose from three specializations
  • Intense interaction with faculty and a dedicated cohort of classmates from the U.S. and around the globe
  • Schedule offers flexibility and balance that allows time for part-time internships and policy-related roles with area organizations
  • Begin in the fall quarter only — fall 2023 application deadlines will be published soon
  • International applicants are highly encouraged to apply by the first-round deadline in order to allow sufficient time to begin the I-20 process if accepted
  • Exclusive access to academic and networking events, as well as amenities like a Wildcard preloaded with a designated dollar amount to provide printing and copying assistance of journal articles and other library material
  • Students receive a CTA U-Pass that provides free, unlimited travel during each academic term they are enrolled in the full-time program



^ Back to top ^