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Choose to make a difference.

The Master of Public Administration degree will provide you with the applied skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce. You will be prepared to lead and grow in your career through a solid grounding in the study of public policy, economics, management and data analysis.

MPA Core Curriculum

The MPA curriculum is 52 total credit hours, primarily delivered through in-person instruction. Core coursework (32 credit hours) is designed to provide students a solid grounding in the study of public policy, economics, management and data analysis. MPA students often complete core coursework during the first year of study. During year two, students are able to specialize coursework through skills courses, electives and a Capstone course. (Courses may not be offered every term.)

View Sample Course Syllabi

Public Policy Stream

PUBAFRS 6000 – Public Policy Formulation and Implementation

Analysis of the operating environment of the public administrator: public policy processes, public organization behavior and policy formulation in the U.S. federal system.


PUBAFRS 6010 – Legal Environment of Public Organizations

Examination of public administration within the managerial, political and legal traditions of the U.S. Constitution with the goal of teaching public managers how to work with the law through an understanding of legal concepts, jargon, skills and issues. The course covers federal and Ohio law

Economics Stream

PUBAFRS 6030 – Public Sector Economics

Economic analysis applied to problems of public policy selection and government management operations; efficiency criteria, market failure and public choice applied to administrative decision-making.


PUBAFRS 6040 – Public Budgeting and Finance

Comprehensive survey and analysis of the principal fiscal activities of contemporary governments; logic of public-sector activity; taxation principles and practice, intergovernmental relations and current fiscal problems. Budgeting as analysis of resource allocation, planning evaluation and control; tools of analysis for program budgeting and measurement of program results; case studies. Prerequisite: PUBAFRS 6030

Management Stream

PUBAFRS 6060 – Managing Human Resources in Public Organizations

Development of analytic and interpersonal skills needed for public sector management. Analytical and experiential learning through reading, lecture, discussion, case analysis, in-class presentations, management decision-making simulations and role-playing.


Choose one:

  • PUBAFRS 6050 – Managing Public Sector Organizations
    Analysis of alternative approaches to the management of public agencies. Examination of alternative strategies that managers may use to link the agency to its operating environment.


  • PUBAFRS 7553 - Nonprofit Management and Governance 
    An advanced survey course on nonprofit management and governance, with a concentrated focus on managing the external environment and evaluating nonprofit capacity for organizational performance and social impact.

Decisions Support Systems Stream

PUBAFRS 6070 – Public Affairs Statistics

Techniques and statistics used in the analysis of public policy issues and problems


PUBAFRS 6080 – Public Affairs Program Evaluation

Survey of the conceptual, methodological, bureaucratic, political and organizational issues surrounding evaluation research. Prerequisite: PUBAFRS 6070

Delivery, Preparation and Work Experience

Program Delivery: 

This accredited, in-person master's degree program requires a majority of coursework be completed in-person. No more than one core or elective course can be taken online per term. Availability of online coursework is not guaranteed.

Preparation for Program:

Students are expected to be familiar with basic concepts of statistics and economics, and knowledgeable about the workings of the U.S. government. Undergraduate courses in microeconomics, statistics and government are strongly recommended. 

Students are also required to have completed a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution to enroll, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If you do not meet the minimum requirements set by the university, but would still like to apply, contact the Glenn College to discuss additional options.

Work Experience:
Most of our MPA students work 20 hours per week in addition to the full-time curriculum. The Glenn College Career Services staff is available to help students seeking options for gaining work experience while obtaining their master’s degree.

Before applying

  1. Complete our Inquiry Form: Introduce yourself to the Glenn College admissions team, express interest in our programs, and receive additional information about the Glenn College experience and offerings.

  2. Review the step-by-step instructions for applying below, which include important deadlines and other required materials. PLEASE NOTE: the deadline below is the date in which all application materials must be received including online application form, resume, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores (if applicable) and transcripts. Applications that are not entirely complete by the date set below will not be reviewed.

Application Deadlines:

  • Autumn start:
    • Priority for funding: Nov. 1 (international) or Dec. 1 (domestic)
      • Autumn applicants who apply after the Dec. 1 priority deadline may still be considered for scholarships based on strength of application and availability of funding.
    • Final: April 15
  • Spring start: Sept. 1 (international) or Nov. 1 (domestic)
  • Summer start: Jan. 15 (international) or March 15 (domestic)

Students interested in MPA-DC are strongly advised to apply by the Glenn College’s priority deadline of December 1st. After the priority deadline, applications for MPA-DC will be considered on a space-available basis.

Program Code: PUBADM-MPA

The status will first become available two to three days after your application is received. Visit the Applicant Center to check the status of your application during the admissions process.

Application Fee:

  • $60 for domestic applicants
  • $70 for international applicants
  • This fee is nonrefundable

University Application Fee Waivers (U.S. applicants only)

If you feel you qualify for an application fee waiver based on your participation in any of the diversity initiatives through the Graduate School Program or Ohio State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, or if you feel you qualify because of economic hardship, please select the appropriate box(es) under the application fee waiver section of the online application. 

  • You must submit proof in order to qualify for an application fee waiver. 
  • Qualifying criteria are listed on the Graduate Admissions webpage.
  • You cannot submit your online application until your application fee waiver request is approved or your application fee is paid. You will be notified if your application fee waiver request is not approved, at which time you should return to the online application and submit the application fee.

We seek to control cost, increase aid for low- and moderate-income families and enhance programs that support success in and out of the classroom. Ohio State is committed to making an excellent college education more accessible and affordable for Buckeyes everywhere.

University Tuition 

College and University Funding Information

Ohio State's ScholarshipUniverse

Indicate your academic and career goals, your interest in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and how your education and work experience qualify you for admission. There is no length requirement for the personal statement.

*If you are an internal transfer student who started an Ohio State degree that you do not plan to complete before entering the Glenn College, please describe why you do not plan to complete your current degree (e.g., unable to pass qualifying exams, change in research interests), and why you think that the Glenn College is a better fit.

Resume or CV: Be sure to include work experience, volunteer activities, academics and professional honors, honorary societies, extracurricular activities, offices held, any publications and other significant activities.

Three letters of recommendation are required and should reflect the academic and, if relevant, job capability and experiences of the applicant. The letters should speak to the applicant’s ability to excel in an academic professional program. 


  • Letters must be submitted electronically using the online application (select “Public Policy and Management”).
  • While completing your online application, please provide your recommender’s name and email address. The Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions will send an email to the recommenders instructing them to complete a short assessment and upload a PDF recommendation letter. 
  • Inform your letter writers that they will receive an email from Ohio State once you submit the online application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure letters of recommendation are completed by posted deadlines. 
  • If recommenders experience difficulties accessing the link or using the online system, please contact the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions directly at
  • Letters of recommendation sent directly to the Glenn College will not be accepted.

Upload transcripts from ALL of the universities and colleges you attended with your online application as an attachment. 

  • Transcripts are required, even for classes transferred from another institution, including classes attended during high school or completed through a study abroad program.
  • Transcripts are not required for coursework completed at Ohio State. 
  • Submit copies (front and back) of official transcripts. Please submit only scanned images of official transcripts issued by your institution’s registrar. Ohio State will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores or transfer credit on another school’s transcript.

Transcripts submitted with the online application are considered unofficial and, if admitted, you will be required to submit an official set of transcripts with statement of degree (if appropriate) prior to enrolling at Ohio State.

GRE Scores are no longer required for any applicant to a master's level program at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Applicants with a GPA that fall below a 3.0 are encouraged to contact the Glenn College for further direction in strengthening their application.

Official GRE Codes:

  • Institution Code: 1592
  • Department Code: 2204

International Students:

  • International students must submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores; scores should be above the equivalent of a TOEFL iBT Total Score of 100 for consideration.

All test scores (if needed), including GRE and English proficiency, must be sent directly to Graduate AdmissionsThe proof of English proficiency requirement is handled by the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. You can find out more information, including potential exemptions to this requirement, on their International Additional Requirements to Apply webpage.


Attend an Information Session

If you're considering a master's degree at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, we encourage you to attend one of our upcoming graduate information sessions. Our team will discuss our degree programs, student benefits and the application process.

We invite you to attend an information session. If you're unable to attend, click the "Connect with Us" button above to learn more about how to get in contact to learn more about our graduate programs. Please register by selecting the preferred date and  note all times are for the Eastern time zone (Ohio). We hope to see you there!

Virtual Information Sessions via Zoom:

Live, learn and work in Washington while earning your degree.

The Glenn College MPA-DC program allows you to complete your MPA while gaining professional experience in the nation's capital.