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Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management (In-Career MA)

Propel forward in your career.

The in-career MA is built with flexibility for in-career professionals to balance work, school and family life. Build on your experience and enhance your analytical and managerial skills to advance in your career or start a new career path.

MA Core Curriculum

Courses vary from in-person, online or hybrid delivery. Hybrid classes are scheduled conveniently and compactly in the evenings to make them accessible to working professionals. The 38 credit hours are split between core coursework, electives and a Capstone course, designed to broaden and deepen a student's existing professional and leadership skills gained from experience in public service and the nonprofit sector. (Courses may not be offered every term.)

MA Curriculum and Advising Details

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, Length and Preparation

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.

Most MA students complete the program in 5 semesters.

Year 1

  • Autumn
    • PUBAFRS 6000: Public Policy Formulation and Implementation (4)
    • PUBAFRS 6070: Public Affairs Statistics (4)
  • Spring
    • PUBAFRS 6010: Legal Environment of Public Organizations (4)
    • *PUBAFRS 6080: Public Affairs Program Evaluation (4)
  • Summer
    • PUBAFRS 6030: Public Sector Economics (4)
    • Elective (3 credits each)

Year 2

  • Autumn
    • *PUBAFRS 6040: Public Budgeting and Finance (4)
    • PUBAFRS 6050: Managing Public Sector Organizations (4)
  • Spring
    • PUBAFRS 6060: Managing Human Resources in Public Organizations (4)
    • PUBAFRS 79__: Capstone Course (3)


All four classes below must be taken before Capstone:

  • PUBAFRS 6030 before PUBAFRS 6040
  • PUBAFRS 6070 before PUBAFRS 6080

*Both PUBAFRS 6040 and PUBAFRS 6080 have pre-requisites.

Skills Courses (1 credit each) are not required for MA students, but students may choose to take them if desired.

This plan is an example of how an In-Career M.A. student can complete the degree part-time and finish within two years. Students can choose to take only class per term which would extend the program past two years. Students who choose the In-Career program on a full-time basis are able to graduate in one year.

Classes for the In-Career M.A. program are offered during the day or evening. Evening courses typically start at 5:45pm and are offered Monday through Thursday.

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.

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.

Application Deadlines:

  • Final for autumn admit: June 15
    • International applicant deadline: April 15
  • Final for spring admit: Nov. 1
    • International applicant deadline: September 1

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

Eligible individuals must have at least three years of administrative or analytical post-baccalaureate experience. Experience is assessed on an individual basis, however, the following indicators are useful in understanding how the Glenn College defines administrative OR analytical experience.

Administrative Experience could include:

  • Responsibility for personnel decisions (hiring/supervising/evaluating) in an organization
  • Responsibility for managing day to day program or organizational operations
  • Responsibility for formulating budget decisions in an organization
  • Increasing responsibility over time

Analytical Experience could include:

  • Responsibility for researching and writing reports that inform decision-making in an organization
  • Previous master's degree
  • Increasing responsibility over time

Email your resume to to confirm eligibility before applying. Include a short statement explaining how your resume reflects administrative or analytical experience.

If you’re not eligible, you may be interested in our professional development opportunities.

Program Code: PUBADM-MA

The status will first become available two to three days after your application is received. Visit 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

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 at
  • 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.

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 Admissions.

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. To register, select the date below and you will be sent details about the location. All times listed are in the eastern United States time zone (Ohio).

Virtual Information Sessions (2024-2025):

In person Information Sessions (2024-2025):

Can't make it? Visit the Connect with Us page to learn more about how to get in contact to learn more about our graduate programs.