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Syracuse Maxwell

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MPP and MPA Programs

Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Maxwell)

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: TO COME

Curriculum Design: This is a twelve-month, full-time MPA delivered by a department which also delivers a Master's degree in International Relations. The there are 9 required courses with access to 66 elective courses, including a large number of International Relations courses. Among the programs yet examined, the Maxwell MPA's proportion of instruction in the Tools and Skills domain is in the upper mid-range (59% compared with, for example, 35% at NYU, 44% at Toronto, 46% at Princeton, 52% at Harvard and Carnegie, 58% at Duke and 74% at Berkeley). It is in the lower mid-range in the Institutions and Context domain (13% compared with Berkeley at 7%, Carnegie at 10%, NYU at 14%, Princeton at 15%, Harvard at 23% and Toronto at 31%) and in the upper mid-range of instruction in the Management Functions domain (at 12% it is higher than Harvard and Berkeley at 3% and Duke at 8% but lower than Carnegie at 17%, Indiana at 20% and NYU at 20%). Its proportion of instruction in the Policy Sectors domain is in the lower range (at 16% it is the same as Berkeley at 16% and lower that Michigan and NYU at 19%, Indiana and Duke at 20%, Carnegie and Harvard at 22%, Oxford at 23%, Toronto at 24%, and Princeton at 36%). See PEACO Profile Comparisons, accessed 26 January 2014.

Professional Program Features: TO COME

Program Summary


University: Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, New York.

Degree: Master in Public Administration (MPA)

Marketing Approach: “Maxwell is home to the nation's number-one Master's of Public Administration degree (according to U.S.News & World Report), providing a skills-based education that is concentrated and broadly applicable — for leaders within not only the public sector, but anywhere leadership is essential. In the same department, Maxwell offers an ambitiously interdisciplinary MA in International Relations, combining scholarly coursework with global internships and selected skills instruction. This program was recently ranked top-15 by Foreign Affairs. And alongside those is an array of powerful joint degrees, including Public Diplomacy, the Master's of Public Health, and the two-continent Atlantis Program, among others. Maxwell graduates are famously inventive and savvy. Employers trust them to possess not just the skills of leadership but that special combination of big-picture thinking and connect-the-dots pragmatism that makes PAIA alumni especially valuable. (At, accessed 12 January 2014.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: The MPA is offered by the Department of Public Administration & International Affairs within the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The Maxwell School’s graduate programs are listed at The degrees most closely related to the MPA offered at the Maxwell School include: the Master in Public Administration/International Relations; Public Diplomacy; Public Health; JD-MPA; and the Atlantis Program.

Posted Tuition: $52,066.  Most full time MPA students will complete their course of study in the following configuration: Summer I -7 Credits (all core requirements): $9,058. Fall I 12-15 Credits: $15,528-19,410. Spring I 12-15 Credits: $15,528-19,410. Summer II: 6 Credits (all core requirements): $8,070. Note 1: The tuition rate for 2013-14 is $1,294 per credit hour. Tuition increases occur on May 1 of each year, which accounts for the higher tuition during the second summer and following semester(s) detailed in some programs below.

Concentration/Curriculum Overview:  

MPA Degree Requirements

Summary: In the MPA program, students are required to complete 40 credits.  The core requirements of the MPA program (25 credits) are balanced along three lines: policy analysis, public management, and public context.  MPA students take 7 credits the first summer (July-August), 12-15 credits in each of the fall and spring semesters, and 6 credits of capstone core requirements over the final summer (May-June).    The Executive Education MPA stream provides a flexible, 30-credit option for midcareer professionals who have seven or more years of relevant experience. 

Duration: 12 months of full-time study from July to June. Note 1: It is possible to complete the program on a part-time basis, but all students must attend the one-week Public Affairs Colloquium in July, the final capstone courses also require full-time attendance, Monday-Friday, May-June.  Most classes in the spring and fall are offered between 9am and 5pm.

Academic Prerequisite:   Students admitted over the past three years have had median GPAs above 3.5 and GRE test scores of 580/158-V, 700/155-Q and 4.5- AW.  Median TOEFL scores of those admitted over the past three years have been above 105.  Note 1:  Work experience, internships, and volunteerism in relevant fields is valued.

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion:  MPA: 13.  Executive MPA: 10.  Note: PAI 600 Public Affairs Colloquium is a mandatory course, but is worth only 1 credit as opposed to the one-semester courses that are 3 credits, and is not being counted as one-semester-equivalent.

Number of Required Courses: MPA: 9.  Executive MPA: 3.  Note 1: PAI 600 Public Affairs C

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): MPA: 4.  Executive MPA: 7.

Number of Electives Offered within Program: MPA: 66.  Executive MPA: 70.

Comprehensive Examination: No.

Thesis Required: No.

Internship Required: No.  Note 1: Internships are strongly recommended for students who lack significant previous experience.  PAI 670 is an Internship/Experience Credit Course Option.  The Fall/Spring Internship hourly/weekly requirements for a 3 credit internship are a minimum of 10 weeks and 150 hours.  For a Summer Semester Internship, the hourly/weekly requirements are a minimum of 6 weeks and 150 hours.

International Study Required: No. 

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes.  The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs offers signature seminars, promotes academic exchange opportunities, and encourages students to pursue internship experiences in dozens of countries all over the world. In Washington, D.C., Maxwell is now based at and programmatically partnered with the Center for Strategic & International Studies — another source of internship and other academic opportunities for PAIA students.

Student-run Journal: No, but there is a student-run blog called PAIA Insider. At

Applied Projects:  Yes.  A core requirement is PAI 752 MPA Workshop, which is an intensive four week, full-time capstone course.

Pro Bono Consulting: No.

Courses Offered: 2013-2014 core and elective courses are found at: These have been downloaded to the Atlas at Syracuse (Maxwell School) MPA Program Course List, January 2014 In the Course Map below, required courses are indicated by (R). Courses profiled in the Atlas as "Compass Courses" are marked with an asterisk (*). For these courses, the links in the CourseMap point to the profiles on the Atlas. For the remaining courses, the links point to the descriptions on the course listing site.

Course Material Online: Short course descriptions, but no syllabi appear to be publicly available online.

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the CourseMap below, weighted by estimated enrolment based on the number of elective sections offered (100) and number of electives typically taken (9), is displayed below. [See note on PEACO Profile Methodology.] Note 1: Below is the PEACO profile for the MPA regular stream, not Executive MPA.

Courses Required and Offered

a. Number of one-semester courses required for degree


b. Number of required courses


c. Number of elective courses taken (a - b)


d. Number of elective courses offered


e. Enrolment weight of elective courses (c/d)


Distribution of Instruction by Subject-matter Domain

Tools and Skills


  - Strategy and Structure


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative Methods and Management Sciences


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Social, Political, Global and Local Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




Distribution of Instruction by NASPAA Competency Domain 

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry




Source: At;;;;;;;;; (accessed 12 January 2014).

Page Created By: Laura Davidson on 14 January 2014 and updated by Ian Clark on 26 January, 2014 and Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program's structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

Syracuse (Maxwell) MPA Course Map
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d,  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  P o l i c y  a n d  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  PPA600: Public Affairs Colloquium (R)
  PAI785: Implementation of Social Policy

 Economic Analysis

  PAI723: Managerial Economics for Public Administrators (R)

 Quantitative Methods

  PAI721: Introduction to Statistics (R)
  PAI722: Quantitative Analysis (R)
  PAI730: Forecasting for Policy Analysis and Public Management

 Analytic Methods

  PAI712: Public Organizations & Management (R)
  PAI700: Crisis Management
  PAI730: Managing Individual/group/systemic conflict
  PAI730: Public-Private Partnerships
  PAI748: Non-profit Management and Governance

 Leadership Skills

  PAI753: Executive Leadership Seminar (R)

 Communication Skills

  PAI730: Social Media and the 2012 Election

 Professional Practice

  PAI670: Experience Credit
  PAI690: Independent Study
  PAI890: Independent Study
  PAI895: Executive Education Seminar: Managerial Leadership (for Executive MPA students only)
  PAI896: Executive Education Seminar: HR Management (for Executive MPA students only)
  PAI897: Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (for Executive MPA students only)
  PAI996: Master’s Project Paper (for Executive MPA students only)
  PAI752: MPA Workshop (R)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and Policy Process

  PAI755: Public Administration and Democracy (R)
  PAI730: Collaborative and Participatory Governance
  PAI730: Public Policy Making: The Federal Perspective
  PAI742: Public Administration and Law

 Social and Political Context

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

  PAI746: Ethics and Public Policy

 Intergovernmental and Global Context

  PAI601: Fundamentals of Conflict Studies
  PAI684: IR of the Middle East
  PAI707: Culture and World Affairs
  PAI716: Economic Dimensions of Global Power
  PAI764: UN Organizations: Managing For Change
  PAI730: Political Economy of Policy Reform in Developing Countries: Experience from Asia
  PAI730: Business and Government in the Global Economy-The Asian Experience

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

PAI734: Public Budgeting (R)
PAI730: The US Federal Budget: Budget and Entitlement Program Reform
PAI731: Financial Management in State and Local Governments
PAI735: State and Local Government Finance
PAI479: Financial Management in Nonprofit organizations
PAI767: Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

 Human Resource Management

  PAI730: Labor Relations in the Public Sector
  PAI747: Human Resources Management for the Public Sector

 Information Management and Technology

  PAI730: i-governance Management in the Information age
  PAI730: Government 2.0

 Program and Service Delivery

  PAI782: Health Services Management

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

  PAI713: Governance and Global Civil Society

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  PAI600: International Macroeconomics and Finance
  PAI730: Tax Policy and Politics

 International Development

  PAI600: Stabilization and Growth in Emerging Markets
  PAI715: Globalization and Development Courses
  PAI719: Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Resolution
  PAI730: Development Finance
  PAI756: Policy and Administration in Developing Countries
  PAI757: Economics of Development
  PAI763: Managing NGOs in Transitional and Developing Countries
  PAI765: Humanitarian Action: Challenges, Responses, Results

 Social Policy and Welfare

  PAI730: Child and Family Policy
  PAI781: Social Welfare Policy


  PAI730: Health and Development
  PAI736: Economics of Health and Health Policy
  PAI783: Changing American Health Care System


  PAI730: Girls Education in a Developing World
  PAI784: Education Policy

 Employment, Labour and Immigration

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

  PAI744: Metropolitan Government and Politics
  PAI786: Urban Policy

 Environment and Sustainability

  PAI730: Environmental Conflict Resolution and Collaboration
  PAI730: Climate Change: Science, Perception and Policy
  PAI777: Economics of Environmental Policy

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

  PAI772: Science, Technology and Public Policy

 Industry, Trade and Investment

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  PAI775: Energy, Environment and Resource Policy

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  PAI700: Terrorism in the 21st Century
  PAI717: International Security
  PAI718: US National Security and Foreign Policy
  PAI730: Central Challenges to National Security Law & Policy
  PAI730: US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice, 1947-Present
  PAI730: Peace and Conflict in the Balkans
  PAI730: US Defense Strategy, Military Posture & Combat Operations, 2001-Present
  PAI730: Responding to Proliferation
  PAI730: Homeland Security: Federal Policy and Implementation Challenges
  PAI730: Homeland Security: State and Local Government Preparedness and Response

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Arts and Culture

 Financial Markets

 Other Policy Sectors

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance