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Curriculum Tracks

Master's in Public Administration
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Curriculum Tracks


MPA curriculum tracks allow students to customize their academic program based on career goals and interests. The tracks are interdisciplinary and focus on building skill and ability in specific areas of public service work.

The tracks require students to select their two electives from specific courses so that together with carefully chosen internships, course activity, and capstone projects, participants build significant expertise in specific aspects of public service. 

Tracks require approval from the deputy director, Natalia Trujillo. The MPA program currently offers three options.

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This track focuses on new ways of addressing social needs and social change, including methods often associated with business. The purpose is to train leaders who create innovative and sustainable change for the benefit of society. The track is offered in partnership with the Zhan Innovation Center on the City College Campus.

Students adopt the track in their second semester. It requires students to take as their electives a course in social entrepreneurship and one in strategic communication (PSM B1818). Students intern and receive mentorship and workshops from some of New York City’s leading social movers and shakers.

Students are encouraged to develop innovative projects under sponsorship of the Zahn Center, which provides space, tools, and guidance. Those projects may be eligible to participate in annual competitions for support that will transform their ideas into actual ventures. Participants also may receive social innovation scholarships for the three semesters of the program.

Public Policy and Research

This track is for students interested in policy analysis, research, and program evaluation. This track would be most suitable for those interested in careers in consulting, policy advising, government oversight, advocacy, national political advising, or budget and economic analysis.

The track is offered in partnership with the Colin Powell School's Department of Economics. Students build on MPA courses in program evaluation and quantitative methods and acquire deeper knowledge of techniques of quantitative analysis by using their electives to take courses agreed to by faculty, which may include an independant study involving research, statistics and econometrics, and empirical research. Students have the option of completing a workshop in SPSS.

Communication and Public Relations

This track is for students seeking to develop more in-depth skill using the methods and techniques of communications to advance an organization's mission. This would be ideal for those interested in fund raising, training, international negotiations, consulting, human rights, advocacy, and political campaign work, among others.

The track is offered in partnership with CCNY's Department of Media and Communication Arts. To complete this track, students must select their electives from the following courses.

PSM B1818: Strategic Communication
Media and Communication B3001:  Relationship Building
Media and Communication B3002:  Consumer Behavior and Persuasion
Media and Communication B3003:  Internal Management
Media and Communication B3022:  Branding Issues and Intangibles