The Master in Public Administration program, housed in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, prepares students, including many from groups traditionally underrepresented in public service, for management roles in public and nonprofit institutions and movement-based organizations.

Our program, located on the culturally rich CCNY campus, embedded in historic Harlem, commits to centering marginalized communities and cultivating leadership by and for the whole people. We envision a world in which all voices play a role in the social change ecosystem, fostering innovative approaches that expand our civic solution space. Now more than ever, we need public sector actors equipped to face the tremendous adversity of this moment. 

Four core values guide how the program supports the next generation of public service leaders and managers:

Social Justice Lens

We develop the core values and convictions of our students so that they can lead efforts to challenge systemic inequities in NYC and beyond. Lead by action, the guiding ethos for the MPA program, affirms our commitment to perspectives and innovations that allow students to critically engage their world on their own terms. The program positions itself as an agent for change – grounded by a social justice framework that is rooted in community transformation.

Public Service Management

Consistent with the mission of the Colin Powell School, the MPA program offers a rigorous instructional experience that integrates activism, service, leadership training, teamwork, and mentoring, ensuring that students engage with real-world challenges and develop the capacity, drive, and public spirit to serve as effective leaders and social change agents. With faculty who are experienced practitioners in their fields, students develop a set of core management skills, including impact assessment, strategic communications, data analysis, and more.

Interdisciplinary Approach

We affirm the need for a broad-based, historically informed and interdisciplinary curriculum to address the complexity of social, political, and economic problems. Students can draw upon the variety of academic departments at CCNY and in the CUNY system for elective courses to help them focus their degree on their field of interest. The program commits to experiential learning opportunities that expose students to multi-sectoral applications that cultivate collaboration on all fronts.

Community Focus 

By building community through purposeful engagement, the MPA program seeks to expand the walls of the classroom. We are intentional in combining instruction with community-based initiatives and problem-solving, targeted especially at the New York City region. The program serves as a forum for community stakeholders, policymakers, civic leaders, and others dealing with the major challenges of our time in ways that dismantle traditional barriers between the various sectors, vulnerable communities, and the broader public.

Ready to create the change you envision? Sign up on our prospective student list.
For news and updates from the broader Colin Powell School community, sign up for the At-A-Glance Newsletter.


Shepard Hall
Rm. 1
259 Convent Ave.
New York, NY 10031