Mission Statement

The mission of the AU Master of Public Administration program is to instill the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to manage and lead with distinction in government and related organizations that serve the public good in the U.S. democratic context and abroad.

We will achieve our mission by preparing students to:

  1. Apply acquired knowledge about administration/management/leadership in contemporary public and related organizations and systems.
  2. Allocate administrative and programmatic resources based on analytic decision making.
  3. Analyze administrative problems, craft solutions, and communicate them effectively to relevant stakeholders.
  4. Incorporate a range of values into administrative actions, including democratic/constitutional values, respect for the diversity of people and perspectives in the policy process, and administrative values such as responsiveness, accountability, effectiveness and equity.

For the foreseeable future, the United States and other governments worldwide face the challenge of discerning how best to harness the energy and expertise of public servants, the passion and commitment of nonprofit organizations, and the dynamism and creativity of markets in the pursuit of democratic and constitutionally informed public purposes.

Through our teaching and unique location in Washington, D.C., we seek to help meet this challenge by enhancing the knowledge, professional skills, and leadership potential of our students in their public service careers.

We educate students entering, engaged in, and interacting with government agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

We treat administration and policy as interrelated subjects strongly influenced by the values of public service and democratic constitutionalism.

Through our research and civic involvement, we also seek to enhance what is practiced and taught in our field.

We seek to attract a diverse group of talented students. We encourage their active involvement in learning, research, and professional activity and strive to enhance their appreciation of the responsibilities of public service.

We Know Success Facts

Employers, Recent MPA Graduates

  • AARP
  • Anacostia Watershed Society
  • Best Buddies NY
  • BNP Paribas
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Catholics for Choice
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • City of Seattle
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • DC Central Kitchen
  • DC Department of Health
  • Deloitte
  • Democracy Fund
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors
  • Foreign Service Institute
  • Hillel International
  • Marwood Group LLC.
  • Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc.
  • mothers2mothers
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • Office of the State Attorney 12th Judicial Circuit
  • Peace Corps
  • Priorities USA Action
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control
  • State of Georgia
  • Strafford Regional Planning Commission
  • The Executive Office of the President
  • The Lewin Group
  • The Palladium Group
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • The Secretariat of the House of Representatives
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, State, Veterans Affairs
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council
  • U.S. Small Business Administration

MPA Employment By the Numbers, 2020-21

MPA Employment By the Numbers, 2020-21
Prior to Graduation/Final Semester Post Graduation (Six Months)*
% Employed Full Time 53% % Employed 95%
% Employed Part Time 12%    
% in Internships 10%    
Where are the Jobs?
Where are the Jobs?
% in Public Sector 47% % in Public Sector 30%
% in Nonprofit Sector 27% % in Nonprofit Sector 51%
% in Private Sector 34% % in Private Sector 19%
Source: Student Exit Surveys
Source: University Graduate Census

*For more information on post-graduation employment, see: We Know Success, MPA

Representative MPA Internship Sites, 2020-21

  • AARP
  • American Purpose
  • American University Center for Community Engagement and Service
  • American University Polarization & Extremism, Research & Innovation Lab
  • Bread for the World
  • Central Washington University Board of Trustees, Office of the Governor
  • DC Health Link
  • Education Bureau, Shanxi Province, China
  • Environmental and Energy Study Institute
  • Feminist Majority
  • MERIT Health Leadership Academy
  • National Association of Counties
  • Partnership for Public Service
  • Peace Corps Agency HQ
  • She Grows It, LLC
  • Sorofano Law
  • St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral
  • Street Law Inc.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • U.S. Dept of State
  • U.S. HUD
  • U.S. Office of Congressman Scott Peters
  • U.S. Transportation Security Administration
  • YouKu Organization/Company

Recent MPA Capstone Projects

  • American Red Cross Fails To Provide Assistance For Hurricane Harvey Victims
  • Burdens and Barriers TANF - Studying Temporary Assistance for Needy Families through the public administration lens of goal ambiguity and administrative burden
  • California High Speed Rail What Is The Hold Up
  • Challenges Facing Cyber Security in the U.S. Government A Case Study of the 2015 OPM Data Breach
  • Diagnosing Administrative Failure in Post-Natural Disaster Environments
  • Gerrymandering In North Carolina How Race and Partisanship Are Inextricably Linked
  • Goal Displacement at heart of PGCPS Grade Inflation Controversy
  • Family Separation Under Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Policy
  • How Organizational Failures Have Impacted the Opioid Crisis
  • New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) Communicating Disaster Preparedness
  • Strategic Management in the Face of Changing Regulation - Nongovernmental Organizations and the Global Gag Rule
  • The Closure of DC General - A Case Study for Public Administrators
  • The Department Of Veterans Affairs Failed Leadership The Effect On Suicide Rates Among Military Veterans
  • The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act - Assessing The Pell Grant Ban For Incarcerated Students
  • TSA Funding and Security Effectiveness In The Post 911 Era
  • Why the federal bureau of investigation failed to prevent the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Concentration Booklet

Concentration Featured: Public Management

Public Management Concentration Sample Courses
Semester Courses Level
Fall (1) PUAD 605: Quantitative Methods for Public Managers
PUAD 612: Introduction to Public Administration and Policy Process
PUAD 616: Legal Basis of Public Administration
Core Requirement
Core Requirement
Core Requirement
Spring (2) PUAD 617: Project Management
PUAD 630: Public Managerial Economics
PUAD 665: Managing Human Capital Assets
Concentration/Management Elective
Core Requirement
Concentration/Management Elective
Summer (3) PUAD 684: Organizational Analysis Core Requirement
Fall (4) PUAD 609: State and Local Management
PUAD 633: Budgeting and Financial Management
PUAD 652: Facilitation and Team Development
Concentration/Management Elective
Core Requirement
Concentration Elective
Spring (5) PUAD 610: Public Administration Capstone
PUAD 696: Program Performance Evaluation for Managers
PUAD 650: Leadership in a Changing Workplace
Core Requirement
Concentration Elective
Management Elective

Concentration Featured: Nonprofit Management

Public Management Concentration Sample Courses
Semester Courses Level
Fall (1) PUAD 605: Quantitative Methods for Public Managers
PUAD 612: Introduction to Public Administration and Policy Process
PUAD 681: Managing Nonprofit Organizations
Core Requirement
Core Requirement
Concentration/Management Elective
Spring (2) PUAD 630: Public Managerial Economics
PUAD 696: Nonprofits and Public Policy
PUAD 616: Legal Basis of Public Administration
Core Requirement
Concentration Elective
Core Requirement
Summer (3) PUAD 684: Organizational Analysis Core Requirement
Fall (4) PUAD 615: Public-Private Partnerships
PUAD 685: Grant Management
PUAD 682: Nonprofit Resource Development
Concentration/Management Elective
Concentration Elective
Concentration Elective
Spring (5) PUAD 610: Public Administration Capstone
PUAD 696: Program Performance Evaluation for Managers
PUAD 633: Budgeting and Financial Management
Core Requirement
Concentration Elective
Core/Concentration Elective

*These are sample course plans. Actual course work may vary.

MPA Graduation Rates

Social Policy Sample Courses
Student Entering Academic Term Student Entering Cohort Count at Census Graduated within 1 year Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
2016-2017 44   36 43 44 44
2015-2016 72 3 52 63 64  


44 0 36 43 44  

Math & Statistics Boot Camp

The objective of Boot Camp is to improve your math skills while you get to know your peers.

Boot Camp is tailored exclusively for incoming MPP students wishing to prepare for the advanced economic and mathematical requirements of that degree, as well as for those MPA students committed to pursuing a policy analysis concentration (i.e., taking PUAD 601 and/or 670 in their first semester at AU).

Math & Statistics Boot Camp is held in August, the weekend before Fall Orientation for one full day (Friday). Email invitations will be sent in summer to all new eligible MPA and MPP students for this year’s Boot Camp, to be held on Friday, August 20th, 2021, location TBA.

Contact Marquise McGraw, mcgrawm@american.edu, with questions.

Please refer to the 2022 Syllabus for anticipated course content.

Basic Mathematics Review

  • Greek notation
  • Operators
  • Order of operations
  • Basics of probability
  • Logs
  • Exponents
  • Properties of expected values
  • Equation of a line
  • Tangencies


  • Manipulating mathematical equations
  • Solving equation(s) with one or two unknowns, including equations with logs & exponents