Sharpen the skills necessary to drive impact in public affairs

The Watson Institute’s Master of Public Affairs (MPA) equips students with frameworks to analyze today’s societal challenges and key professional skills to enact innovative solutions. Through our rigorous one-year program that runs from early June to May, students will sharpen their analytical, communication, and strategic leadership skills needed for an impactful career in public affairs.

The MPA curriculum is designed to provide students with skills to answer three core questions:

How do we know?
Training for empirical analysis

How do we do?
Training for management and leadership

How do we change?
Training for advocacy

The MPA required curriculum provides a foundation in data analytics, management and leadership, advocacy and change. Aligned with Brown’s commitment to intellectual exploration, MPA students may pursue a specialization aligned with our core questions or through elective coursework tailored to their policy interests, academic curiosity, and/or professional goals. The MPA curriculum also requires students to complete The Policy-in-Action Project, a hands-on experience analyzing a policy issue with a client in the nonprofit, public, or private sector, resulting in a final professional deliverable.

The MPA curriculum will equip students with skills that include:

  • Quantitative analysis
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Strategic communication
  • Policy analysis
  • Global policy design and delivery
  • Policy writing
  • Data management
  • Project management
  • Public budgeting
  • Negotiation
Choose from several specialization approaches in your elective coursework.
Analyze a real-world, policy-related challenge or problem for a nonprofit, public, or private sector collaborating organization.