Having trouble deciding which program is for you?

We've listed some of the key features and qualities of our residential and executive degree programs below.  As always, please reach out to our Admissions Staff with any questions you may have. 

CIPA MPA Program Comparison

 

MPA

Executive MPA (EMPA)

Degree Conferred

Cornell Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Cornell Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Format

Residential

Asynchronous and synchronous online with three, 1-week residential sessions in Ithaca, New York

Who should apply

Students and practicing professionals looking for a flexible curriculum and expansive concentrations. Applicants who are looking for a full-time degree and residential experience. Individuals considering a career change and requiring foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities in public administration.

Mid-career, practicing professionals with 8 or more years of experience who need to balance a rigorous graduate education with the demands of a full-time job.  Applicants with fewer than 8 years of experience may be considered if their experience is especially relevant and other qualifications are strong.

Program Length 2 Years 18 Months

Next Application Deadline

We are currently accepting complete MPA applications for Fall 2021 until May 1, 2021. MPA applications for Spring 2022 will open in early September and be due in late November. 

The application for admission to the May 2021 EMPA cohort is now closed.  The application for the May 2022 EMPA cohort will open in late August. 

Primary Instruction Method

During the 2020-2021 academic year, a hybrid approach to a residential semester with in-person, online and hybrid teaching modalities

Faculty-led online courses and 3 on-campus residency weeks on Cornell’s campus in beautiful Ithaca, New York

Curriculum

Interdisciplinary, flexible curriculum with eight concentrations.
 

With the help of your advisor, you can select courses tailored to your academic and professional interests. Within each of these concentrations, you may choose five courses that will give you the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue your interests and achieve your professional goals.

 

MPA students may concentrate in:

  • Economic and Financial Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Government, Politics and Policy Studies
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • International Development Studies
  • Public and Nonprofit Management
  • Science, Technology and Infrastructure Policy
  • Social Policy

View full MPA curriculum details

An interdisciplinary, cohort-oriented curriculum. 

  • You will take your core courses in a prescribed sequence, together with your cohort. 
  • You will take your elective courses during the second year of the program

EMPA students develop competencies in five broad areas: communication skills; research and analytical problem-solving skills; institutional knowledge and organizational financial management; values; and specialized policy expertise.
 

Tailor your program by choosing from two concentrations:

  • Public and Nonprofit Management, with elective courses in managing technology, managing personnel, decision analytics, and leadership and strategy
  • International Policy, with elective courses in frontiers of international policy, human rights, international management, and leadership and strategy

View the EMPA course schedule

Culminating Experience

Capstone project, professional report, or thesis

A substantial capstone project which unfolds over the duration of the program and culminates in a final presentation. The capstone project is expected to represent a strategic priority by your current employer.

Alumni Network A Cornellian for life. Graduates will join the 250,000+ members of the Cornell University Alumni Community. Cornell MPA Alumni enjoy a wide variety of networking and social events. A Cornellian for life. Graduates will join the 250,000+ members of the Cornell University Alumni Community. Cornell MPA Alumni enjoy a wide variety of networking and social events.

Eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Benefits

Yes

The EMPA degree is currently being reviewed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon eligibility. 

Career Services The Office of Career Management will provide career services as a current student or an alum.

The Office of Career Management can provide networking support and other services upon request.

Funding

Merit-based aid and fellowships supported by CIPA; students are eligible to apply for federal Stafford loans. 

There are no scholarships, fellowships, or grants awarded for the EMPA at this time; students are eligible to apply for federal Stafford loans. 

Apply Learn how to apply for the MPA Learn how to apply for the EMPA
Program Questions Connect with our MPA Admissions Staff Connect with our EMPA Admissions Counselors
Request More Information Request more information about the MPA 

Request more information about the EMPA 

Download the EMPA Information Sheet

 

 

Online Certificate Programs

CIPA also offers online programs for the following certificate programs:

  • Financial Success for Nonprofits
  • Systems Thinking
  • Public Sector Leadership
  • International Public and NGO Management

Learn more about all of our online certificate programs