Global Master of Public Administration


World-class online learning and leading for human well-being

Welcome to the all-online Penn Global Master of Public Administration program—the Penn G-MPA!

Penn is an Ivy League school located in historic Philadelphia. Penn is consistently ranked among the top US universities and is often ranked first in many fields.

The Penn G-MPA is a premier, individualized, and flexibly scheduled graduate professional program in which you can sample a course or two without taking any additional courses, complete a five-course Graduate Certificate in Global Public Administration, or earn a master’s degree by completing all 10 courses in the Penn G-MPA curriculum.

The unique format of the Penn G-MPA program means that you can set your own pace for your graduate study. Because all 10 Penn G-MPA courses are offered each fall semester and each spring semester, you can earn a certificate in just one semester (a single fall or spring term) or over as many as four semesters (two years). Likewise, you can earn a degree in as few as two semesters (one year) or as many as eight semesters (four years).

No matter when or how you choose to complete your courses, as a Penn G-MPA student, you will learn from world-class scholars, receive specialized academic advising, and meet distinguished leaders. In addition, if you are a successful degree candidate, you will graduate into Penn’s extraordinary global alumni network!

While each Penn G-MPA course is offered online and predominantly asynchronously, you will have multiple opportunities for synchronous online engagement with the program’s faculty members, distinguished affiliates, and senior staff members.

And make no mistake! Even though you are studying remotely, as a Penn G-MPA student, you are part of the diverse, robust, and dynamic Penn community of communities, a reality signified, for example, by G-MPA alumni who have participated in all-expenses-paid faculty-student service learning trips and by G-MPA degree students who have had on-campus graduation luncheons with faculty.

The Penn G-MPA is designed especially for future leaders in government, nonprofit, and business organizations who wish to hone their problem-solving skills and go on to make a real difference in improving human well-being locally, nationally, and globally.

The “G” in the Penn G-MPA is alive throughout the program’s exciting 10-course curriculum. All Penn G-MPA students are proficient in English. Each semester, students have several opportunities for synchronous, fully online engagement with their instructors and senior staff. These include up to three individual academic advising sessions (two required, one optional) with senior staff, and up to two group sessions (one required, one optional) with the lead faculty instructor in each of their courses. In addition, each semester, every Penn G-MPA student, whether taking as few as one or as many as five courses, is invited to five special synchronous, fully online discussion forums (two required, three optional) with distinguished leaders.

As a Penn G-MPA student, you will develop and deepen your skills in strategic thinking, data analysis, and ethical reasoning while becoming immersed in real-world cases on topics ranging from eldercare in Asia to public health in Africa to homelessness and housing in the Americas, Asia, and Africa.

If you choose to pursue the G-MPA degree, your problem-solving learning will culminate in a capstone paper. The capstone paper is written in conjunction with G-MPA 6100, a course taken during your final semester. In consultation with an academic advisor, you will select one of three capstone paper topics supplied by the lead faculty instructor. The capstone paper is based on primary and secondary research conducted in English.

Blending rigorous academic analysis with practical problem-solving skills, your Penn G-MPA’s world-class, multilingual faculty brings together diverse and distinguished national and global leaders to address major problems affecting human well-being.

During your time as a Penn G-MPA student, you will:

  • Complete a synchronous online orientation that introduces you to faculty, staff, and other students while addressing all aspects of the program, from its overarching “collaboration across sectors” and “strategic analysis” pedagogy to its particular academic policies and protocols
  • Take and complete as many as 10 all-online, asynchronous courses
  • Receive synchronous online course advising and faculty mentoring
  • Participate in special synchronous online seminars featuring boundary-spanning, problem-solving leaders in the government, nonprofit, and business sectors

Additionally, as a Penn G-MPA degree candidate, you will:

  • Complete an intellectually challenging, skills-stretching capstone research paper (when you are in the final semester of the program)
  • Come to Penn the week before the May commencement ceremony, at your option, to meet the G-MPA faculty and staff in person and participate in special sessions featuring experts on global affairs