International Master of Public Administration

International Master of Public Administration (I-MPA) students

Learning and leading for global human well-being

The University of Pennsylvania, known as Penn, is a highly selective and top-ranked Ivy League university that is located on a beautiful urban campus in historic Philadelphia. The Penn International Master of Public Administration (I-MPA) is an exciting, innovative, skills-based graduate degree program that is expressly dedicated to improving global human well-being by professionally educating, nurturing, and networking present and future problem-solving leaders.

The Penn I-MPA takes only one academic year and eight courses to complete. It is an academically cutting-edge cohort model program (all I-MPA degree candidates take all I-MPA courses together and participate in numerous extracurricular learning experiences together) led by a distinctively interdisciplinary, multinational, and multilingual team of world-class scholars and noted leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector who teach, advise, mentor, and inspire our students.


I-MPA degree candidates are educationally equipped and professionally empowered through five interlocking program components, four required and one optional:

  1. Curriculum: Eight well-integrated courses that culminate in advanced individual research and writing a capstone paper and a group-organized, class-wide capstone project.
  2. Languages: Proficiency in English and proficiency in any one or more of the following four languages: Hindi*, Mandarin, Spanish, or Swahili.
  3. Extracurricular activities: Extracurricular experiences including special events and a distinguished speaker series.
  4. Advising: Year-long robust, individualized academic advising and professional mentoring.
  5. Paid fellowships: During spring break, top-performing I-MPA students may be eligible to apply for an all-expenses-paid, faculty-led service-learning fellowship trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. As Joseph P. Tierney Fellows of the Penn Partnership for Innovation, Cross-Sector Collaboration, Leadership, and Organization (PICCLO), students tour the Crescent City; meet top business, government, and nonprofit leaders; and learn firsthand about the public-private partnerships that were essential to the region's human, physical, and financial recovery process in the decades following Hurricane Katrina. In the summer immediately following graduation, I-MPA students who served as leaders of the group-organized, class-wide capstone project in I-MPA 6095 may be eligible for Fox Leadership International Alumni Research and Service (FLIARS) awards of up to $5,000.

The I-MPA program starts on August 24, 2024, with new student orientation. Classes for the fall semester start on August 27, 2024, and finish at the end of the spring semester on April 30, 2025.

*The I-MPA program also accepts two related local languages as evidence of language proficiency: Bengali and Urdu.

Earn an Ivy League graduate degree in one year

Hear from Penn’s I-MPA Faculty Director, Professor Charlotte Ren, PhD, about the program, its unique cohort model, and its innovative curriculum that addresses boundary-spanning leadership.

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Bruce Zou

Bruce Zou

I-MPA ’19, PhD candidate at Penn Graduate School of Education

“I-MPA offered me a placement among Penn’s engaging community and supportive group of distinguished faculty. I learned about the program at the beginning of my career with Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, where I served as a liaison between policymakers and business decision-makers. The focus on public-private partnership through the lens of US-China relations was a perfect match. Moreover, Dr. Chao Guo’s research on social entrepreneurship expanded my perspective on developing a public-private partnership with creating social values in mind.”

Learn more about the I-MPA’s intensive and exciting coursework >


Xueyao Liu

I-MPA ’23

The I-MPA provides students with networking opportunities and connections with prominent government and nonprofit leaders. Hear from graduate Xueyao Liu '23 about her experience in the program and how she leveraged her academic experience to obtain a full-time employment opportunity.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Looking for financial assistance?

Learn about the options available to international and domestic students.

Charlotte Ren, PhD

Meet the faculty

Learn from the university's most celebrated scholars and the industry's leading minds.

Course descriptions

See the courses and electives available to master's students.

IMPA Features

Top five reasons to pursue an I-MPA degree

Learn how Penn’s faculty and resources provide an exceptional graduate school experience.

See the top five reasons to apply

Contact us

International Master of Public Administration

3440 Market St, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335
(215) 746-6229