Public Administration M.H.A./M.P.A. (dual degree) (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Public Affairs

Program Description

Information coming

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-8018

294 Caldwell Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • economic and financial policy
  • environmental policy
  • government, politics, and policy studies
  • human rights and social justice
  • international development studies
  • public and nonprofit management
  • science and technology policy
  • science, technology and infrastructure policy
  • social policy


2020-2021: $38,354

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Requirements Summary:

Learning Outcomes

Communications Skills – Graduates should:

  • Be able to write a professional memorandum, make a presentation, and run a meeting.
  • Know how to construct and deliver an attitude-change speech.
  • Be familiar with the psychology of decision making and how information communicated in different ways can influence decisions.
  • Be able to understand principles of mediation, conflict resolution and negotiation.
  • Be able to communicate and write effectively in groups and teams.
  • Be able to leverage current information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance decision-making, promote policy and programs and facilitate engagement. (Some graduates would also be well served to know how to draft model legislation.)

Research and Analytical Problem Solving skills – Graduates should:

  • Be able to design, implement, use, and evaluate research.
  • Be familiar with data sources—quantitative, qualitative, legal and archival—and their properties.
  • Perform statistical analyses, interpret results validly, and draw appropriate inferences; be able to communicate empirical findings and policy implications in clear non-technical language.
  • Be able to forecast trends and cycles of various types.
  • Be able to characterize and evaluate interdependent and risky decisions
  • Understand the methodologies of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses, be able to conduct such analyses, and be enlightened consumers of the same.
  • Understand economics including public economics and foundations of political economy and public choice theory.
  • Understand policy evaluation methods.
  • Be familiar with qualitative research methods and research designs based on mixed-method approaches.

Institutional knowledge and Organizational and Financial Management – Graduates should understand:

  • The contexts within which public affairs are conducted and policies are made and administered.
  • The interplay between politics and administration in the public affairs areas in which they expect to work (international, national, state and local).
  • The separation of powers and the roles fulfilled (or not) by different branches and levels of government. Including understanding fiscal federalism.
  • Fundamental governmental procedures and understanding of the factors supporting good governance and the development of healthy public sector institutions.
  • The principles of budgeting at federal, state, and municipal levels
  • The principals of fund accounting that underlie and lend structure to the operating budgets of all government, not-for-profit, and non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and some other countries.
  • The principles of finance as they relate to public and non-profit institutions and their relationships with financial markets.
  • Leading theories of organizational behavior and management; including how organization objectives are formulated and pursued within these sectors, organization and the public arena.
  • Understand how public, private and civil society organizations and institutions function respectively and collectively.
  • Best-practice human resource management—e.g., hiring, employee evaluation, life-time learning.
  • The importance of cultural context to all public affairs; comparative politics and international relations.
  • The role of law and regulation in public policy and administration.

Values – Graduates should be (de minimus):

  • Well versed in professional ethics.
  • Conversant with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Familiar with criteria employed to evaluate projects by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank (IBRD).
  • Able to discern between rights and entitlements, duties and obligations, and virtues and superogatory actions.
  • Able to appreciate the nature (logical structure) of applied ethical arguments.
  • Aware of different notions of justice and their operationalization.
  • Able to apply concepts of sustainability and stewardship to the analysis of one of more major challenges facing humans and the earth’s resources.

Policy – Graduates should:

  • Be intimately familiar with at least one policy domain—e.g., agriculture, housing and urban development, transportation, labor markets, education, poverty, immigration, or natural resources the environment; development economics; international relations.
  • Know the history of issues, legislation, agencies, and programs and know the stakeholders.