The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Our Master of Public Affairs is a one-year program of online and in-person classes that allows you to move quickly and affordably toward pursuing your professional goals with the skills you need. You’ll take courses in policy analysis, research methods, economics, and other subjects. Elective courses include policy, management, and methods.

We offer two paths to the MPA: the regular One-Year MPA, open to all applicants with a bachelor's degree, or the 4+1 MPA, open to outstanding current juniors at UMass Amherst or Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, or Smith colleges, which allows you to begin earning credits toward your graduate degree while an undergrad.

Our Master of Public Policy and Administration is a two-year program that allows students to take more elective courses, at SPP or other UMass departments, and develop an area of specialization. You’ll take elective courses and complete a capstone — a culminating project in which you apply what you’ve learned in your core courses — either as an individual research project or as a team workshop project. 

MPPA students can also opt to pursue a dual degree in Business Administration, Higher Education, Public Health, or Regional Planning.

Both the One-Year MPA and the MPPA are open to full- and part-time students. The GRE is not required for any of our graduate programs.

We will review applications on a rolling basis beginning October 1, with decisions within four weeks. The final deadline application is April 15.

Our Master of Public Policy & Administration dual degree programs may have their own deadlines. See our Dual Degrees page for specifics.

Applicants who wish to defer acceptance for one year must submit a written request to do so.

Because applicants to our programs come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and have taken courses that vary in difficulty and level, we do not have a minimum GPA requirement. The admissions committee will consider these factors when evaluating the candidate’s GPA, along with all of the other admissions criteria.

The GRE is optional for applicants to both the Master of Public Affairs and the Master of Public Policy & Administration programs. 

Please note, however, that the GRE is required of applicants to the joint MPPA programs with Business Administration, Public Health, and Regional Planning. 

Students can transfer up to six graduate credits into the One-Year Master of Public Affairs or the Master of Public Policy & Administration. Transfer credits must meet these criteria.


Both the Master of Public Affairs and the Master of Public Policy & Administration programs are open to full- and part-time students.

The most recent tuition and fee schedule can be found on our Finance Your Education page.

The UMass Amherst financial aid office provides detailed information on the options available to all prospective UMass graduate students. Applicants are strongly encouraged to research all areas of financial aid that may be available to them, including fellowship opportunities for international and domestic students.

SPP offers generous grants, including Commonwealth Policy Fellowships, which recognize academic excellence and leadership potential.

SPP students intern at a wide variety of organizations, from nonprofits to government agencies to NGOs. In recent years, students have interned at the United Nations, the World Bank, the US Government Accountability Office, Tapestry Health, the National Labor Relations Board, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Save the Children, to name a few.

SPP has a well-established internship network with many alumni and organizational contacts that students may access in their internship search. Our associate director also provides guidance to help students find an internship that aligns with their specific areas of interest.

Alumni of the School of Public Policy at UMass Amherst pursue a diverse range of career paths, serving as leaders in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors and creating meaningful social change. Visit our Alumni Profiles section to read some of their stories.

For More Information

Contact our admissions team