Master of Public Administration


Program Description

The School of Public Policy (SPP) at Central European University (CEU) offers a two-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program that develops graduates with the knowledge base and applied skills to critically engage with policy processes and debates, the methods and training to promote and advocate for evidence-based policy, and a practitioner's perspective that enables them to move from "contemplation to application". This integrated and experiential approach to teaching and learning positions SPP MPA graduates to make a difference in the world of public policy in a period of rapid change increased complexity and heightened contestation.

The principal learning goals of the MPA program are for students to achieve and demonstrate an advanced ability to:

  • understand how issues become "problematized" and politicized in divergent local, national, and global settings;
  • critically understand the policy process from design and implementation to monitoring and evaluation, and the ability to identify options and entry points for engagement and advocacy;
  • gather and analyze data and other information sources necessary for evidence-based public policies; and
  • understand mainstream gender and conflict sensitivity, rights-based approaches, and "do no harm" principles that are fundamental to the building of just, fair, and open societies.

The MPA program integrates three components: Knowledge, Skills, and Practice.


Students are required to take mandatory core courses in public policy analysis, the rule of law, economics, and research methods. Students have the opportunity to develop and apply thematic expertise through specializations within the program. The specializations are

  • Security
  • Development
  • Governance
  • Media and Communication
  • Higher Education Policy

Students may also pursue an Advanced Certificate in Religious Studies.


MPA students participate in a series of Skills For Impact modules that develop emotional intelligence, awareness, leadership, negotiation, and teambuilding capacities, as well as practical skills such as media training and documentary filmmaking. These are intended to provide students with skills that they will use during their MPA program, as well as in post-graduation employment.


The third program component is the Applied Policy Project, a nine-month engagement between student teams and an external client that enables students to bridge classroom and experiential learning in a consultancy style format that is supported by the Applied Policy Project Director, a Faculty Advisor, and the client organization.

Program Requirements

To receive the MPA degree, students are required to complete 72 CEU credits structured as follows:

  • 16 credits for mandatory core courses (includes 2-credit Management for Applied Policy Project course)
  • 10 credits for Skills For Impact modules (including the mandatory 1-credit module offered during Zero Week)
  • 10 credits for the Applied Policy Project (in addition to the mandatory 2-credit Management for Applied Policy Project course)
  • 36 credits for elective courses

In order to fulfill the practice and professional development requirements of the MPA program, students complete the Skills For Impact modules and an Applied Policy Project, and attend the professional development course, Job Search Basics and Beyond, which is offered in the Fall term and covers crucial job search skills. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that students undertake an internship during the summer between the first and second years of study. CEU is an English-language graduate school in Budapest, Hungary that is accredited in the United States and Hungary.

Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

Central European University's School of Public Policy is a global institution with students from almost 50 countries. It offers academic programs that support students to develop the skills they will ... Read More

Central European University's School of Public Policy is a global institution with students from almost 50 countries. It offers academic programs that support students to develop the skills they will need to identify, define, and address compelling and emerging public policy problems. Read less