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Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)

Rutgers SPAA’s Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) is an accelerated, interdisciplinary program of education and professional training for mid-career professionals working in the public or nonprofit sectors.

Program Highlights

Designed for practicing professionals and managers with public, nonprofit, or government sector experience, the EMPA program provides students with opportunities to prepare for executive-level leadership. Through a collaborative learning experience, students in the EMPA program at Rutgers SPAA are provided with strong foundations in public administration knowledge and current analytical, communications, technology, and interpersonal skills needed to provide real-world solutions to 21st-century challenges.

The Executive MPA program consists of 30 credits of online coursework that build public management and leadership skills for advancing your career in government and the nonprofit sector. Students accepted into the program receive 12 professional credits, reducing the total number of credits necessary to earn the MPA degree from 42 to 30 credits. Students join a cohort of people from diverse professional backgrounds who will complete all 10 courses together over a two-year period. A mandatory, in-person residency at Rutgers University–Newark, held annually every summer, provides academic and networking opportunities.

> Explore What is Public Administration?
> Discover Why Rutgers SPAA is the place for aspiring leaders to gain the knowledge and skills required for successful Careers in government or the nonprofit sector
> Read our Alumni Stories to see what some of our alumni do with their degrees from Rutgers SPAA

Areas of Study

  1. Foundational: Provides understanding of public administration contexts and key professional competencies for public and nonprofit sectors
  2. Analytical: Examines quantitative and qualitative data methods and research design
  3. Managerial: Provides foundations in organizational and human resources management
  4. Financial: Examines financial contexts and builds budgeting skills
  5. Applications: Provides students with the opportunity to utilize what they have learned in the program via a real-world project

Capstone Project

The capstone provides students with an opportunity to integrate learning from various courses with application to real-world issues and career ambitions. Students work individually under the guidance of a faculty member to develop either a research paper (thesis) on a topic of interest, or a professional portfolio (often in the form of a website) showcasing their academic work, community engagement, and professional competencies. The outputs are a final project as well as a presentation to fellow students, faculty members, and invited guests. The capstone seminar serves as a culminating experience in the MPA program.

In-person Residency

At the annual in-person residency, held for 3-5 days each summer, students participate in academic symposia, workshops, community-based events, and networking opportunities. 


Requirements for earning the EMPA degree:

  • Completion of the 30 credit hours of required online coursework
  • Attendance at the annual summer residency at Rutgers University–Newark
  • Completion of the Capstone Project at the conclusion of program


For course descriptions and prerequisites see Courses.

  • Introduction to Public Administration (3)
  • Managing Public Organizations (3)
  • Applied Statistics (3)
  • The Public Policy Process (3)
  • Technology and Public Administration (3)
  • Economics for Public Administration (3)
  • Public Budgeting Systems (3)
  • Applied Research Design (3)
  • Administrative Ethics (3)
  • Capstone Project (3)

Program Costs

The approximate total cost for tuition and fees for the two-year, 30-credit EMPA program is less than $30,000 for in-state students and less than $45,000 for out-of-state students.

For more information on costs see Tuition & Fees.

(Individuals are responsible for travel costs associated with the annual in-person residency at Rutgers University–Newark.)

Admission Requirements / To Apply

For admission requirements and application information and deadlines see Apply Now.

For More Information

To learn more, Request Information or Join a SPAA Info SessionIf you have questions about a program or the application process, contact Aaron Gibbs, associate dean of student and academic services, at