The Ford School of Public Policy, located at the University of Michigan, is one of the top public policy schools in the nation. The MPA program and Ford School of Public Policy began in 1914 when the school first launched its Master of Arts in Municipal Administration. The program has only grown from there and continues to serve students who wish to serve in the field of public service. Ford strives to provide students with the level of education they need to become functional members of the public service field. To best serve the general population, public service employees must possess strong analytical skills and management capabilities. Students choose the Ford School of Public Policy for its short program. Their MPA program spans 10 months, allowing students to complete their coursework and enter the field of public service as quickly as possible. This program is specifically designed for those who have already worked in public service or the private or non-profit sectors for a minimum of five years.
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Ford MPA Curriculum
Students in the Ford MPA program are required to complete approximately 30 hours of coursework. To complete the program, students have three options, which include either two or three semesters of work. Students who wish to complete the course in two semesters must take 15 credits per term. If students aim to complete the program in three semesters, they may take 12 to 14 credits per term for fall and winter and an additional 3–6 credits in the spring or 9–12 credits per term for two fall terms and a winter term. All students must complete 21 credits within the Ford School, along with 4 credits outside the MPA program. MPA students are required to take five core courses for a total of 13 credits, including calculus, statistics, two sessions of microeconomics, and the Integrated Policy Exercise. They must also choose 3 credits from a list of three other core courses: Politics of Public Policy, Values, Ethics and Public Policy, and Public Management. Students who opt out of any of the required five core courses must replace them with selections from the optional three.
Ford MPA Tuition
Students who wish to attend the MPA program at Ford must pay either the Michigan resident or Out-of-State tuition rates as listed on the official website. Any term that is considered part-time enrollment is billed at a different rate for the first hour than additional hours. Housing costs and additional fees may apply for many students. The Ford School grants merit-based fellowships to some of its incoming students each year. In addition to fellowships, students may qualify for federal and private student loans, as well as grants, to further fund their degree.
Ford MPA Admissions
In most cases, candidates are required to fill out the online application on the Ford MPA website. Candidates who cannot fill out the online version of the application must call the Ford School to discuss the possibility of submitting a paper application. In addition to the application, candidates must submit the required pieces of documentation. Two 500 word essays are required, one of which details professional goals and one must be a personal statement. Admission to the Ford School requires the GRE. They do not accept the GMAT for the MPA program. Candidates must also submit a resume or curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation and all college transcripts. The letters of recommendation should reflect academic and career accomplishments.