University of Pittsburgh MPA Program

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) boasts a 50-year history of inspiring graduates to promote social responsibility around the world and improve the quality of government. GSPIA is located on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), which was founded in 1787 and is one of the oldest institutes of higher learning in the nation. The Pitt GSPIA MPA is a 48-credit degree that can be completed in 20 months of full-time study. The degree may also be complete on a part-time basis. U.S. News & World Report  has ranked the University of Pittsburgh MPA as 33rd in the nation, with its City Management and Urban Policy specialization ranked within the nation’s top 20. The University of Pittsburgh offers the MPA as part of several joint degree programs, including a joint MPA/MPH (Master of Public Health), MPA/MSW (Master of Social Work), MPA/MSIS (Master of Science in Information Science) and MPA/JD (law degree).

University of Pittsburgh MPA Curriculum

The University of Pittsburgh MPA curriculum provides students with a diverse set of professional skills that prepare them for careers in government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses that focus on the public sector. The curriculum consists of 18 credits worth of GSPIA core courses in public policy analysis, microeconomics and public affairs administration followed by nine credits of MPA core courses. The remaining 21 credits for the degree are divided between major courses and elective courses. The degree core includes a mandatory Capstone Seminar. An additional requirement for graduation is completion of a 300-hour internship with an approved public service organization.


Top-Ranked MPA Designed to Prepare Tomorrow’s Public Service Leaders.
Multidisciplinary Curriculum with Real-World Experience; GRE Waivers Available.

Delivered by Syracuse University’s #1-Ranked Maxwell School.
Action-Oriented Curriculum Completed in as Little as 15 Months; No GRE.

MPA Online from USC Price
Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
The program can be completed in as few as 24 months. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.


University of Pittsburgh MPA Specializations

University of Pittsburgh MPA students are expected to choose one of three areas of specialization as a major:

  • Urban & Regional Affairs: prepares students to meet complex challenges related to urban affairs, such as affordable housing, community development and quality of life. Students engage in research that addresses social, economic and demographic trends, and related policy.
  • Public & Nonprofit Management: provides a deep understanding of the different contexts in which public and nonprofit organizations operate. Coursework uses an interdisciplinary approach that draws from diverse fields including political science, philosophy, law and organizational design.
  • Policy Research & Analysis: student acquire the technical skills and knowledge needed for policy analysis and decision-making. A variety of interdisciplinary viewpoints gives students an understanding of policy analysis at both national and international levels.

Each of these majors consists of 12 credits. Major courses can also be used as electives or completed as a minor. The approved courses for each major are posted on the University of Pittsburgh MPA website each term.

University of Pittsburgh MPA Tuition

Tuition and fees for the University of Pittsburgh are calculated using a flat rate for students carrying between nine and 15 credits during the fall and spring terms. These totals do not include living expenses, medical insurance or the cost of books and supplies.

University of Pittsburgh MPA Admissions

Students may apply to begin the MPA program in either the fall or spring. The application for admission must be completed online and all additional materials, with the exception of hard copy transcripts, must be submitted electronically. The school invites prospective students to visit the campus or to participate in a regularly scheduled online chat to find out more about graduate programs and admission criteria. Detailed information is available on the GPSIA Admissions website.