Distinguishing Between MPA & MPP


To build a career in government as an administrator or policy maker, two popular degrees or fields of study are MPA (Masters in Public Administration) and MPP (Masters in Public Policy). Students who are interested in a career as a policy maker often find it confusing to choose between the two. This article takes a closer look at these two degrees to find out their differences.


MPA stands for Masters in Public Administration, a postgraduate level degree course in public administration. This degree is ideal for those who desire middle and upper-level posts in government offices and agencies to have an administrative career. The course and curriculum of MPA are designed to help students learn the skills necessary to create and implement policies and programs for the betterment of the population. Top-level individuals in consulting firms, developmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and governmental organizations often have this degree to better serve the people. An MPA degree is useful for students who want to become part of the policies and programs designed to solve societal problems.


MPP is a postgraduate level degree course that prepares students for analysis and evaluation of data and information to solve problems that arise in the implementation of policies and programs. MPP stands for Masters in Public Policy, and the graduates are preferred in both government and public sector companies as they have the necessary skills to deal with problems arising in policy making. Students learn to weigh the alternatives or options available to them while finding effective solutions to problems in policy implementation.


MPA and MPP used to be two very different and distinct postgraduate courses earlier, but there has been a lot of convergence over the last few years with the result that there is much overlap between the course content and curriculum of the two degrees today. In general, though, there is greater emphasis on administration techniques and implementation of policies and programs in MPA, while MPP is more about analysis and evaluation of information and alternatives.

Key Takeaways

  • MPA focuses on administration techniques and implementing policies and programs, while MPP focuses on analyzing and evaluating information and alternatives.
  • MPA degree holders typically work in government offices, consulting firms, developmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations, while MPP degree holders are preferred in both government and public sector companies.
  • Choosing between MPA and MPP depends on your interests: if you are interested in policy making and administration, MPA is a better choice, while if you excel at weighing options and evaluating information, MPP is a better option.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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