Master of Public Administration

The Department of Public Policy (DPP) 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 evidenced-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 DPP 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 offered in the department cover core public policy concerns in the following thematic areas:

  • Development
  • Governance
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Quantitative Policy Analysis

To earn a specialization, MPA students must accumulate 12 credits from the list of courses offered withing the track.


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 film making. 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

In order to receive the MPA degree, students are required to complete 60 CEU credits structured as follows:

  • 16 credits for mandatory* courses
  • 28 credits for elective courses** (students may take courses offered by other programs, departments and schools up to a total of 4 credits per academic year)
  • 10 credits for Skills for Impact (SFI) modules (includes the mandatory 1-credit SFI module offered during Zero Week)
  • 6 credits for the Applied Policy Project (this is for the project work to be performed from Fall term Year 2 to Spring term Year 2)

* All requests for core course substitution will be considered on an individual basis by the program director. Students requesting a course substitution for the mandatory economics course will need to demonstrate sufficient prior training in the subject (for example, taken graduate-level courses in economics or have majored in economics from a similar program). On approval from the program director, the student will be required to complete four credits of advanced mandatory coursework in economics, to graduate from the program.

**  Substitution of elective courses with SFIs is not allowed, as SFIs are mandatory elective practice components while elective courses are academic components of the program.

***Language courses and computer courses are not part of the program curriculum and hence related credits will not count towards your degree.

To fulfill the practice and professional development requirements of the MPA program, students complete the Skills For Impact modules and an Applied Policy Project. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that students undertake an internship during the summer between the first and second years of study.

CEU offers a range of advanced certificates you may be interested in. If you decide to opt for one, you need to seek first your program director's approval, and  it is your responsibility to ensure that the advanced certificate requirements are compatible with the your MPA program course requirements (including required courses, limits on electives etc.) and theses/capstone and that you can manage the additional workload. In case of inconsistencies or conflicts between the advanced certificate and the MPA program requirements and demands, the latter prevail. In other words, no adjustment to the MPA degree program requirements can be made to enable you to complete such a certificate.

Find out more 
For more information on the admissions procedure please visit our pages on the application process and financial aid or write to

You can download a brochure about DPP here.