Chicago | Master of
The Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) at is a graduate professional degree program that shapes future policymakers, public administrators, and community-based professionals seeking to impact systemic social change.
In the MPPA program, Adler University uniquely infuses its long-standing tradition of a social justice focus with core knowledge and skills in policy development and analysis, program evaluation, management, and politics necessary for work in the public arena including national, state, and local governments, policy research centers, consulting ﬁrms, community-action groups, and direct-service providers in the US and around the world.
The program requires 36 hours of course work with a minimum of 27 hours of Public Policy and Administration core course work and 9 hours of concentration course work. Over a two-year period, courses are offered with a schedule of classes designed to allow both traditional students and working professionals to be complete the degree.
In addition, students choose from one of the three areas of concentration in Community Health, Human Rights Advocacy, or Sustainable Communities that help advance graduates’ abilities in leadership, advocacy and in the design of public programs and organizations that encourage the growth of a fair and just society.
As part of the MPPA, students will select from three specialized concentrations – Sustainable Communities; Community Health; and Human Rights Advocacy – tailored to their desired career path.
Sustainable Communities is for those who aspire to administration, leadership, and advocacy across a broad range of career opportunities in both the non-profit and public service sectors. Using Adlerian principles, you’ll learn the skills necessary to create sustainable economic development, environmental development and healthier communities at the local, state, national and international level.
The Community Health concentration prepares graduates to lead government policy and advocacy efforts that advance positive social change in communities. With cities around the world facing unprecedented population growth, this concentration trains students to work toward creating urban environments that promote mental health and well-being. Students focus on the role of participatory governance and community collaboration to counter urban environmental risk factors and improve overall well-being.
In the Human Rights Advocacy concentration, students learn how to lead policy and advocacy efforts that foster human rights and social justice domestically and internationally. This concentration trains policy professionals to work in governmental, nonprofit, or private sectors applying established human rights standards, laws, and treaties. Students focus on broader social, economic, political, and environmental issues in a theoretical and historical context within our practice-based curriculum.
The Master of Public Policy and Administration program delivers the core knowledge and skills necessary for effective policy implementation, organizational leadership, management, and finance in the public arena – including at the national, state, and local government levels. Additionally, students are prepared to pursue opportunities at non-profits, research centers, consulting firms, community action groups, direct-service providers and other private-sector entities.
Students will also learn the critical skills of communicating and collaborating with diverse groups within a rapidly changing society, and how to articulate and solicit new perspectives that develop community-driven and support solutions to social, economic and environmental problems.
Graduates are expected to master core competencies in program development, evaluation, and management within the public service arena, as well as varied skills required for:
The range of opportunities in public policy and administration continues to grow, within national, state, and local governments; research centers; consulting firms; community action groups; and NGOs and direct service providers in the United States and around the world. Our program is designed to prepare you with the skills, knowledge, and experience for roles specializing in healthy communities, such as:
The Master of Public Policy and Administration program is 36 credit hours. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.
Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University Course Catalog.
This course introduces students to the historical and theoretical foundations of public policy process and administrative services considering key participants and the environmental context.
In this course, students learn the basic economic tools and microeconomic models relevant to current policy and public sector choices, including the role of government in a market-oriented economy, with an emphasis on market failures.
Provides students with the essential framework for personal and professional ethical decision making applied in the context of diverse workplaces and organizations.
In this course, students learn human resource practices and styles of management in public organizations.
This course provides students with a basic understanding of the methods used to analyze and evaluate public sector finances including revenues and expenditures.
This course reviews basic methods and theories of quantitative analysis in the social sciences. Students learn descriptive and inferential statistics as well as studying topics such as sampling, probability, correlations, variance, and statistical analysis.
In this course, students learn how to get detailed and significant information through research methods that use open-ended and in-depth interviewing, with a focus on the key components of qualitative research designs, methods, and analysis.
This course introduces the knowledge and skills related to strategic management and leadership in government and public services including the articulation and aligning of organizational goals in accordance with the mission; negotiating the complexities between service delivery and resource constraints; managing organizational changes; establishing measurements for outcomes; creating efficiency within production; and maintaining high staff motivation.
All MPPA students must pass a comprehensive exam in order to graduate. This exam consists of content from core courses students are required to take to complete their degree.
The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, nonclinical and non-discipline-specific experiential practicum that begins in the fall term. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside different communities as agents of social change and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity.
The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, nonclinical and non-discipline-specific experiential practicum that continues through the spring term. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside different communities as agents of social change and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity.
This course explores the history of mental health in cities and determinants that shape health outcomes, social distribution of health and disease, and health disparities. The determinants studied include, but are not limited to, social, economic, political, and environmental factors.
This course exams health policy and management through public health methods including diagnostic identification of mental illness, the links between mental and physical health, and using tools and strategies from the public health field to understand current mental health policies, practices, and services.
This course examines topics directly affecting the health of a community and its members. It provides students with an overview of the important public policy issues facing urban centers in the 21st century.
This course introduces students to the field of human rights. Students develop a critical understanding of the main issues that characterize the conceptualization of human rights in today’s world.
The human right to health is protected in multiple human rights treaties. Several countries around the world, most notably South Africa, have used the human right to health to adjudicate the quality of life needs for all citizens.
This course examines themes directly impacting human rights of a community and its members. It provides students with an overview of the importance of human rights issues as they relate to public policy or the administration of public services.
This course focuses on formation and preservation of sustainable, healthy communities; the importance of leaders who understand the relationships between natural, built, and social environments; and the need to maintain these connections in holistic and integrative ways.
This course introduces students to skills needed for effective community leadership including tools, strategies, and skills needed when overseeing the creation and maintenance of sustainable communities.
In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organization plan strategies to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. This course examines the roles and practices of strategic planning, including partnerships, cooperation, and coordination.
A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.
Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:
Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty.
Please submit all application materials including official transcripts to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.
Adler University – Office of Admissions
17 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Official electronic transcripts should be sent to [email protected].
Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Chicago programs.
Public Figures in Vancouver and Chicago Celebrate Campaign Launch
Adler University trustees reminded students, alumni, faculty and staff this week that they are not alone in the crusade for social justice. The University’s Board of Trustees shared a call-to-action letter encouraging community members to persist in the fight against inequities with courage.
Joy MacPhail has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees of Adler University, Canada’s only university dedicated to social justice. A long-time member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party (NDP), MacPhail joined the Adler University Board of Trustees in 2013 and served as Vice Chair for the last four years.