Learn to unpack complex policy issues and prepare for a public service career at any level of government or nonprofit management.
UMass Boston’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy (GLPP) focuses on preparing you for a public service career where you can serve at all levels of government, take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, or hold elected office. It’s designed for professionals who want to hone their leadership and public policy skills and add a master’s degree to their résumé. Explore how government policies can and do affect women and men differently as you analyze policies and power in organizations through the intersecting lenses of gender, race, and class. Apply these skills to virtually any field — from government to nonprofits to research to human resources, diversity programs, and corporate social responsibility issues.
UMass Boston's new Master of Public Administration (MPA) track builds on the award-winning graduate certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy (GLPP). Master's students spend their first year completing the GLPP certificate curriculum and their second year taking core MPA courses.
The Master of Public Administration - Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy track (MPA-GLPP) is one of the few programs in the country that explores the intersectional influence of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in the context of the larger policy environment. While public policies are often thought of as gender-neutral, the impacts of government policies can and do affect women and men differently. The MPA-GLPP equips future leaders with the ability to view policy through an intersectional lens.
UMass Boston's MPA program was ranked #69 in U.S. News & World Report's 2022 Best Public Affairs Programs.
- This program consists of ten 3-credit courses and one 6-credit course, or 36 credits.
- Online tuition is $575 per credit.
- On campus tuition is:
- $812.49 per credit for Massachusetts residents
- $1,402.91 per credit for New England residents
- $1,561.87 per credit for out-of-state/international students
- Total estimated tuition cost to complete this program is
- $24,974.82 for Massachusetts residents
- $35,602.38 for New England residents
- $38,463.66 for out-of-state/international students
- Estimate is based on completing program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.
Applications to start in the fall are due April 15. Applications submitted after April 15 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
To apply online, you'll need to submit:
- Review the university's general application requirements for graduation admission.
- If you are an international applicant, please see additional requirements.
- A Statement of Purpose — Write a 300 word essay on your reasons for considering the UMass Boston MPA: GLPP track program in relation to your academic background, professional work experience, and career goals, and a 1,200 word essay describing your personal qualities and development and how they have influenced your career choice.
- Official Transcripts — Submit official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Admissions from every college and university that you have attended and from which you earned more than 6 credits. Transcripts should provide evidence of a bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. Official transcripts must be sealed in an envelope from the issuing institution. We accept electronic transcripts from most universities and delivery services. If possible, please select “UMass Boston-Graduate” when ordering transcripts. Please use GADocs@umb.edu for transcripts services that require an institutional email.
- GRE Scores — Send your official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Previous scores less than five years old will be accepted.
- Letters of Recommendation — Please include three letters of recommendation. We prefer that one letter be from a former professor or individual who can address your intellectual aptitude for graduate study; others can be from a supervisor or other professional reference. Download the letter of recommendation form.
- Résumé/Curriculum Vitae — Add a current résumé or CV noting your previous educational (a bachelor's degree is required) and working experience.
- Application Fee — Don't forget the application fee: currently $60.00 for domestic applicants or $100.00 for international applicants: payable by credit card online [MasterCard or VISA].
GLPP Concentration Courses:
- Women in American Politics and Policymaking (PUBADM 623) (online and on campus)
Explore the many dimensions of politics in the United States, how women have organized to have a greater role in politics, and the skills women need to fully participate in politics and policymaking. You’ll examine how politics and government affect American women’s lives today, and assess the ways that women participate in the political process in order to influence the course of public policy. Reading and class discussions on the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender in politics are central to the theoretical perspectives that provide the foundation of this course.
- Contemporary American Public Policy Issues (PUBADM 619) (online and on campus)
Examine the formulation, implementation, and impact of public policy, as well as the values and principles that influence political debates in the United States. In addition to learning the essentials of public policy formation and analysis, you’ll actively negotiate the complexity of policy making in action through assignments designed to develop key skills. The course focuses on several major domestic policy areas with emphasis on health care, economic security, and social welfare.
- Research Methods for Policy Analysis (PUBADM 628) (online and on campus)
In this course, you’ll study a survey of research methods and the use of evidence to build persuasive arguments. The course is divided into three sections: (1) quantitative methods; (2) qualitative methods; and (3) community-based participatory action research, providing an overview of each group of research methods. Throughout all three sections, you’ll explore feminist research methods and scholarly work. Each section of the course culminates in the submission of a policy brief on a topic of your choosing. Each policy brief will highlight the research methods from that portion of the course.
- Leadership and Organizations: Gender, Power, and Authority (PUBADM 629) (online and on campus)
In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of authority, leadership, and organizational dynamics, and to learn about your own behavior in groups. You’ll unpack terms such as authority, power, leadership, boundaries, role, and task to deepen your understanding of your own experiences in groups, organizations, and communities. The impact of social identity (gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, etc.) on how roles are taken up or allowed to be taken up in groups and organizations will also be explored.
- Spring Internship (PUBADM 624) (online and on campus)
The GLPP internship program is designed to provide you with substantive experience in the field of politics and public policy. You’ll receive faculty guidance through the internship selection process and are expected to secure an internship by the end of the semester. You are expected to complete a minimum of 160 hours during the course of the academic year. Monthly meetings explore themes of leadership, organizational and institutional analysis, career trajectories, and self-evaluation/professional development. Written assignments and oral presentations are required in this course in addition to the completion of internship hours. The course culminates in final presentations to the cohort and program faculty about the internship experience.
Public Administration Courses:
- Public Management: Theories and Principles (PUBADM 610) (on campus)
Explore the complex environment in which today’s public managers must effectively function. You’ll be introduced to the various theories of complex organizations, with a particular emphasis on those developments most relevant to public organizations. As part of the effort to relate theory to practice, your own work experiences become a legitimate and important aspect of the subject matter.
- Human Resources Management (PUBADM 614) (on campus)
Become familiar with the major elements of human resources management in the public sector: personnel management practices and the practice of labor-management relations. In the first half of the course, you’ll examine the basic concepts of human resources management and the principles of planning and forecasting human resources needs. You’ll examine career planning and management, job design, pay systems, selection, training, and equal opportunity. In the second half of the course, you’ll explore the nature and history of labor-management relations, focusing on the tactics and strategies of management and union representatives and the legal constraints on their behavior in: (1) the organization of public employee unions; (2) contract negotiation; and (3) contract administration and interpretation.
- Analytic Skills I: Skills for Policy Analysis (PUBADM 620) (on campus)
This course will give you an introduction to a variety of policy analysis tools for policymakers and public managers/administrators; provide an overview of how public policy is shaped by research and numerical data; encourage you to generate research questions and match research methods to the questions; teach you how to interpret numerical data in tables, charts, research reports, and articles; and introduce basic statistical analysis tools and the interpretation of statistical results as they inform public policy decision making.
- Analytic Skills II: Research Methods (PUBADM 621) (on campus)
This course will provide you with a more in-depth focus on the Case Study Method and its related skills, including interviewing, analysis of documents/archives, analysis of prior research findings, qualitative research skills and analysis, and determination of policy implication. You’ll cover both theoretical aspects of these topics and apply them as you prepare your capstone proposal.
- Public Budgeting and Financial Management (PUBADM 625)
In this course, you are introduced to contemporary approaches to public budgeting, as well as to the difficulty of planning in the public sector, the dilemmas of choice and of priority setting, the results of incrementalism, and the nature of budgetary “rationality.” In addition, you’ll examine the nature and scope of public financial management at the state and local level. You’ll become familiar with state and local government financial reporting and accounting, current operating expenditures, and techniques for evaluating capital expenditures and products. You’ll explore borrowing and debt management, evaluation of municipal credit quality, managing cash assets and liquid securities, simulations and financial forecasting, and evaluating and controlling financial management practices.
Case Study Capstone
- Capstone /Case Study Seminar PUBADM 691) (on campus)
In this seminar, you’ll complete a final project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The project may be a case study of a public policy or significant piece of legislation which involved tracing its history, analyzing the political, economic, and social context in which it developed, identifying and examining roles played by those who were instrumental in its development, and assessing its intended and actual impact. It may also be a critical examination of a policy issue confronting a student at his or her place of employment. While completing your case study project, you’ll participate in a weekly seminar that focuses both on the substantive issues under examination and on case study methodology.
At the end of this two-year program, you’ll be awarded a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy. The degree will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. You'll be prepared to serve at all levels of government, take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, hold elected office, and pursue advanced degrees in law, public policy, and other areas.
Why UMass Boston Online?
Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.
Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.
The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.