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A Mission-Driven MPA for the Future

Today’s urgent and complex economic, social, and environmental realities require a new type of leadership. Our public leaders must rethink policy and administration and engage business, nonprofit, and community constituencies like never before. We have designed this cutting-edge program to empower you with the mindset, tools, and network to address our most pressing sustainability and social justice challenges and opportunities. Built for changemakers seeking to build solutions, our program will prepare you to lead in the public and nonprofit sectors with boldness and vision.

Our MPA degree is unique because we integrate principles of sustainable and equitable solutions into our coursework and empower students to think and act holistically. Whether we’re discussing climate change, racial justice, healthcare, or urban planning, for example, you’ll learn how to apply a powerful systems-thinking lens to understand how to create true, lasting impact. You’ll emerge with the confidence and competencies to transform policy, program implementation, and public service that creates equitable social change.

Program Format

Our online MPA is a 45-credit program with 10 required courses and a Capstone that centers pressing, real-world issues like climate change, inequity, and public health. The part-time program (two courses per trimester) can be completed in 24 months, and the structure is supportive to working professionals who need to balance multiple responsibilities.

Learn to build and translate your mission into effective solutions through one on one coaching, community engagement, small classes with extraordinary faculty, and deep case studies and experiential learning, allowing you to develop professional skills while in the program. You’ll experience your online courses in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments, interacting with your professor, your peers, and critical information. You’ll benefit from the flexibility of interactive distance learning in an environment that employs cutting-edge, best-practice online learning techniques. We’ll engage and empower you to create communities, grow your network, and focus your passions.

In this program, we utilize student-centered, inquiry-based experiential learning and case studies. You’ll master the ability to analyze real-world challenges like climate change, inequity, and public health effectively and be able to apply these learnings in real time. You’ll also benefit from personalized mentorship and career coaching throughout your program in order to prepare for an exciting change-making career in the public sector.

Please consult this State Authorizations web page to see if we are currently enrolling students from your state.


Our MPA curriculum rests on three program foundations that equip you to serve effectively in the public sector: inclusive, collaborative leadership; innovative policy development; and a deep analysis of our major global challenges. These foundations are embedded within our program design to ensure our curriculum can empower you to reimagine and redesign equitable systems, policies, and organizations.

Inclusive and Collaborative Leadership

The modern world demands educational programming that offers a compassionate and tactful approach to work in the public sector. Join our community and engage with a contemporary vision of leadership and organizing in the public sphere as we work to reimagine what is possible. Through our integrated coursework, you will develop the tools and skills to lead and manage public organizations to affect equitable, inclusive, and systemic change.

You will learn how to convene a diverse range of stakeholders to effectively and empathetically collaborate across business, government, and civil society sectors in an inclusive and just manner. You will also develop the hard skills you need to design the policies and structures that will propel us toward a more just and sustainable world.

Innovative Policy-Making

The program challenges you to engage with the complexities of policy-making and design through the lens of systems thinking. As we move through our foundational courses, you will gain a critical perspective on how we might manage and allocate key resources in a more just and equitable fashion. You will also learn to apply research methods and cutting-edge sustainability principles to help build updated public systems that truly serve the common good.

Deep Analysis of Major Challenges

The Presidio MPA program asks you to grapple with the most urgent problems facing the public sector: climate change, racial injustice, urban planning, COVID-19 agility and risk abatement, and the rapidly shifting technology landscape. We begin by engaging with the root causes of our social, political, and economic inequities; exploring pressing ecological problems; and examining the government’s role in building toward the common good. Throughout our rigorous, integrated programming, you will develop the skills and confidence to innovate within the public sector around these complex and critical issues.

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