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Course content

Students come to us with the desire to change the world. We give them the practical knowledge and skills to make a difference for people, organizations and communities.
The MPA is an interdisciplinary degree, meaning students will learn from economists, political scientists, business leaders and many other faculty with diverse backgrounds who are leaders in their fields.
Our students don’t have to wait until graduation to start making a difference. They gain hands-on experience through capstone projects, during internships and through the Grant Writing Program.
There are four options for getting your MPA from Mizzou:
- On-campus option
- Mid-career option (in Jefferson City)
- Mid-career online option
- Global Management MPA

The Truman School Master of Public Affairs program provides a mix of theory and practical knowledge, helps students develop analytic and research skills, and provides opportunities for hands-on learning. A rigorous set of core courses are complemented by professionally relevant areas of specialization in public policy and management. This combination ensures that MPA graduates are well prepared for leadership and policy roles in the multi-sectored public service.
In the Truman School MPA Program, students study with outstanding faculty, well-known for their excellent research and teaching, and deeply committed to the ideals of public service. MPA faculty members are talented teachers as well as active, nationally prominent researchers. They take a great deal of interest in students and are readily available for personal interaction.
Students come to the Truman School from across the United States and around the world, making the student body a diverse group of individuals seeking to broaden their perspectives and to sharpen their skills. Graduates understand the challenge, anticipate the excitement, and accept the responsibility that comes with today’s dynamic public service.
Interaction among academics, students, and those engaged in public policy making and administration supports our educational mission. Policy forums, roundtables with policy makers, lectures by distinguished visiting scholars, and research symposia enrich our learning community.
MPA students are encouraged to join various professional and on-campus organizations dedicated to the field of public policy and administration. The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) allow students the chance to share ideas and develop relationships with scholars and practitioners in
public policy and administration. The Association for Mizzou Public Affairs Students (AMPAS), established and managed by MPA and PhD students on the Columbia campus, engages in a wide variety of activities, including information on job contacts and placement, professional organizations, speakers, social programs, peer-advising, fundraising events, and service learning.

The Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs offers two MPA options designed to meet the needs of both pre-service students and mid-career professionals. The on-campus option is offered in Columbia on the MU campus. Mid-Career professionals with a minimum of three to five years of progressively responsible experience may select the Mid-Career option, which offers all of the required core classes in Jefferson City, Missouri’s state capital. Many specialization/elective courses are offered in Jefferson City, but completing the MPA program may require taking one or more courses online or in Columbia, depending on the student’s area
of interest.
Many MPA core courses are offered in Columbia in the late afternoon from 3:00─5:30 PM and/or in the evening from 6:00─8:30 PM during the regular 16-week fall or spring semester, at least one time each year. Courses in Jefferson City are offered during nine-week terms with each course meeting once a week from 5:00─9:00 PM.
Students in either option may take classes in either Columbia or Jefferson City, offering the chance to interact with both Mid-Career and pre-service students and to develop a more extensive professional network.





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