Public Affairs

2014-15 Tuition

$30,785

Application deadlines

Rolling admissions from Aug. 15 to June 15

Requirements summary

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • GRE general test
  • a statement of purpose*
  • current resume
  • essay*
  • two letters of recommendation
  • for ESL students only: Internet-based test version of the TOEFL: writing 20, listening 15, reading 20, speaking 22; computer-based TOEFL minimum: 250; paper-based: 600

* See the CIPA Web site for details.

Degrees

  • M.P.A.

Subjects

  • Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Major concentrations

  • environmental policy
  • finance and fiscal policy
  • government, politics, and policy studies
  • human rights and social justice
  • international development studies
  • public and nonprofit management
  • science and technology policy
  • science, technology and infrastructure policy
  • social policy

The Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) offers students the opportunity to study public policy and program management from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Students gain an understanding of the political processes through which issues, problems, and policies are formulated; the economic basis for government action in a market economy; and the comparative and historical contexts of governmental programs. Students study public budgets, finance, and regulatory processes, as well as the behavior of both public and private organizations and their management. Students also gain competence in the qualitative and quantitative methods needed to analyze programs and policies, and develop sensitivity to the moral and ethical dimensions of policy issues.

For more information, check the department web site.

M.P.A. Program The two-year Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program consists of sixteen courses; students typically take four courses per term for four semesters. The M.P.A. program offers a basic structure for study, however, each CIPA Fellow (student) works closely with a faculty advisor to design an individualized program based on the student's specific area of interest. Elective courses and research opportunities may be taken through the program in any department or college in the university. Fellows have eight areas they may concentrate their studies in:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Finance and Fiscal Policy
  • Government, Politics, and Policy Studies
  • Human Rights and Social Justice
  • International Development Studies
  • Public and Non-Profit Management
  • Science and Technology Policy
  • Social Policy

CIPA Fellows are expected to engage in public affairs work related to their respective areas of concentration during the summer between their first and second years of study. As a culmination of studies in the M.P.A. program, all students are required to develop and complete a thesis. Typically, the thesis grows out of a Fellow's specific area of concentration, and often incorporates work done during the summer internship.

For further information, check the department Web site.

Application:
CIPA has a rolling admissions program, admitting qualified students throughout the year. As numbers of applicants have been increasing, admissions may be closed at any point when the class is full. Candidates are urged to apply between November and January.

A faculty committee evaluates individual applications. We generally notify you of our decision within three weeks of receiving your complete application.

Complete application information is available on the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs Web site. Please review the application process before applying.

Applicants to CIPA must meet all Graduate School application requirements. The GRE general test is also required. Applicants for whom English is a second language must take the GRE writing assessment test and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

When applying, please submit a statement of purpose (500-word maximum) that addresses the following points:

  • Why you are applying to the program
  • Personal and/or professional experience that have led to your interest in Cornell's MPA program
  • Your future goals -- how you would put an MPA graduate education to use
  • Examples of volunteer work, positions of responsibility, and any other life experiences that have contributed to your interest in public affairs

Also submit an essay (1,000-word maximum) that:

  • Briefly describes an area of public affairs to which you would like to make a contribution
  • Discusses what you would like to see accomplished in this area
  • Explains how you would go about initiating, supporting and sustaining changes in this area so as to enhance public well-being and public services
N'Diri Assie-Lumumba -- Concentrations: international development studies; Research interests: international development
Rosemary Avery -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: public policy
Christopher Barrett -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy
Alaka Basu -- Concentrations: international development studies; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Barbara Bedford -- Concentrations: environmental policy; Research interests: plant ecology; biogeochemistry; freshwater wetlands; environmental regulation; conservation
John Bishop -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: personnel and human resource studies
Richard Booth -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: land-use law; environmental planning; environmental politics; environmental law; critical-area preservation; administrative law
Ross Brann -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: public affairs
Nancy Brooks -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: finance and fiscal policy
David Brown -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; international development studies; social policy; Research interests: population and development; community sociology; applied sociology
Valerie Bunce -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: comparative/international politics; post-communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union
Richard Burkhauser -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests:
Sahara Byrne -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Allen Carlson -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: public affairs
John Cawley -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
Ho Yan (Nancy) Chau -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Ralph Christy -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Lance Compa -- Concentrations: public and nonprofit management; Research interests: public and nonprofit management
Jon Conrad -- Concentrations: environmental policy; Research interests: applied econometrics and quantitative analysis; resource economics; environmental economics
Mark Constas -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
Maria Cook -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; Research interests: labor and politics in Latin America; comparative migrations
Kieran Donaghy -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Glen Dowell -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Locksley Edmondson -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; international development studies; Research interests: African and Caribbean politics
Ronald Ehrenberg -- Concentrations: Research interests: labor economics
Theodore Eisenberg -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; Research interests: empirical legal research; civil rights; bankruptcy; death penalty
Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue -- Concentrations: international development studies; social policy; Research interests: international development; social policy
Paul Eshelman -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Matthew Evangelista -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; science and technology policy; Research interests: international relations; comparative foreign policy; transnational foreign politics; Russian politics
Rochelle (Shelley) Feldman -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; social policy; Research interests: feminist epistemology and methods; political sociology; social inequalities; gender relations; social change; international political economy; contemporary theory
Gary Fields -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; social policy; science, technology and infrastructure policy; Research interests: international and comparative labor relations; labor economics
Magnus Fiskesjo -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: government; politics and policy
Gustavo Flores-Macias -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: political and economic development
John Forester -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: planning practice and politics; ethics; critical social theory; negotiation and public dispute resolution
Robert Frank -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; Research interests: behavioral economics; applied economics
H. Oliver Gao -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
R. Richard Geddes -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; social policy; science, technology and infrastructure policy; Research interests: public affairs
Charles Geisler -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
William Goldsmith -- Concentrations: international development studies; social policy; Research interests: urban studies; Latin American studies; urban poverty; urbanization and environment; international planning; political economy
Douglas Gurak -- Concentrations: international development studies; social policy; Research interests: international development; social policy
Salah Hassan -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; international development studies; Research interests: African and African American art and folklore
George Hay -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; Research interests: antitrust law and competition policy
Ronald Herring -- Concentrations: international development studies; science and technology policy; Research interests: public affairs
Stephen Hilgartner -- Concentrations: Research interests: politics of science and technology; social studies of science; biomedicine and biotechnology; risk controversies
Thomas Hirschl -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: social stratification; research methods and statistics; state and local demography
Robert Hutchens -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: labor economics
Steven Jackson -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
George Jakubson -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: labor economics
Robert Jarrow -- Concentrations: finance and fiscal policy; Research interests: finance; mathematical economics; game theory; applied mathematics; microeconomic theory
David Just -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Sanjiv (Ravi) Kanbur -- Concentrations: international development studies; Research interests: public economics; development economics
Harry Katz -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: collective bargaining; labor law; labor history
Peter Katzenstein -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: security policy; political economy; relation between international and domestic politics
Mary Katzenstein -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; Research interests: public affairs
Donald Kenkel -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: economics of disease prevention and health promotion policies; cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis of health
Sheryl Kimes -- Concentrations: public and nonprofit management; Research interests: operations research management
Barbara Knuth -- Concentrations: environmental policy; Research interests: resource policy and evaluation; human dimensions of natural resource management
Neema Kudva -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Sarosh Kuruvilla -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; international development studies; Research interests: human rights and social justice; international development
Steven Kyle -- Concentrations: finance and fiscal policy; international development studies; Research interests: finance and fiscal policy; international development policy
David Lee -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
Daniel Loucks -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: water resource and environmental management systems
Theodore Lowi -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: American government and politics; public policy and administration
Kathryn March -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: social organization; South Asian studies; women's studies
Alan Mathios -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: consumer protection; antitrust law and economics; public utility regulation; federal and state regulation
Philip McMichael -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Muna Ndulo -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; international development studies; Research interests: governance and democratization; human rights; peace keeping and legal aspects of foreign investments
Victor Nee -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: economy and society; racial and ethnic relations; social stratification
Porus Olpadwala -- Concentrations: international development studies; Research interests: political economy; rural development; technology development and transfer; transnational corporations; agricultural development
Alice Pell -- Concentrations: international development studies; Research interests: public affairs; international development
David Pelletier -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; social policy; Research interests: nutrition policies and programs in the U.S. and developing countries
Gretel Pelto -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: nutrition; public affairs
Per Pinstrup-Andersen -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy
Gregory Poe -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy
Uri Possen -- Concentrations: finance and fiscal policy; Research interests: public finance; monetary economics
Kandukuri Raman -- Concentrations: international development studies; Research interests: international development
Vithala Rao -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests: marketing; quantitative analysis for administration; marketing and quantitative methods; marketing research and models; multivariate models
Kenneth Roberts -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
Mildred Sanders -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: political development; social movements; regulation
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; social policy; Research interests: institutional culture; legal, applied, and urban anthropology; dance/movement; Latino studies; bilingualism and language
Stephan Schmidt -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Martin Shefter -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: urban politics; American political development and institutions
John Sipple -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; public and nonprofit management; Research interests: public affairs
Tammo Steenhuis -- Concentrations: environmental policy; Research interests: environmental policy
Robert Summers -- Concentrations: human rights and social justice; Research interests: jurisprudence; legal theory; contracts; commercial law
Sharon Tennyson -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; social policy; science, technology and infrastructure policy; Research interests: social policy
Pamela Tolbert -- Concentrations: public and nonprofit management; Research interests: organizational behavior
Michael Tomlan -- Concentrations: environmental policy; public and nonprofit management; Research interests: building-conservation technology; survey and documentation methods for preservation; preservation economics and finance; urban history
William Trochim -- Concentrations: public and nonprofit management; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Norman Uphoff -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; social policy; Research interests: rural development; development policy; political economy; public policy; administration
Nicholas Van de Walle -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: public affairs
Kathleen Vogel -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: science and technology
Henry Wan Jr. -- Concentrations: Research interests: public affairs
Zellman Warhaft -- Concentrations: Research interests: experimental study of fluid turbulence with applications to mixing and transport processes in the atmosphere and in industrial processes
Mildred Warner -- Concentrations: finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; social policy; Research interests: public policy
Christopher Way -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; Research interests: government; politics and policy
Elaine Wethington -- Concentrations: Research interests: public affairs
Lindy Williams -- Concentrations: government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; social policy; Research interests: public affairs
Steven Wolf -- Concentrations: environmental policy; Research interests: public affairs
Wendy Wolford -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; government, politics, and policy studies; human rights and social justice; international development studies; public and nonprofit management; science and technology policy; social policy; Research interests:
Sera Young -- Concentrations: international development studies; social policy; Research interests:

Graduate School Professors (emeritus)

Royal Colle -- Concentrations: social policy; Research interests:
Arnim Meyburg -- Concentrations: Research interests: science and technology
Richard Schuler -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; public and nonprofit management; science, technology and infrastructure policy; Research interests:
Peter Stein -- Concentrations: environmental policy; finance and fiscal policy; public and nonprofit management; science, technology and infrastructure policy; Research interests: science and technology policy

Learning Goals and Assessment Plan for the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA)
December 2011

Learning Goals

CIPA's learning goals for its MPA graduates fall into the following categories:


A.    Problem-Solving and Analytical Skills
       1.    Economic Analysis and Public Finance
       2.    Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis for Public Affairs
       3.    Administrative, Political and Policy Processes

B.    Specialized Public Policy Subject Matter Competence

C.    Writing Skills

D.    Group Work, Management and Leadership Skills

E.    Communication and Presentation Skills

Learn more about the assessment plan for the graduate field of public affairs.