Cornell is constantly offering opportunities (both internationally and domestically) to expand your learning outside the classroom. In my case, I had the amazing opportunity, alongside a research team of six members — to travel to Kigali, Rwanda. There, we supported our client Ikirezi (a social enterprise) by conducting market research analysis. ― Brettany Tucker, MPA 2018
Associate Strategist at AWA Consults
MPA students concentrating in Economic and Financial Policy explore ways in which public policy affects economic and financial decision making, and vice versa. Students may study these policy issues at the level of international organizations, federal/state/local government, non-governmental organizations or the private sector.
MPA students can draw on the broad CIPA faculty strength in this area and further identify a public affairs focus. This can include: 1) economic policy, public economic and public finance, 2) finance and financial policy, and 3) international economics.
The greatest value was in building a toolkit of knowledge and expertise in the environmental field, which I’m tapping into in my new position in D.C. ― Allison Springer, MPA 2016
Marketing & Research Associate of Outdoors America, Open Space Institute
MPA students concentrating in Environmental Policy tailor their courses to gain an understanding of current economic, social, political, technical, and legal issues regarding the restoration and management of our natural environment, as well as engineering, economic, and legal perspectives for analyzing and formulating policy at the national, sub-national, and international levels.
Study topics can include, for example, the impacts of climate change on our environment and economies, and the interdependencies of the food, water, and energy nexus as society attempts to meet its demands for food, water, and energy and reduce its risks from floods, droughts, and the pollution of water, air, and soil.
Through CIPA’s affiliation with the Cornell in Rome program, I spent a semester working full time at the United Nations World Food Programme, while earning academic credit. There, I worked on some of the largest humanitarian emergencies in the world today … it was an amazing opportunity to learn from true practitioners of multilateral public policy. Ultimately, this experience led to a full-time job offer. ― Daniel Arukwe Johansen, MPA 2015
Team Leader, WFP Operations Center, UN World Food Programme Division of Emergencies
MPA students choosing the Government, Politics, and Policy Studies concentration develop an advanced understanding of how politics and political management intersects with policy processes, program development, and resource management in the public sector.
This concentration, in particular, focuses on the politics of domestic and international policymaking and administrative processes. Students in this concentration develop a skills set that allow them to work with elected officials, public managers, and citizens to develop actionable policy goals.
Unlike other MPA programs with compressed one-year degrees, CIPA is a two-year program. I never felt rushed and was able to take classes based on my career interests. ― Tiffany Jordan, MPA 2016
Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, Roanoke (VA) Public Schools
MPA students concentrating in Human Rights and Social Justice focus on human rights, which, although often assumed to be universal, remain controversial in domestic and world politics. Students study policies that support the expansion of human rights and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, such as those based on gender, race, class, religion, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation, disability, or marital status both domestically and internationally, and work toward ensuring equal opportunities before the law and in society-at-large.
Students pursuing this concentration also analyze the political and economic constraints that stand in the way of the full realization of human rights and learn to serve as advocates for alleviating political, economic, and social inequality.
I believe that all of these courses have helped create a strong foundation of the core concepts required to succeed in the field of international development. I am confident that pursuing a degree at CIPA will construct a bridge between my current acumen and that required to be a successful professional in the field of international development. ― Vanisha Sharma, MPA 2018
PhD Candidate in Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
MPA students concentrating in International Development Studies are concerned with policy issues, policy formulation, and implementation in developing countries. This concentration helps students understand the broad and specific contexts in which international development decisions are made.
Students can explore international development concerns using a range of interdisciplinary perspectives and methods including anthropology, demography, economics, regional planning, sociology, biotechnology, and legal studies.
The affordable tuition and Cornell name offered me unparalleled value for an MPA program. CIPA also provided a supportive environment for me to grow from a fresh liberal-arts graduate to a prepared and confident public affairs professional. ― Clare O’Brien, MPA 2017
Management Associate, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
MPA students concentrating in Public and Nonprofit Management tailor their studies for careers as general managers in the public sector or as leaders of domestic or international nonprofit organizations. In this concentration, students acquire a strong set of budgeting, investment, debt financing, and data-driven analytical skills as well as managerial skills including negotiations, leadership, staffing, and compensation skills. In addition to these specific skills, students will gain understanding of the broad political, economic, and regulatory factors that affect the sector in which they are working.
I only applied to CIPA. There were no other MPA programs I found that had an infrastructure related concentration. The choice was easy. ― Michael W. Foley, MPA 2017
Consultant – Business & Finance, Landrum & Brown
The STIP concentration is intended to assist MPA students in developing the knowledge and skills to work in policy/project analysis, project planning, implementation (including financing and construction), and operations in the areas of science, technology, and infrastructure policy.
Students can approach the concentration from various perspectives, drawing on Cornell's strengths in engineering, finance, planning, economics, environmental and resource management, policy analysis, and sustainability studies. MPA graduates with this concentration will be equipped to work in either the public or private sector and across those sectors.
My purpose in pursuing an MPA at Cornell was to obtain the skills, abilities, and insight necessary to enter the field of health policy development. When I arrived to CIPA with several years of healthcare experience and clear goals, choosing my concentration was an easy decision. Of the eight defined concentrations, I chose social policy. This concentration includes focused areas of study such as health, education, family, poverty, and inequality and welfare policy. ― Zach German, MPA 2018
Officer in Charge (OIC) of Administration Department, Health Services Administration, United States Air Force Medical Service Corps
MPA students concentrating in Social Policy learn an array of tools required for designing, managing, and evaluating programs in their choice of social policy area which include health, nutrition, education, poverty alleviation, aging, criminal justice, and others.
Much of the fundamental material in this concentration introduces students to problem formulation, identification of policy alternatives to address social concerns, cost-benefit analysis, and other tools needed to evaluate policy alternatives and policy implementation strategies.