Curriculum + Hands-on Experience = The CIPA MPA Program
Our two-year MPA program is interdisciplinary, allowing you to take courses from faculty members across Cornell. It is designed to provide a solid foundation in fundamentals, special expertise in an area of your choosing and the strong analytical and communication skills you will need as a professional in the public affairs arena.
At CIPA you will undertake substantive practical work including public engagement in the field, honing your professional abilities at the same time that you are gaining valuable experience. With this combination of course work and experience, you will leave CIPA well-prepared for the next phase of your career – and ready to compete as one of the best-of-the-best in the job market.
Past and present CIPA Fellows regularly cite the following reasons for choosing CIPA over all the others.
Our numbers speak for themselves. Our services, opportunities, and placement for our graduates result in fellows who are hired for rewarding positions in the fields for which they prepared. From that first job, they go on to advance in their careers, making real contributions to a better world.
At CIPA, you can create a unique academic plan to give you the background and experiences you need to meet your professional goals; our interdisciplinary curriculum assures a depth and breadth of coursework rarely afforded at other institutions. Whether you have an exact career destination in mind, or are still pondering your options, having abundant choices allows you to choose courses and hands-on experiences that are the right fit for you.
Access to All of Cornell
Our students take advantage of the depth of experience that Cornell offers with renowned faculty, leading-edge research, and exceptional facilities. In addition to CIPA courses offered within the College of Human Ecology, our students regularly take concentration courses at Cornell’s many distinguished schools and colleges.
Highly Diverse Community
Our students value the diversity they find at CIPA. Our students and faculty come from around the globe and represent widely varied fields of interests and endeavors. This eclectic mix of cultures, experiences and perspectives translates into a rich environment for collaborative learning. Every class and every conversation opens up new possibilities for approaching issues, finding common ground, and creating thoughtful solutions.
Vast, Lifetime Network
With 245,000 living graduates, Cornell has one of the largest alumni networks in the world. Cornellians are known for their intense loyalty to the university and to one another. So while you are here and after you leave, you will find people eager to open doors for you and help you on your way.
Culture of Collaboration and Openness
The word “friendship” and “genuine” come up again and again here. We have a rich culture characterized by genuine respect, openness, and collaboration. Students and faculty alike routinely help one another, and the bonds they form are lasting.
Both the culture and the structure of CIPA provide all-around support for our students in every dimension: personal, professional, financial, and more. Our Office of Career Development has an extensive network of connections to help you find internships, jobs, and projects. Our faculty and staff welcome students into their offices and eagerly support their growth and development.
A Brief History
Cornell University has offered the Master of Public Administration degree since 1946. Originally housed in the School of Business & Public Administration (now the College of Business), the MPA then moved to the College of Human Ecology in 2016. In September 2022, CIPA joined the new Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. The MPA program was reimagined as the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, its current configuration, in 1985.