Master in Public Affairs

1-year Master for early- and mid-career professionals

The full-time one-year Master in Public Affairs (MPA) offered at the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs is designed for early- and mid-career professionals wanting to foster their expertise in policy-making in public, non-profit, private sectors and international organizations. The program is anchored in a rigorous and innovative multi-disciplinary program and covers all dimensions of public affairs with the choice of elective courses from 10 different policy areas of specialization.

The MPA is designed for candidates with an undergraduate degree and a minimum of 5 years of experience. You can also have access to a dual degree offered with the MBA at HEC

Join a diverse yet cohesive cohort within a vibrant international school

The Sciences Po School of Public Affairs is the largest and one of the main School of Public Affairs in Europe, with the best European expertise but also a global perspective on policy-making. You will join a vibrant international school of 2000 students overall, while studying within a cohesive MPA cohort of around 30 mid-careers professionals from all over the world. 

Objectives: developing multidimensional and innovative skills to solve new public policy issues

The programme focuses on policy design and implementation as well as on the management of public affairs, and introduces participants to real-world policy problems. Graduates will be equipped with new skills to navigate between local and global perspectives, and from public-private partnerships to international organisations and civil society.

In particular, the MPA will:

  • foster your analytical capacity through a multidisciplinary approach;
  • develop your managerial skills, with a focus on leadership, negotiation, crisis communication, decision-making and budgeting;
  • equip you with a multidimensional and panoramic vision of public affairs that embraces a plurality of values, ethics and cultural contexts.

Innovative and customized teaching methods to bridge the gap between theory and action

The MPA emphasizes interdisciplinary analytical tools and hands-on training workshops. It uses case studies and relies on the experience and the diversity of the student body. A high level of interaction is enabled by the small size of the class.

To bridge the gap between theory and action, you will benefit from a world-class faculty of academics and global leaders, of top policy and decision-makers, from former ministers to current CEOs, MPs or senior civil servants.

The MPA students have also a direct access to an unparalleled network of public and private policymakers and to international organizations located in Paris (OECD, UNESCO among others) and over the world.

Structure and Curriculum

  • Autumn semester:
    • Three required MPA courses: "Macro Economics of Public Policy"; "Applied Data Analysis for Public Policy; "Leading in Complexity and Design Thinking";
    • One Public Policy module course: "Psychology and Public Policy" or "Analytic approaches of Public Policy" or "Democracy in crises" or "Populism and Autocracy";
    • One common core curriculum course;
    • Three courses to be chosen among our offer of core courses, policy stream courses, elective courses, case studies and language courses.
  • Winter session (January): Leadership and management skills seminars
  • Spring semester:
    • Policy project*;
    • Three required MPA courses: "Public Policy in Practice"; "Micro Economics of Public Policy"; "Managing Public Resources";
    • One course to be chosen among our offer of core courses, policy stream courses and elective courses;
    • One course to be chosen among our offer of core courses, policy stream courses, elective courses, common core curriculum courses and language courses;
  • Summer session consisting of advanced courses in public policy and focusing on developing practical leadership and management skills, while completing the policy project.

In addition to the above, students may choose to enrol in a language course. Non-French speakers are particularly encouraged to enrol in French language classes.

The overall required number of credits is 75 ECTS (or 19 standard Sciences Po courses).

Standard courses at Sciences Po are 24 contact hours (12 sessions of 2 hours, over 12 weeks) with about the same number of hours of work outside the classroom. One 24 hour-class is worth 4 ECTS credits.


The policy project, which takes place during the spring semester, is an applied group project intended for students to produce an analysis of professional quality and standard on a current public policy issue.

Each project is carried out by a group of three to five students and supervised by both a representative from the partner institution and a subject area expert. The experience goes beyond the application of analytical tools: it engages students in a hands-on professional experience. Group work is critical to this learning process that aims at understanding the client’s needs, ecosystem and working environment. The outcome of the policy project is a collaborative final report that is polished, professional and useful. Here is an example of the outcome of a 2019 policy project with the Institut Montaigne.


Louis HoltLouis Holt graduated from the Master in Public Affairs in June 2020.

Read the interview with Louis Holt

Laura MaciasLaura Macias graduated from the Master in Public Affairs in June 2019.

Read the interview with Laura Macias

After ten years in Colombian politics, Jaime Hernandez decided that it was time to step back and take a break in order to design a rigorous and feasible political policy for his country. In September he enrolled in the one-year Master's programme in Public Affairs at the Sciences Po campus in Paris.

Read the interview with Jaime Hernandez

Eligibility and admissions

The candidates should be committed to promoting public good. They should have at least five years of professional experience in the public, private or non-profit sector, be proficient in English, and hold at least a Bachelor's degree.

Admissions are now openfind out more on admissions procedure.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the entire program is set at €23 000. Sciences Po awards scholarships to a select number of students, in the form of tuition reduction.

An application form should be sent to admitted students by early June on their Sciences Po email address and the results should be communicated by the end of June.

Find information on other sources of financial aid on the Bursaries and financial aid page. 


The MPA is a full-time one-year programme. It starts late-August, and ends at the end of June.

scientific advisor

Claire Montialoux is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Sciences Po. She was previously Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley. Prior to this, she had conducted research in various locations including London, New York and Paris. Her research focuses on how labor market policies and institutions affect wage inequality, in a global and historical perspective. Her PhD dissertation was awarded the W.E. Upjohn Institute Award 2020.


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