Difference Between MPA and MPP


To make a career for oneself as an administrator or policy maker in government, there are two degrees or fields of study that have become very popular these days. One of these is MPA or the Masters in Public Administration. This is obviously a postgraduate degree course in the field of public administration. There is another academic degree in the field of public service referred to as MPP that confuses students desirous of a career as a policy maker. What could possibly be the difference between policy and administration, which is the only difference in the names of these two degrees? This article takes a closer look at these two degrees to find out their differences.


MPA stands for Masters in Public Administration and is a postgraduate level degree course in public administration. This degree is ideal for all those who are desirous of middle and upper level posts in government offices and agencies to have an administrative career. The course and curriculum of MPA is designed to help students learn the skills that are necessary to make and implement policies and programs for the betterment of the population. Top level people in consulting firms, developmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, governmental organizations etc. are seen to have this degree in their kitty to be better able to serve the people. An MPA degree is helpful to students who are desirous of becoming a part of the policies and programs that are designed to solve societal problems.


MPP is a postgraduate level degree course that prepares students for analysis and evaluation of data and information to solve the problems that arise in implementation of policies and programs. MPP stands for Masters in Public Policy, and the pass outs are preferred in both government and public sector companies as they have the necessary skills to deal with problems arising in policy making. Students learn to weigh the alternatives or options available to them while finding effective solutions to problems in policy implementation.


MPA and MPP used to be two very different and distinct postgraduate courses earlier, but there has been a lot of convergence over the last few years with the result that there is much overlap between the course content and curriculum of the two degrees today. In general though, there is greater emphasis on administration techniques and implementation of policies and programs in MPA while MPP is more about analysis and evaluation of information and alternatives.

Rather than the nomenclature, it is the course content and focus that is important while finalizing a particular course if you are interested in taking a plunge in the field of public administration or policy making. If policy making and administration is what you are interested in, it is better for you to enroll in an MPA course. On the other hand, if you think you are adept at weighing options and evaluating information, MPP is a better option for you.